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Oct 23 2014

Gotham Nominees: Boyhood vs.Birdman vs. Budapest

The Gotham Awards juried nominations have recently surplanted the ancient NBR as the first real awards nomination/wins of the film year.That it happens in October is more than a little crazy,but what'cha gonna do?The New York centric film prizes,think of it as the Spirit Awards's East Coast Cousin albeit with far fewer prizes will be held on December 1st.Since they only have six categories and four separate juries (composed of critics and programmers),multiple nods aren't as easy to come by as they are at other shows but a handful of films managed it:Boyhood,Birdman,Dear White People,Nightcrawler,andUnder the Skin.



Very happy to see the intensely movingLove is Strange,in constant danger of being undervalued,show up.Especially since it didn't show up anywhere else.199 films were eligible for these honors.

BEST ACTRESS(they don't have lead or supporting designations)

Big year for GUGU with Belle as breakthrough and a nom for Beyond the Lights

  • GUGU MBATHA-RAW,Beyond the Lights
  • JULIANNE MOORE,Still Alice

Given thatStill Aliceis only getting a qualifying Oscar run and there's no proof that it will even play in NYC by the end of the year (LA is the only required theatrical run) I think it's weird to nominate Julianne Moore at the Gothams,however excellent she is in the picture.I wonder what criteria they use for eligibility?

BEST ACTOR(they don't have lead or supporting designations)

  • BILL HADER,The Skeleton Twins
  • ETHAN HAWKE,Boyhood
  • OSCAR ISAAC,A Most Violent Year
  • MILES TELLER,Whiplash

Interesting to see Oscar Isaac show up but not Jessica Chastain when the same nominating committee chose for both categories.


  • RIZ AHMED,Nightcrawler
  • MACON BLAIR,Blue Ruin
  • JOEY KING,Wish I Was Here
  • JENNY SLATE,Obvious Child
  • TESSA THOMPSON,Dear White People

Slightly odd choices by the breakthrough committee.I loveBoyhoodandNightcrawlerbut it seems weird to single out Coltrane or Ahmed from either,not only because they aren't the MVPs but because their performances just aren't at the same accomplished level as their co-stars.


  • ANA LILY AMIRPOUR,A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
  • DAN GILROY,Nightcrawler
  • ELIZA HITTMAN,It Felt Like Love
  • JUSTIN SIMIEN,Dear White People



I haven't yet seenLife Itself(I know I know) but I increasingly suspect,based on everything I've read about it,that hero worship is really getting in the way.It's not that I don't appreciate Ebert's work or that I don't understand the need to honor him for a special life in this very specialized field.But as with Oscars view of documentary,亚博主页sometimes subject matter trumps execution in terms of awardage.Critics complain when that happens.Except when it happens to a movie about a film critic ;) I reserve the right to change my mind and consider it very worthy if I see it but I just wanted to point out that this is always a real danger in awardage forallgroups,not just Oscar,the effect of subject matter trumping execution.

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Reader Comments (23)

Great to see a nomination for bill hader!!!Disappointed that no nominations for "The Toy Soldiers"especially Najarra Townsend

October 23,2014 | Unregistered Commenterdavid

Subject matter in documentary is the most important thing about a documentary.That's why some of the most beloved ones are simply talking heads.Documentary is not required to push the medium.It is there to relay information.

Life Itself is worthy of a Best Documentary nomination at the Oscars.亚博主页And if it wins,it'll be both on merit and sentiment.

October 23,2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Riz Ahmed "broke through"for me in The Reluctant Fundamentalist.I'm pleased to see him again when I have the chance.And Gyllenhaal appears to be doing interesting/unfamiliar work there.Also a bit surprised to not see Simmons or Norton come up,considering what I've heard about both.

October 23,2014 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets

And so it begins.

October 23,2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

Here we go!Nathaniel,take your vitamins!

October 23,2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Love the nominations for Under the Skin.Hope it continues to get many more,at least with critics.

One thing that bothers me though is why indie award bodies insit on "American"productions.Robs ots of worth films of recognition.There is no better performance on screen this year that I've seen than Cotillard in Two Days One Night.This seems like the place for it to be recognized since it s a small film with a subject matter that screams indie.So is Timbuktu.

October 23,2014 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

I love these.Yes,Chastain is great,but Oscar Isaac is every bit her equal,and it's nice to see him get some attention.I'm really tired of expecting to see him overlooked for the second year in a row.(The anticipated Best Actor nominees couldn't be blander from where I'm sitting,save for Keaton.)

As for Boyhood and Grand Budapest,neither can be given too many accolades in my book.

October 23,2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

The nomination of A Most Violent Year makes me wonder what other late releases they were able to see.Anybody know?

