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Brief Musings On An Endless Kickoff To Award Season

Brief Musings On An Endless Kickoff To Award Season

This morning was a bit of a nightmare for any awards blogger. All morning we all sat watching our twitter feeds as BOTH the New York Film Critics Circle and the Independent Spirit Awards simultaneously tweeted their announcements in what turned out to be a delayed and drawn out process (especially for the former). You can check out the NYFCC winners here and the Spirit nods here. All I can say is: Thank god I live on Eastern Time.

Overall, there were quite a few surprises among the two announcements. Or, I should say, among the Spirit Award announcement. The NYFCC seemed to play it safe with generally populist choices that didn’t shake up the race much. “The Artist”? Boooring. I had hopes for “Hugo” or “The Tree of Life.” Meryl Streep? Fine, but why not give a boost to Tilda Swinton or Olivia Colman or Kirsten Dunst. Surprise us!

The Spirit Awards, meanwhile, offered many a surprise with welcome (an to a lesser degree unwelcome) inclusions and often downright bizarre exclusions. Check out the 10 biggest surprises here, which begins with the unexpected dominance of “The Artist,” a French which snuck in largely due to director Michel Hazanavicius having US residency.

My big fear from today? That this award season is just going to be “The Artist” show. Because that would be so fucking boring and I don’t love that film enough to watch it sail smoothly toward Oscar night. I’d figured we’d at least have the Spirit Awards to give us one night away from its dominance. But that won’t be so. And after last year’s extraordinarily predictable and uninspiring race, things really need to be more fun this time around. So here’s to all the upcoming critics groups and precursors: Think outside the box, svp.

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