New York Flm Critics Awards

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Postby OscarGuy » Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:02 pm

You might have seen The Kids Are All Right win Best Picture from this group had it not already picked up three awards. This group votes on each award one at a time with Best Picture and Director last. Oftentimes, a film that's dominating the earlier awards will falter and lose out on a Best Picture win because the most vocal members of the group decry the sweep and want things to be shaken up. Now, that's not saying that The Social Network wouldn't have won anyway, but I would be surprised if The Kids Are All Right was not second.
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Postby Big Magilla » Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:54 pm

"Middlebrow" isn't a dirty word, but I don't think it describes the New York Film Critics, at least not the entire body, which has always been a fractious group, one that has often given their awards in compromise. Sometimes the middledbrow faction wins, sometime the arty faction does, and some of the time and the nutwings cause enough trouble to throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing.

In 1939 there were two factions, one that wanted to give the Best Picture award to Gone With the Wind and one that wanted to give it to Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. They settled on Wuthering Heights, a film that neither faction was all that crazy about.

The only time the "arty" facton was really in control was in the early 70s when they were trying to "out-art" the National Society of Film Critics in seeing which group could be the one to give more awards to foreign films than the other.

In the late 90s they seemed to have lost their minds when they gave a Best Actress award to Cameron Diaz for There's Something About Mary.

Most of the time, though, politically correct films, whether they're middlebrow (United 93) or arty (Z) are the ones that prevail. That's what makes the choices of The Social Network and The Kids Are All Right "predictable", though few, if any, of us were actually predicting the latter to pull off three big wins.

Does Kids deserve such a big haul? I can't say as I haven't seen all the candidates, but I personally like Bening and Ruffalo better than anyone else I've seen in their categories so far.

As for The Social Network, it can win all the critics' awards and still lose the Oscar, which could go to either The King's Speech or The Fighter, both of which have gotten early reputations as crowd-pleasers.




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Postby Mister Tee » Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:46 pm

rolo, you're equating your personal opinion with established fact, and it's causing you to lose sight of basic reality.

1) As Precious Doll notes, there is no plane of earth where Up in the Air dominated the critics last year. The Hurt Locker's march to best picture despite its commercial failure was clearly a result of its sweeping the three old-time critics' groups' top award.

2) You didn't like The Social Network. You're convinced David Fincher fucked it up. You'd have preferred a movie more like Charlie Wilson's War. Given the worldwide acclaim Social Network has received, I'd say this puts you in a fairly tiny clique (though you may find adherents here). And thinking Lisa Cholodenko was a more deserving director this year than Fincher...well, enjoy life in that bubble. Your whole "let's hope for something artistically adventurous like last year" amounts to not much more than "I liked the Hurt Locker and I don't like Social Network". Please stop trying to dress it up as some declaration of principle.

And, hey, I sympathize: I had to watch last year as a movie about which I was lukewarm swept up everything in sight. It happens.

3) Plenty of us get annoyed when films/performances start sweeping the field. (Which at least isn't happening with most actors, so far this year) But I don't see why it comes as any surprise it's occurred with this particular film. As I noted when the reviews started pouring in -- long before any of us had seen the picture -- The Social Network was getting the strongest set of notices for any American film in memory... certainly since Brokeback Mountain, maybe as far back as Schindler's List. You may not AGREE with that assessment (as many here clearly do not), but for the critics who wrote those reviews not to have voted these awards to the film would have about amounted to breach of promise. This was one year where a critics' sweep was wholly predictable.




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Postby Precious Doll » Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:30 pm

rolotomasi99 wrote:Meanwhile, I second everyone's opinion about this bizarre habit of film critics groups of handing out their awards to middle of the road films. It used to be that you went to the Oscars for the mainstream while the critics awards went to the art house flicks. Last year everything was reversed, with the critics giving their love to UP IN THE AIR while the Oscars recognized the far more cinematically interesting THE HURT LOCKER.

The Hurt Locker won Best Film last year from the big '3' critic groups, New York, LA & NSFC, not to mention Kathryn Bigelow winning Best Director from the same three groups.




