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Dec 07 2014

BSFC,LAFCA,and NYFCO: Their 2014 Winners

My apologies to Boston,Los Angeles and the online contingency of New York City for their shared billing but what can you do?When they all announce on the same weekend they share column space.The DC Film Critics also announced nominations today but in the interest of sanity,TFE only covers actual awards from critics groups,nottheir nomination rounds (which give performers and films no real juice publicity wise anyway);we have 30+ critics organizations in the US alone so any requested  coverage other than wins for the non-institutions feels ego-driven.

It was another good day forBirdmanandBoyhoodor "Boyman"asSashalikes to call it.Particularly Boyhood which no films seem to be able to squirm around for top billing.Grand Budapest Hotelprobably came close in L.A.,Birdmanlooked like a distant second in Boston,but NYFCO seemed very committed.Is it now the Oscar frontrunner forBest Picture?It probably always was so yes.

The BSFC was formed in 1981 and were once known for scrappy idiosyncratic choices.They were among the first awards group to rubber stamp Steven Soderbergh and David O.Russell (before their prime Oscar years).In the past ten years they've become far more conservative usually awarding their top prize to the Oscar frontrunner or its presumed challenger.Like NYC,Boston now has a second younger "online"group which already announced this year.

Film:Boyhood(runner up:Birdman)
Director:Richard Linklater,Boyhood(runner up: Clint Eastwood,American Sniper)
Actor:Michael Keaton,Birdman(runner up: Timothy Spall,Mr Turner)
Actress:Marion Cotillard,Two Days One NightANDThe Immigrant(runner up: Hilary Swank,The Homesman)
Supporting Actor:J.K.Simmons,Whiplash(runner up: Edward Norton,Birdman)
Supporting Actress:Emma Stone,Birdman(runner up: Laura Dern,Wild)
Screenplay [TIE]:Birdman&Boyhood(runner up:Mr Turner)
Cinematography:Emmanuel Lubezki,Birdman(runner up: Dick Pope,Mr Turner)
Editing:Sandra Adair,Boyhood(runner up: Joel Cox & Gary Roach,American Sniper)
Foreign Film:Two Days One Night(runner up: Ida)
Animated Film:The Tale of Princess Kaguya(runner up:The Lego Movie)
New Filmmaker:Dan Gilroy,Nightcrawler(runner up: Gillian Robespierre,Obvious Child)
Documentary:Citizen Four(runner up:Jodorowsky's Dune)
Use of Music:Inherent Vice(runner up:Whiplash)

Founded in 1975,the LAFCA is one of the twin (coastal) towers of film critics associations alongside NYFCC which announced their prizes on December 1st.Last yearthe LAFCA had a very hard tie figuring out their prizes and the day ended with ties in three headline categories: Best Picture,Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor.These days they are perhaps best known for daring choices in Best Actress and Best Picture.

FilmBoyhood(runner up:The Grand Budapest Hotel)
DirectorRichard Linklater,Boyhood(runner up: Wes Anderson,Grand Budapest Hotel)
ActressPatricia Arquette,Boyhood(runner up: Julianne Moore,Still Alice)
ActorTom Hardy,Locke(runner up: Michael Keaton,Birdman)
Supporting Actress:Agata Kulesza,Ida(runner up: Rene Russo,Nightcrawler)
Supporting Actor:J.K.Simmons,Whiplash(runner up: Edward Norton,Birdman)

New Generation:Ava DuVernay,Selma
Screenplay:Grand Budapest Hotel(runner up:Birdman)
Animated Film:The Tale of Princess Kaguya(runner up:The LEGO Movie)
Foreign Film:Ida(runner up:Winter Sleep)
Documentary:Citizen Four(runner up:Life Itself)
Cinematography:Emmanuel Lubeszki,Birdman(runner up: Dick Pope,Mr Turner)
Editing:Sandra Adair,Boyhood(runner up: Barney Piling,Grand Budapest Hotel)
Score: TIEJonny Green,Inherent ViceandMica Levi,Under the Skin
Production Design:Adam Stockhausen,Grand Budapest Hotel(runner up: Ondrej NekvasilSnowpiercer)
Experimental Film:Walter Reuben,The David Whiting Story
Career Achievement:Gena Rowlands

The LAFCA seem to have bought into their own myth about their iconoclastic Best Actress behavior.They weirdly switched categories for Patricia Arquette from supporting to lead despite backing J.K.Simmons as supporting from his far leadier work as half of a two-hander relationship drama between two men in a film with basically only two major characters.

