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« Nicole Kidman ____s on the "Paddington"Red Carpet| Main| Team FYC: Gugu Mbatha-Raw in "Belle"for Best Actress »
Tuesday
Dec 09 2014

Online Film Critics Society Have Got 'Mommy' Issues

Well this is a pleasant surprise!

Glennhere with a look at the slate of nominees that the Online Film Critics Society sent our way today.You can thank me for a smidgen of the rather wonderful list since I am a member.The cynical person that I am assumed group think and the homogeny of the pack would give us the usual suspects,but the OFCS blessedly included some curveballs and left of field choices that should make the AFI and other singularly Oscar-hunting awards bodies look foolish.Let's take a look.

BEST PICTURE

  • BOYHOOD
  • THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
  • IDA
  • THE LEGO MOVIE
  • MOMMY
  • NIGHTCRAWLER
  • SELMA
  • TWO DAYS,ONE NIGHT
  • WHIPLASH
  • UNDER THE SKIN

This being an online critics organisation,they are going to lean a little bit to the "cool"side of things.Having said that,only four of the organisation's nominations for Best Picture are likely going to get correlating Oscar nominees - they could beBoyhood,Grand Budapest,SelmaandWhiplash.The rest of the list is spectacularly diverse with three foreign language films,a semi-experimental sci-fi,a creepy genre thriller,and the other meta-superhero flick from 2014.Speaking of which,the omission ofBirdmanis as surprising as it is delightful.I mean,I like the movie,and certainly much more thanWhiplash,but I have no qualms with it missing for the sake of Xavier Dolan'sMommy.Not one bit.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

  • BIG HERO 6
  • THE BOXTROLLS
  • HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
  • THE LEGO MOVIE
  • THE LEGEND OF PRINCESS KAGUYA

It's looking more and more like this might be Oscar's five as well,but although maybe it's just my own dislike for the film I'm not sold onBig Hero 6as a nominee.But,unless they choose another small animation (likeSong of the Seafor instance),what else is there to choose?

BEST FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

  • IDA
  • THE MISSING PICTURE
  • MOMMY
  • THE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA
  • TWO DAYS,ONE NIGHT

The Missing Picturewas my number one film of last year (it received an Oscar qualifying run last year so...) andMommyis one of my top three films of this year.Place them alongside the amazingIdaand the Dardennes and the Japanese animation that I have unfortunately not seen yet and you've got an amazing category,only three of which are eligible for Oscar though.

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • CITIZENFOUR
  • LIFE ITSELF
  • THE MISSING PICTURE
  • NATIONAL GALLERY
  • THE OVERNIGHTERS

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Wes Anderson,THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
  • Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes,TWO DAYS,ONE NIGHT
  • Ava DuVernay,SELMA
  • Jonathan Glazer,UNDER THE SKIN
  • Richard Linklater,BOYHOOD

Glazer and the Dardennes!How many organizations are going to go in that cool of a direction with their ballots?We can hope plenty,but in reality...

BEST ACTOR

  • Ralph Fiennes,THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
  • Brendan Gleeson,CALVARY
  • Jake Gyllenhaal,NIGHTCRAWLER
  • Michael Keaton,BIRDMAN
  • Timothy Spall,MR TURNER

BEST ACTRESS

  • Marion Cotillard,TWO DAYS,ONE NIGHT
  • Essie Davis,THE BABADOOK
  • Anne Dorval,MOMMY
  • Julianne Moore,STILL ALICE
  • Rosamund Pike,GONE GIRL

There's a very real chance that there will be a 3 for 10 crossover with these two acting categories and that is a very good sign of the diversity that this year has given us.All ten of these performances are interesting - only Keaton doesn't excite me as much - and it's great that Gyllenhaal and especially Cotillard are racking up some early citations since I'm not sure they have the power to get to Oscar.Two big,giant cheers for Anne Dorval and Essie Davis who pulled big nominations ahead of much bigger names.