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Postby MovieWes » Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:13 pm

And to add to that statistic, there has never been a movie that won the Picture/Director prizes from JUST the Boston and Chicago critics that didn't go on to win the Oscar for Best Picture.
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Postby MovieWes » Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:08 pm

If The Social Network wins Best Picture and Best Director from Chicago, then the Oscar race is officially over. Never has a movie that won Picture/Director from New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago failed to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Keep in mind that Brokeback Mountain did not win the Chicago critics prize. Crash did.
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Postby rolotomasi99 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:04 pm

Mister Tee wrote:Best Film:
The Social Network

Best Director:
David Fincher, The Social Network

Best Screenplay:
The Kids Are All Right

Best Actress:
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right

Best Supporting Actor:
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right

Wait a second! THE SOCIAL NETWORK is the best film of the year, but the only other nomination it could get was director? I enjoyed THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT more than THE SOCIAL NETWORK, but I am confused by the screenplay win. Sorkin's script was pretty airtight, while I felt THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT was more a triumph of acting and directing. Speaking of directing, it sure seemed like Cholodenko was a much better fit for her film as a director than Fincher was for his. Very strange.

Meanwhile, I second everyone's opinion about this bizarre habit of film critics groups of handing out their awards to middle of the road films. It used to be that you went to the Oscars for the mainstream while the critics awards went to the art house flicks. Last year everything was reversed, with the critics giving their love to UP IN THE AIR while the Oscars recognized the far more cinematically interesting THE HURT LOCKER.

Once again, we have another entertaining but bland film winning over artistically courageous films. Hopefully the Academy goes for something more cinematically daring than the Facebook movie.
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Postby rolotomasi99 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:52 pm

Mister Tee wrote:
Greg wrote:The Social Network appears to have become the prohibitive frontrunner for the Best Picture Oscar before even the deadline to qualify has passed.

It's as sure a winner as Brokeback Mountain.

There is nothing worse at this point in an Oscar race than to be ahead.
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Postby Eric » Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:45 pm

ITALIANO wrote:Also, I mean, how many movies are produced every year in the US? More than five or six I suppose. And is it possible that every single group has declared the SAME movie as the best of the year? (Not to mention the fact that this same movie is something like The Social Network). I live in a divisive country and I know that it's not a very good thing, but I'm not sure that this obsessive total agreement is a much better cultural aspect.

As Oscar blogger Nat R. surmised a couple years ago (and I paraphrase), "I'm confused. I feel as though only five movies were released last year. I swear I saw more, but I guess I'm wrong. The same titles keep coming up, so I guess there were no other films."

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Postby Eric » Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:43 pm

The Original BJ wrote:A surprisingly middle-of-the-road list for this group.

NYFCC have been the most middlebrow of the big 3 for quite awhile now, imho.

Still don't think Lesley Manville's dead in the water just yet, but three of the available slots (Bening, Portman, Lawrence) feel really solidified at this point. Tick, tock.

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Postby ITALIANO » Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:40 pm

And these are the intellectual, provocative New York critics..? Even the Academy may prove more revolutionary.

Also, I mean, how many movies are produced every year in the US? More than five or six I suppose. And is it possible that every single group has declared the SAME movie as the best of the year? (Not to mention the fact that this same movie is something like The Social Network). I live in a divisive country and I know that it's not a very good thing, but I'm not sure that this obsessive total agreement is a much better cultural aspect.

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Postby Mister Tee » Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:37 pm

Greg wrote:The Social Network appears to have become the prohibitive frontrunner for the Best Picture Oscar before even the deadline to qualify has passed.

It's as sure a winner as Brokeback Mountain.

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Postby The Original BJ » Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:35 pm

A much-needed boost for The Kids Are All Right after the BFCA snub with three big awards here.

I also think the Globes will give it a big boost tomorrow as well, given that it's basically the only comedy in this Oscar race.

A surprisingly middle-of-the-road list for this group.

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Postby Greg » Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:31 pm

The Social Network appears to have become the prohibitive frontrunner for the Best Picture Oscar before even the deadline to qualify has passed.
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Postby Sabin » Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:24 pm

Milquetoast. A triumph of B+.



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