The two films that have been duking it out for top honors from critics, Boyhood and Birdman have surprisingly taken a back seat to three other films in the nominations tally here. Nightcrawler is the surprising top nominee with nine mentions followed by Gone Girl and The Grand Budapest Hotel. There are some interesting selections here. Some change the tweak the current narrative a little and others are so far left-field that they don't have much of a hope with Oscar.
(8) Gone Girl, The Grand Budapest Hotel
(7) Birdman, Boyhood
(5) The Theory of Everything
(4) The Imitation Game
The critics groups seem to be homogenizing around the same handful of potential nominees. A few new selections here than we've previously seen: Scarlett Johansson for her performance in Under the Skin, Rene Russo for Nightcrawler and Guardians of the Galaxy for Best Ensemble.
(4) The Grand Budapest Hotel
(3) Under the Skin
Leading the pack of the Chicago Film Critics Association's 2014 awards list, Birdman continues to receive lot of attention from critics as do The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood and Whiplash. Interstellar was much better represented with this group, as was Under the Skin and Wild.
(8) The Grand Budapest Hotel
(4) Gone Girl, Interstellar, Under the Skin
(3) The Imitation Game, Inherent Vice, Wild
The film many talked about as being the year's awards juggernaut has fallen. Unbroken, which screened late (but not as late as Selma, is completely shut out of the Golden Globe nominations. If they won't support Angelina Jolie, then the film probably has little hope. It might still crop up from the Broadcast Critics, but I think its Oscar chances are fading fast. Gone Girl makes a strong showing (not strong enough to pull Ben Affleck along, though). The Imitation Game, Selma, Birdman and Boyhood performed very well and should rally to support with the Academy.
Otherwise, there are no glaring omissions that immediately conjure up images of frantic publicists. I contend Hilary Swank was never really in contention, but words will be spilled about her supposed strong support fading. Foxcatcher holds on, but not enough to get a Best Director nomination while Wes Anderson positions himself strongly for Oscar inclusion after years of typical avoidance by the Academy.
(5) Boyhood, The Imitation Game
(4) Gone Girl, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Selma, The Theory of Everything
(3) Big Eyes, Foxcatcher, Into the Woods
The nominations have been announced. Rumors that the SAG nominations committee didn't get to see Selma in time are proven true with the film completely shut out. The last-minute push for Jennifer Aniston paid off, but her nomination will very likely be replaced at the Oscars. The big surprises here are Naomi Watts' out-of-nowhere nomination for St. Vincent (another feat unlikely to duplicate at the Oscars), no Guardians of the Galaxy in the Stunt Cast category, no ensemble nomination for Into the Woods (which may have screened too late and Streep got nominated for just being in a movie), and Get On Up nominated for Stunt Cast when it doesn't seem like the kind of film that would have many stunts in it.
(3) Boyhood, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything
One of the film critic groups that seems to most closely mirror Academy tastes, Phoenix Film Critics have selected a varied, but mainstream group of selections. It's clear they didn't get to screen Selma in time or I would suspect it to get a lot more love than this. At least they had the good taste not to nominate Interstellar for Best Picture and instead went for the flawed, but fun Guardians of the Galaxy. I also adore the Logan Lerman and Carrie Coons love (which I hope the Academy will duplicate).
(8) Boyhood, Gone Girl
(7) The Grand Budapest Hotel, Into the Woods, The Theory of Everything
(6) The Imitation Game, Interstellar
(4) Guardians of the Galaxy, A Most Violent Year
(3) Edge of Tomorrow, The Lego Movie, Obvious Child
In spite of a recent turn towards prescient Oscar prognosticator, the OFCS has gone off the beaten path selecting a large number of films and performances that aren't likely to translate into Oscar nominees. They are, if nothing else, striking out in a different direction than most other critics groups this year (so far).
(6) Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel
(5) Two Days, One Night
(4) Birdman, Ida, Mommy, Under the Skin, Whiplash
(3) Gone Girl, Selma
The ten best American-made films for 2014 have been announced. Nothing terribly earth shattering on this list. It's too bad that Interstellar is the lone blockbuster on this list when there were many better blockbusters this year.
Best American Films
- American Sniper
- The Imitation Game
- Into the Woods
American Film Institute Data
Year Founded: 1967
First Awards: 2001 (14)
Another win for Boyhood and better overall support for Birdman. The only striking thing about these awards is how much in sync they are with the general consensus. There are no truly off-the-wall selections.
As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I'm going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).
A large handful of prominent critics groups announced their awards this week, with another slew to come out this week. It's a busy time and will be for another two weeks, then Christmas sets in and everything goes quiet until mid-January.
But, before we get into this week's winners and losers, let's take a look at what's coming up this week:
Mon., Dec. 8 - American Film Institute Top Ten
Mon., Dec. 8 - DC Critics Awards
Mon., Dec. 8 - Detroit Critics Nominations (guesstimate)
Mon., Dec. 8 - Online Critics Nominations
Mon., Dec. 8 - Phoenix Critics Nominations (guesstimate)
Mon., Dec. 8 - St. Louis Critics Nominations (guesstimate)
Tue., Dec. 9 - San Diego Critics Nominations (guesstimate)
Wed., Dec. 10 - San Diego Critics Awards (guesstimate)
Wed., Dec. 10 - Screen Actors Guild Nominations
Thu., Dec. 11 - Golden Globe Nominations
Fri., Dec. 12 - Detroit Critics Awards (guesstimate)
Fri., Dec. 12 - Chicago Critics Nominations (guesstimate)
Another win for Boyhood and a first-time appearance by Eddie Redmayne. The film also got some love from their top ten list, which also includes the also heretofore unrecognized The Imitation Game.
(3) Birdman, Boyhood
(2) Two Days, One Night
The Los Angeles critics made some idiosyncratic choice, though stayed in line with other critics groups. Patricia Arquette suddenly gets promoted to lead for Boyhood.
(2) The Grand Budapest Hotel, Ida
Boyhood (RU: The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Richard Linklater's 12-year project continues to roll through precursor season. Is it building up to be a big winner or will it fall like so many other critics' favorites in recent years? Not much is new from this list, though the previously-invulnerable The Lego Movie was finally beaten, though it isn't necessarily the kind of movie that needs prizes from critics to win the Oscar.
(2) Two Days, One Night
Not too many shocking selections from the DC critics. Many of the films we expected critics to love (Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Whiplash) are here as are some films (Gone Girl and Selma that some thought might be fading or not getting enough attention from critics so far. They announce their winners on Monday.
(6) Gone Girl
(5) The Grand Budapest Hotel, Interstellar, Whiplash
(4) Selma, The Theory of Everything
(3) Under the Skin, Wild
In three critic group announcements, we've had three wildly different sets of results, including Best Director winners, Best Actor winners and a whole slate of other differences. This wide-open year is getting quite interesting. Kudos to Boston's online critics for recognizing the brilliant Snowpiercer.
(2) Calvary, Snowpiercer, Two Days, One Night