Agata Kulesza is a worthy fascinating choice but she's really very obviously more of a lead than Patricia Arquette.But what can you do?I suppose you could make a better case for her in supporting than you could for Arquette as a lead but it's all rather baffling.

Said to have been formed in 2000 the internet only has records dating back to 2003 for their prizes.They are not to be confused with the ancient and highly important NYFCC which already announced on December 1st and wereBoyhood&Immigrantfocused this year.

Director:Richard Linklater,Boyhood
Actress:Marion Cotillard,Two Days One Night
Actor:Eddie Redmayne,The Theory of Everything
Supporting Actor:J.K.Simmons,Whiplash
Supporting Actress:Patricia Arquette,Boyhood
Ensemble Cast:Birdman
Use of Music:Get On Up
Debut Director:Dan Gilroy,Nightcrawler
Breakthrough:Jack O'Connel forUnbrokenANDStarred Up
Documentary:Life Itself
Animated Feature:The LEGO Movie

Marion Cotillardis perhaps the other big story of the day having won NYFCC,BSFC,and NYFCO already.Her Oscar chances still seem debatable though for a number of reasons including two separate films and the lack of any real campaigning beyond a screener forTwo Days One Night.

J.K.Simmons,Richard Linklater,andCitizen Fourcontinues to be steamrollers in Supporting Actor,Director,and Documentary respectively.MeanwhileBirdmanmarches along as a strong contender for basically everything if not,yet,a dependable film to bank any actual golden statues on.More unfortunately (especially given my change of heart about the film) critics have optioned not to really backGrand Budapest Hotelbeyond the category that Oscar would have awarded it any way,Best Screenplay,which is the only category in which Wes Anderson films ever find any traction,sadly,despite often being sheer wonders in terms of Production Design,Costuming and weirdly expressive stylized performances.

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Reader Comments (40)

yes to marion and swank (runner-up) at boston!

December 7,2014 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

and that blogger keeps doing the most when 'beautiful' women win.

December 7,2014 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

marcelo - ?

December 7,2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nat,Boston's Best Ensemble prize matched their Best Picture winners identically.

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Agata Kulewska!LAFCA are always the coolest.

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Is this going to be the year where Oscar rejects both the populist blockbusters AND the studio pre-selected December front-runners?Because this is starting to look like a game-changing year for Oscar,where they really say "screw it"to everyone and just pick what they enjoyed...like putting,say,an "Ida"in contention for a Best Picture win,let alone nomination.

Frankly,shunning movies like "Theory of Everything"and "Unbroken"and "Imitation Game"might be the best thing that could happen.Non-mainstream ("arty") movies used to make it into the field just fine,because they were quality,and moviegoers sought them out during the course of the year.Now they get shoved into a glut of December releases after being chosen by distributors and PR people,and we finally may actually have a year where none of those are really any good.

There are audiences for all types of "smaller"films.How about not releasing them all in December so the audiences interested in them will have an easier time finding them?And then let the most beloved ones fight for Oscar spots,rather than having people cherry-pick (incorrectly) the ones that should?

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterJason

But Jason,these critics are definitely not AMPAS members.Not even close.

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Paul,yeah,I agree.But if they don't respond to these December releases,what will they respond to?GotG?

Of course a few of the obvious ones will get in,and big (Boyhood,Birdman,Selma),but I wouldn't be surprised if at least 2 of the 3 I mentioned are denied BP.And with the 5% rule,I doubt we'll see a year with less than 7 or so BP nominations.I just think there is room for a little more creativity,and this could be the year for that.

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterJason

nathaniel - an oscar blogger who keeps having meltdowns whenever critics' choices don't align with hers,and throws reasons like 'Z is sexy!','young','hot','white' behind their votes.

December 7,2014 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

It's Agata Kulesza for heaven's sake!:)
And I'm so glad she won.

December 7,2014 | Unregistered Commenterzordon

Excited to see the continuing critical love for Marion Cotillard.And finally some award acknowledgment for Agata Kulesza,transcendent in "Ida".Now we just need to see Anne Dorval's work in "Mommy"start getting the year-end recognition it deserves.

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterKen

The BIFA's are tonight as well and are being live streamed here:


Andrew Scott has just won an award for Pride!

December 7,2014 | Unregistered Commenterreds

LAFCA voters,please don't pretend that Agata Kulewska is supporting just because you want to give the big one to Julianne.