Okay,I still don't believe this Cotillard band-wagon can carry on all the way to the Kodak,but it's great that's getting all these citations without even trying.And can we get two big cheers for Essie Davis and Anne Dorval,the latter of whom especially pulled it out somewhat surprisingly against much bigger names.My vote is going to Davis,but everyone here is just fabulous.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Josh Brolin,INHERENT VICE
  • Ethan Hawke,BOYHOOD
  • Edward Norton,BIRDMAN
  • Mark Ruffalo,FOXCATCHER
  • J.K.Simmons,WHIPLASH

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Patricia Arquette,BOYHOOD
  • Jessica Chastain,A MOST VIOLENT YEAR
  • Suzanne Clement,MOMMY
  • Agata Kuleszka,IDA
  • Tilda Swinton,SNOWPIERCER

The women are by far the better of the two supporting categories,no?Some crazy-good surprises like Suzanne Clement make that category one of the highlights of the nomination announcement.The actors?Well,they are all good,but with no big surprises it feels more like a snooze than it ought to be.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • BOYHOOD
  • THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
  • SELMA
  • TWO DAYS ONE NIGHT
  • WHIPLASH

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • GONE GIRL
  • INHERENT VICE
  • SNOWPIERCER
  • UNDER THE SKIN
  • WE ARE THE BEST!

Pretty much as expec--oh my god!Some crazy so-and-sos putWe are the Best!on their ballot and wouldn't ya know there it is.Whoever did that is pretty amazing,yeah?Yeah!

BEST EDITING

  • BIRDMAN
  • BOYHOOD
  • GONE GIRL
  • THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
  • WHIPLASH

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • BIRDMAN
  • THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
  • IDA
  • MR TURNER
  • UNDER THE SKIN

What a fantastic roster of nominees,yes?

BEST NON-US RELEASE (NON COMPETITIVE)

And so that's that.The winners will be announced next week,and I doubt they will be half as interesting as the nominee.But then again,that's nothing new,is it?What do you guys think?Should I and my fellow OFCS members be proud?

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Reader Comments (24)

Totally with you on the Mommy love and your lack of enthusiasm for Michael Keaton (ugh that performance.)
On the other hand,I can't see how the supporting actress category is better than the male counterpart.Sure,it's fresh and unexpected but aside from one really great performance (Clement,and having not seen Chastain's yet) I think the other three are pretty weak actually,and certainly uniformly weaker than Simmons,Ruffalo and Hawke (Brolin being the one unseen here).

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

If these were the oscar nominations I would snap my vocal chords squealing in delight.

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoFo

@Amir:
Do you truly think Zuleszka's performance is weak?Swinton's?Maybe Arquette's could be perceived that way for its naturalistic quality,but I believe that was exactly the way it needed to be and she fares better than everybody else around her.I still think Boyhood is actually badly scripted and directed.It still makes for a fulfilling experience of sorts,but Linklater was sloppy in the execution,being to aimless with the story and the way he directed (or didn't) Coltrane.Enough about this.It seems like everyone's opinion on Boyhood is set in stone,so debating it seems pointless.
The only eyesore of a nomination is Pike's to me.I don't feel her performance is successful at all.She doesn't even scratch the surface in her attempt to play a human being with a mental disorder.The movie itself can't be taken seriously,but still…
I especially like best Actor without the interchangeable Brits and Carell.

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterMr.Goodbar

Bravo OFCS!!!this group really does deserve to be up there with the NYFCC,LAFCA and NSFC.i mean,that Best Actress lineup is pretty close to perfect (i'll just pretend Cotillard's nom is for "The Immigrant")

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

Mr.Goodbar - I misspoke.Apologies.I meant to type two,not three.I like Zuleszka's performance just fine (though I still think it's lesser than the three supporting actors I mentioned above),but I'm so cold on the movie as a whole (which I've only seen once at TIFF in 2013) that I can't tell if it's my ambivalence about the film coloring my perception of her performance or not.

December 9,2014 | Registered CommenterAmir S.

I hear you,especially in Ida,in which the performances make the movie.If your response to the piece overall is cold,I can see how the performances would be unimpressive.Or the other way around…I'll give it to you,though: Supporting actor is almost always the least interesting lineup for me and this year we do have at least 3 very exciting performances that will likely be recognized by critics and such.