Nathaniel,Life Itself is actually pretty good.I thought it really painted a full picture of Ebert,including some less flattering parts of his character.However,I can already see the online Oscarsphere exploding with rage when Life Itself defeats Citizenfour to win the Best Documentary Oscar.亚博主页I give that scenario an 80% chance of happening.

October 23,2014 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

We can't really take these awards seriously,right?Nominate in October,and obviously the nominating committees haven't been able to see many worthy candidates.That means many worthy films aren't being considered.Or,worse,(Still Alice?) they get nominated sight unseen.

October 23,2014 | Unregistered CommenterSam

So happy to see Grand Budapest there,maybe this will give it some traction for the other awards (still my favourite movie this year).Really happy for Mia Wasikowska (she was brilliant in Tracks) and Miles Teller (since JK Simmons will be nominated for everything else,it's nice for him to get something!).

October 23,2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

Sam -- Still Alice was recently shown at the Hamptons Film Festival,so the jury members may have seen it there.

October 23,2014 | Unregistered CommenterJan

A Most Violent Year definitely screened for the selection committees;Glenn Kenny,who is on one of the committees,tweeted about having seen it last week.I think it's safe to assume that Still Alice did,too.I'm not sure which qualifying films they would have missed;there are only a handful of likely awards-worthy 2014 released at this point that haven't begun screening,and most of them aren't indies,since smaller movies need time to build momentum.Presumably any distributor interested in having its film screened by the Gotham committees would have made sure that occurred.

October 23,2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Wonderful news for both Boyhood and Grand Budapest.They're starting here,just gotta keep the good news rolling.Definitely hoping both of them get BP nominations!Still a lot to see though - especially curious about Inherent Vice,Wild,and Mr Turner.

October 23,2014 | Unregistered CommenterT-Bone

catbaskets- Ahmed was actually terrific in Four Lions a few years earlier than that.One of the great funny performances (and films) of recent years.

October 23,2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

Loving the citations for Under the Skin,Love is Strange,Ana Lily Amirpour,Eliza Hittman,plus that nomination for Gugu Mbatha-Raw suggests there's more to the film than meets the eye (but given the director,I wasn't too worried).

"However,I can already see the online Oscarsphere exploding with rage when Life Itself defeats Citizenfour to win the Best Documentary Oscar.亚博主页"

That's because there's no way people being honest with themselves can honestly suggest that LIFE ITSELF is a better made documentary (hell,movie in general) than CITIZENFOUR.That is just absurd and I already worry that's going to be my bugbear of the season.

October 23,2014 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Relax with the theatrics Glenn.The moment the Academy allowed for all of the Academy to vote on documentary and foreign language film every populist nominee will be the likely victor.See 20 Feet From Stardom winning when everyone had a say.

October 23,2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

I haven't seen Still Alice,but assuming Moore is as great as everyone says,the qualifying release is kind of baffling.If the performance is there,she absolutely has the potential to dominate the season the way Blanchett did last year.And isn't it better to stake your claim early?It just seems like with the amount of goodwill she has,they would be giving it a proper release.

Having said that,the Gothams were a pretty critical get for her.

October 23,2014 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

Just to be clear: I haven't seen Citizenfour so that was no valuation of the film or its worthiness for the award.(I hope to rectify that tomorrow when it's released here in NYC.)

However,unless critics overwhelmingly go for Citizenfour OR there is a groundswell of support for it as an "important"film among voters,3rtful is right- the populist film is the most likely one to win.

October 23,2014 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

I'm calling it right now: Oscar Isaac,Jessica Chastain,and Albert Brooks are all going to make it in for A Most Violent Year based on critics awards and reviews.

October 23,2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I was never a big Ebert fan either,but many are the merits in Life Itself both as a piece of art and also as a documentation of one's life.This is Steve James,after all.I postponed watching it and when I finally did,and the credits reminded me he was the director,I was mad at myself for having passed it over at the movies.His work in Hoop Dreams warrants that kind of response for at least 3 more movies.I have to see them when they're out..you know,like PTA & others of that caliber.It just makes me realize Magic in the Moonlight is the first Woody Allen movie I haven't seen in the movies since Bullets Over Broadway.I'm ready to make the leap...

October 23,2014 | Unregistered CommenterMr.Goodbar

Love the nom for "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night",one of my favourite films this year!It would make a great double feature with "Only Lovers Left Alive".

October 24,2014 | Unregistered CommenterSid

What is odd is Simmons missing.Either he wasn't submitted (probable as Teller needs the push) or the committee didn't select him (weird).

October 24,2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Henry - I thought that was weird,too.Teller was very good (although he didn't sell one of his character's big turnarounds for me) and very committed,but it's still surprising to see Simmons excluded when they have no distinction between lead and supporting.

October 24,2014 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

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