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‘Tis The Season To Geek Out

'Tis The Season To Geek Out

This is my favourite time of year: Frantically catching up on those films you didn’t quite make it to at a film festival (for me, Ballast last night, and I’m so thankful I actually made it to a theatre for it, my attention span needed that forced motivation for a film so quiet, and was greatly rewarded for it in the end), or more mainstream films you heard from one or two people were good (Zack and Miri Make a Porno, two nights ago, and that didn’t go over quite as well. Other suggestions appreciated!)… just so you can honestly make a top ten list that no one will read but your mom.

There’s also daily doses of other people’s top ten lists and many a critic’s awards, both of which I can endlessly get off on. I used to think it was an interest that would fade with time, like enjoying Christmas, but instead it’s thriving with the access I get from this job, and making getting up at 8am to find out what was nominated for whatever a completely joyous occasion even if I went to bed at 5 after twelve vodka sodas.

In the next three days, this interest hits quite the peak. The months long guessing game re: the “awards race” will l find a serious reduction in possible answers with the LA Critics, the NY Critics, the Broadcast Critics and the Golden Globes all announcing noms and/or winners within 50 hours of each other.. Its going to me a intense little ride for any awards geek.

I always fear the post-coital melancholy that happens after you get it all once like this. I mean, afterward we have the SAG noms, and a few why-do-they-even-bother critic’s groups, and then everyone drops everything for two weeks to celebrate the birth of Christ. So I need to suck this in.

I’m going to avoid posting constant pieces on this blog for every single actual announcement that comes out over the next few days – check out indieWIRE.com for that it’ll keep me busy enough as it is – but I will offer a brief and unnecessary geek-outs to discuss impending awards, the first two of which are after the jump.

Broadcast Film Critics Association/”Critic’s Choice”

When: Tomorrow at 830am
Who: The BFCA is a very big, and not particularly exclusive group of “broadcast critics,” which includes (very much so) people who write reviews online. Many of the voters are not actually critics, but they seem to have a very good take on where Oscar is headed.
Oscar Crossover: High
My Opinion Crossover: Mild
Who Needs Some Love: Everyone, really. But specifically: Johnny-come-latelys with a curious case of buzz confusion. Most obviously The Curious Case of Benjamin, but just as much The Reader, Gran Torino, Revolutionary Road and Doubt.
My Predictions: Not entirely the starfuckers the Globes are, and not quite the what-deserves-to-win mentality of the LA or NY critics, the status these guys and gals have as a serious Oscar precursor is somewhat newfound. But Oscar precursor they are (because really, aren’t the oscars the same hybrid in a way?). If you look at last year, you could find all five best picture nominees in their top ten, and 3-5 (mostly 4) of the eventual Oscar acting nominees in theirs. Here’s my guess for best picture:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Doubt, Frost/Nixon, Happy-Go-Lucky, Milk, The Reader, Revolutionary Road, Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler

I’m leaving out Gran Torino, Rachel Getting Married and WALL-E most obviously. The first two just ’cause, the last because they didn’t nominate Ratatouille and have an animated category (but who knows..). My temptation is to leave of Revolutionary Road, only because it scored such a low rating on the BFCA’s website. But I’m not.

I expect of those suggested 10, Milk will get the most nominations, followed by Ben Button, though Slumdog Millionaire is definite frontrunner here to win picture and director. My suggestions for the next few major categories:

Director: Darren Aronofsky, Danny Boyle, David Fincher, Ron Howard, Christopher Nolan, Gus Van Sant

Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, Richard Jenkins, Frank Langella, Sean Penn, Mickey Rourke, Brad Pitt

Actress: Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Sally Hawkins, Meryl Streep, Kristin Scott Thomas, Kate Winslet

Supporting Actor: Josh Brolin, Robert Downey Jr, James Franco, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Heath Ledger, Michael Shannon

Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Viola Davis, Taraji P. Hensen, Rosemarie DeWitt, Marisa Tomei, Kate Winslet

I won’t go any further because I’m tired and these nominations are coming out in 10 hours anyway so by the time anybody reads this it’ll probably be over. So I’ll move on…

Los Angeles Film Critic’s Association Awards

When: Tomorrow afternoon sometime.
Who: Los Angeles area critics: Founded in 1975, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) is a professional organization of Los Angeles-based, professional film critics working in the Los Angeles print and electronic media.
Oscar Crossover: Mild
My Opinion Crossover: Higher
Who Needs Some Love: The smaller performances that potentially can: Sally Hawkins. Melissa Leo. Richard Jenkins. Michelle Williams. The bigger performances that need “critical darling” to push them in against more famous (and liked) competitors: Mickey Rourke.

My Predictions: Last year these folks brought There Will To Be Blood firmly into the race, and they have the power to the same to another film this year. But which one? Slumdog and Milk are already firmly in the race. One hyphenate: WALL-E. But I’m thinking it might go another way. Here’s my suggestion (with runners-up predictions for extra geek fun!):

Best Picture: The Dark Knight (Milk)
Best Director: Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight (Gus Van Sant)
Best Actor: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler (Sean Penn)
Best Actress: Melissa Leo, Frozen River (Sally Hawkins)
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight (Robert Downey Jr)
Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Rosemarie DeWitt)

We’ll see soon enough…

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