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Gee Cotillard is creaming it with the critics.Hope this bodes well for her Oscar chances,she is so due for another nomination!

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterBroooooke

Peggy -- but they already did!

December 7,2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

lol yes to patricia arquette as BEST ACTRESS in l.a.!

December 7,2014 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

I'm really happy for Patricia Arquette,but I hope her Best Actress win in LA doesn't result in category confusion (or IFC thinking about placing her in BA).I really don't see how she could be considered lead for that film.

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

Yay,Patricia Arquette!Go get that Oscar!And Gugu wins at the BIFAs!

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Putting Arquette in lead is so completely unnecessary.She's campaigning as supporting and will be nominated as such.Arquette was good,but not better that Julianne or Marion.

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Cotillard looks strong for the 5th spot.

December 7,2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

MARION AGAIN???Winning 2 of the 3 Best Actress prizes at the same day?Is this really happening?I mean,seriously,I'm so excited for her right now!She continues to sweep the awards season so far with her incomparable performance in Two Days,One Night and from the bottom of my heart,I wish she will keep on doing that,even if I still highly doubt that (Julianne Moore is the clear frontrunner).There's no question though in regards to which is the best female performance of the year and that's what truly matters.Cotillard practically rewrites the rules of acting through her already legendary performance as Sandra Bya in Two Days,One Night."You put up a good fight Sandra"(anyone who saw the film will understand what I'm saying).

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterStergios

Can you imagine how crazy best supporting actress would be if the Oscars throw a curve ball like Winslet 2008 and nominate Patricia Arquete in the 5th slot for Best Actress?亚博主页

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterVictor S

"Use of Music: Get On Up"?!?I'm all for supporting non-original scores but that's a rather silly winner,no?

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

If the critics groups keep picking her - the academy cannot ignore her - she'll be in the conversation,and her odds go up dramatically as more people talk about her and see her films.

Most Likely: Moore & Reese
Fighting it our for remaining slots: Cotillard,Pike,Jones,Adams,Swank & Aniston.
Less likely but still quite possible: Mbatha-Ra & Slate

My current prediction is: Moore,Reese,Cotillard,Jones and Adams - BUT outside of Moore & Reese anything can happen!I also think that Swank's odds are not bad,her character definitely stands out as different when looking at her competition and standing out can be a very good thing when voters are filling out their ballots.

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

'praying' for amy adams to miss at the oscars...亚博主页

December 7,2014 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

re - best actress.Jones is A LOT more vulnerable than people are thinking.She is far from a lock,and I'm not sure we will see any critics group awards go her way.

I still think she gets in but it'll be close.A lot of her competition have more star power,momentum and/or complex roles in better received films.

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterWhat

Marcelo - AMEN.

December 7,2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

'Supporting Actress: Agata Kulesza,Ida (runner up: Rene Russo,Nightcrawler)"

I also love LAFC's best supporting actress picks.Sort of out of the box but both very deserving.

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

lol hardy!now,come on,LA,"the babadook"for best picture!

December 7,2014 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

I'm actually hoping LAFCA goes with BUDAPEST because they obviously like it but haven't given it much.

December 7,2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Awesome!!!!!Tom Hardy wins best actor!!!!Great pick LA he's in my top 5

December 7,2014 | Unregistered Commenterdavid

I don't get sweeps,especially for Best Film.LA always does this.They throw curveballs throughout their 10-hour voting sessions,only to kill the vibe by going with the obvious choice for their big prize.

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

Yay for Hardy!Nice to see them go for a great performance that isn't one of the widely predicted end of year contenders (which start to feel pre-ordained around now).

And I only watched IDA last night for the first time,so this was good timing.Both leads were fantastic,so I'm very happy to see Agata Kulesza at least break into the conversation.But maybe they should have given her Actress and Arquette Supporting?!

I'd also be very happy for Marion Cotillard to be Oscar nominated for TWO DAYS,even if I don't think she revolutionised acting or gives a 'legendary' performance.

December 7,2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

so they gonna do it again: make me hate an actress that I like: Marilllon!Just like they did with Nathalie Portman vs.Annette Benning.It's gonna be a Marillon vs.Julianne who should be a multiple winner (Safe,Short Cut,Boogie Nigh,Magnolia,Far from Heaven,Oscar winner (pick any of those performances and give her 2 Oscars (Oh!亚博主页Im being generous,Blanchett as 2 so...)) grrrrrrrrr.....

