Movie Award Season for 2012 can now officially begin! The New York Film Critics announced their picks for best in film for various categories today. It was a long drawn out process announced on Twitter.
A list is below with analysis:
Best First Film: David France (HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE)
In a year when we had “Arbitrage,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” and “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” this was a let down of an award winner. I found this documentary about AIDs to be underwhelming and not nearly as emotional as “We Were Here” that covered the same topic just last year (though in San Francisco). I speculate the documentary category was a close vote so they gave ‘Plague’ a consolation prize.
Best Non-Fiction Film (Documentary): “The Central Park Five”
No shock to me that film critics living in New York City awarded a documentary that uncovered a big crime that happened in New York. I tweeted to Sasha Stone of AwardsDaily.com this would probably win. This Ken Burns documentary which debuted at Telluride was a gripping revelation of the injustice of race relations and media hysteria. Very few docs were better. A solid pick!
Best Cinematographer: Greig Fraser (ZERO DARK THIRTY)
Greig Fraser photographed such amazing cinematography in “Snow White & The Huntsmen” that I gave it a positive review! He continued his impressive talent with the jarring and polarizing “Killing Them Softly.” I’m considering doing a write up on his body of work as one to watch for in 2012. Though “Zero Dark Thirty” is one of my most anticipated movies of 2012 and I love the art of cinematography, I just got more excited to see it!
Best Supporting Actress: Sally Field (LINCOLN)
A welcoming surprise in a rather non-competitive category! Usually NYC critics could go weird or extra pretentious in this category. Sally Field made a great career comeback as the Mrs. “Lincoln.” I shrugged off the idea of her in this movie and she did impress me as the emotionally supportive weight in the epic. She shouldn’t have anything to worry about regarding her Oscar chances.
Best Supporting Actor: Matthew McConaughey (BERNIE, MAGIC MIKE)
A polite gesture for the good year Matthew had. I hope he gets recognized later in the season for “Bernie” over “Magic Hype.” ‘Bernie’ was an delightful indie gem that deserved a larger audience (seriously rent it if you haven’t seen it), while ‘Magic’ was a dark, gritty indie, intentionally mis-marketed as a lady’s night out movie. McConaughey did have quite the year, but no mention of “Killer Joe?” (Probably because some consider him a lead.)
Best Animated Film: FRANKENWEENIE
The Tim Burton dud that got steamrolled by “Hotel Transylvania” won over the NYC critics. I never saw it, but really wanted to catch it. I heard mixed things, however mostly a positive response. The New York critics were never going to award “Wreck It Ralph” anyway! I expect this movie to start showing up on more lists. Critics do skew older…as does the Academy.
Best Foreign Language Film: AMOUR
As expected, this story about the bounds of commitment and love has been earning raves at Cannes and Telluride. Another one I missed, but I did LOVE other foreign films such as “Barbara,” “Ceaser Must Die,” and “Sister” and hope they get more traction at the end of the year. As long as “The Intouchables” doesn’t win in the Oscar in the end, all will be well with me and most critics.
Best Actress: Rachel Weisz (THE DEEP BLUE SEA)
Wow! The shock of all the announcements today. Well, now I’m officially seeing EVERY movie that opens at Landmark Chez Artiste. This played for one week in Denver! Its pathetic that a movie blogger like me hasn’t seen so many of the movies. I heard its a tough movie to watch, but notice many other Oscar pundits never saw it as well. If you saw it, let me know your thoughts in the comment section.
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (LINCOLN)
This is about as unexpected as the Fiscal Cliff negotiations not going well. I think we can expect Daniel Day Lewis to sweep all the critic awards a la Helen Mirren with “The Queen.” I loved “Lincoln” and think its a Top Five movie of the year. Any dissenters out there? Besides TMB contributors Ryan Brown.
Best Screenplay: Tony Kushner (LINCOLN)
The historical accuracy and the wonky dialogue turned up to be victorious for the NYFCC. Besides “The Master,” very few screenplays were as good as this one. “Lincoln” looks really strong right now. Doris Kearns Goodwin is one of the best living historians appearing in numerous documentaries and Sunday morning talk shows. She deserves to have a movie adaptation to her book “Team of Rivals” do so well.
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow (ZERO DARK THIRTY)
Kudos to Bigelow for pulling off a needed win to boost her Oscar chances! Spielberg has never won over this group of critics including “Schindler’s List!” In what looks to be a solid follow up to The “Hurt Locker,” Bigelow looks to once again provide the gritty realism of a 21st century man hunt.
Best Film: ZERO DARK THIRTY
One of my most anticipated movies of the year looks like to be a big winner! I am eagerly looking forward to this espionage thriller of a movie. I was disappointed how Sony kept shifting the release date of ‘Thirty.’ It would stand well on its own no matter what it opens against during the Holidays. Massive amounts of people will be interested in seeing a movie about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. Why hide it? Sony, let the general public see “Zero Dark Thirty” ASAP! Please push the release date forward!