December 7,2014 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

About that Arquette citation from LAFCA...

I don't agree with the critics' classification of her performance as a lead,but I understand how they got there - and,more importantly,why.Arquette is a constant presence throughout the film,with significantly more screen time than your typical supporting performance,even if it's ultimately difficult to make a convincing case for anyone other than Coltrane as a lead.That said,a fair argument can be made,and I don't think it's as unreasonable as,say,calling Mercedes Ruehl a lead in The Fisher King - which LAFCA did in 1991.

That's the how.As for the why...

At this point,I think we have to concede that 2014 is not a banner year for leading ladies.Julianne Moore is terrific in Still Alice,but it's such a flatly written and directed vehicle that it seems hardly worthy of her.Even with her wings clipped,she's better than she has any right to be in it,but it doesn't allow her to soar to the heights we know she's capable of - she's only as great as the material allows her to be.One's opinion of Reese Witherspoon in Wild depends largely on how you feel about her Reesishness - she's certainly talented,but I've never been a huge fan of her very diligent,hyper-alert style of acting;she can avoid seeming perky and aggressively type-A when she puts her mind to it,but even in subtle mode,she still seems to be telegraphing emotions in All Caps.Rosamund Pike gives a very striking performance in Gone Girl,but ultimately that character was about as believable for me as Sharon Stone's Catherine Trammel - she's a sexy,scary,crazy minx,but you never really get any sense of the pathology behind it (contrast that with the harrowing shades of despair,loneliness and self-loathing Glenn Close contributed to Fatal Attraction,or Linda Fiorentino's profound sense of boredom and disgust with the absolute stupidity of everyone else around her in The Last Seduction - a great deadpan comedy performance - and you'll get a sense of how thinly conceived Pike's sick-fantasy figure actually is.) Felicity Jones is impressive in Theory of Everything,but can't quite shake the conventional trappings of the supportive-wife-and-helpmate role assigned her;for as much as she brings to it,it's still only a few degrees from Teresa Wright in The Pride of the Yankees.I haven't seen Cotillard,Swank or Adams,but I just don't get the sense that 2014 is yielding any off-the-charts wonderful results,at least as far as the major contenders are concerned.I can usually count on at least three or four leading ladies to sweep me off my feet at this point in the year - so far,I'm still waiting to get carried away.

I've been swept away by Arquette,though,in what will probably stand in my estimation as The Performance of the Year by an Actress;no one else has really approached her work in terms of depth,shading or emotional impact.In cases where significant supporting performances are so much more compelling and impressive than any of the true leads in contention - Pat Neal in Hud is the one that immediately springs to mind,although a good case could be made for Simone Signoret in Room at the Top or Louise Fletcher in Cuckoo's Nest - I think it's almost natural that Awards-giving outlets play fast and loose with statuses.That way,they are able honor work they consider truly outstanding,as opposed to having to settle for what seems good enough in a pinch.

December 8,2014 | Unregistered CommenterJosh R

I see no problem with Agata Kulesza in supporting.The film neither stars nor ends with her character.And while I think Arquette is supporting,too,I can see how someone would put her there.It's hardly Jamie Foxx in COLLATERAL.

December 8,2014 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

I've just watched Still Alice and although I reckon Julianne Moore was impeccable,I very much prefer Marion's performance in Two Days One Night.The Oscar for Best Actress will be a contest between these two actresses.The rest may just be fillers in my opinion.

December 8,2014 | Unregistered CommenterJans

By far MOORE and COTILLARD are the best performances I've seen this year.This is not odd at all.Movie Bloggers should forget Amy Adams in those predictions,she is not that good.

December 8,2014 | Unregistered Commenteremma

Nat: I'm curious to see your updated Oscar prediction charts after yesterday.I know you posted that they would be new on the 7th......not that I'm pushing.......I realize you have a lot to do........but........please?

December 8,2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Josh R,

«Room at the Top» is one the movies I watch every fifteen years or so thinking I've totally forgotten it.In this case because I hardly remember la Signoret in it.I hope that in 2029,if I'm still around of course,I'll remember that indeed her part is not much bigger than Hermione's.I exaggerate but not much.And have no idea why it's called a "shattering"performance.At least,she gave her autobiography a good title.

Haven't seen a single thing with Cotillard even though she has Bette Davis eyes.I hope I won't be disappointed when I get to it.

December 8,2014 | Unregistered CommenterCapita

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