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterMr.Goodbar

Supporting actor this year is so uncharacteristically strong that I half expect Alan Arkin to show up at the last minute and ruin everything.

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Mr.Goodbar,I actually agree with you on Boyhood...I thought Ellar nearly ruined the film,but I couldn't even fault him because it didn't seem like he got much direction.

And the film's final scene was really messy to me.I thought it would've been much stronger if it had ended with Patricia's final scene and then him driving off into the sunset for college.Instead,there was another scene.And a bad one at that.It brought down the ending for me.

The first half of the film felt a lot stronger to me,which makes sense,it's hard to keep that up for so long.But I definitely think the gimmick is what is keeping this film afloat.Not a bad film by any means,but it definitely has flaws.Patricia Arquette was by far the best thing about it in my opinion.

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

And I wanna clarify...I don't think anyone got much direction in the sense that it was supposed to be very naturalistic and organic.But I don't think Ellar was a strong enough actor to handle that on his own,carrying this huge film.

That's all.

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I seem to be the only one around here that really didn't like Mommy.I understand all of its merits,but the film was a painful sit because I couldn't stand the two main characters.Maybe that's the point,but I felt that the film was pushing its audience to care about this mother and son,but I simply didn't care and the longer it went on (which was way too long),the less I cared about these two.

There are,I will say,some great choices here,even though I don't understand the absence of Birdman (which is the film that has stayed with me the most this year,and even more after a second viewing).Though I must say there are some great nominees (Two Days One Night,Nightcrawler,Ida and Whiplash are some of my favorites from this year,while Boyhood and Grand Budapest Hotel are films I have complicated feelings about,even through second viewings,but both have exceptional qualities that make me root for them).

Now that someone mentioned it,I do think Boyhood is a film that appeared to be running out of steam in its last few chapters (though I quite liked the last scene).I have complicated feelings towards that movie,because it seems to be presenting all of these anecdotes that don't seem to be leading anywhere or amounting to anything.But thenagain,isn't that just life?Movies often implant this habit upon us to look at life as some form of hero's journey we haven't discovered yet,but what Linklater does is dare us to look at it simply as something no one has figured out and probably never will.Especially not when you're young.In that sense I enjoyed the looseness (even if I do feel Linklater had a better handle on his concept in the early years,when it was still fresh and exciting to him,though maybe that's another point to the movie,time tends to dull our excitement to life in general).

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

So glad to see Brendan Gleeson's name start popping up!

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterDevin D

Time to update your charts with "The Lego Movie"as longshot for Best Picture nominee,and in the running for Original Screenplay,Sound Mixing and Sound Editing as well?And I think the film is being shamelessly overlooked at Production Design (think about it,twice...it's beyond brilliant).I'd also consider it for Film Editing,but heck,that's beyond impossible,how many animated films have reached that nom?

And also,"Snowpiercer"seems to be a bit stronger than expected.Which is always nice.

Still in shock to see "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"did beat "Selma"at the WFCA in the peculiar cathegory "Best Depiction of Washington DC on film".Sulfuric Acid,if you ask me,in that award..."Hail Hydra!"

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterJesus Alonso

Jesus -- yeah,people have been complaining about that but in truth,Selma isn't really about DC.It's really about Alabama.Only small portions of the film take places in DC.

December 9,2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

or,rather.it is *about* dc (or politics andt he nation's governing bodies symbolically) but it doesn't DEPICT Washington D.C.in a substantial way.It's a weird category for sure but I don't think it's a particularly egregious call.

December 9,2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I am way behind in seeing the late-release movies,so I cannot comment on most of these picks.But I am utterly baffled by the acclaim being accorded Under the Skin.A torturous exercise in monotony,pretension and brain-curdling boredom.Aside from some striking visuals,this was completely inert.But I could relate to Scarlett Johanssen's dead-eyed stare as I watched this film.

December 9,2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

If I had to give my 2 cents on how the race for the nom is going...

completely locked:
1.Boyhood

almost locked:
2.The Theory of Everything
3.Selma
4.Birdman

really likely:
5.The Imitation Game
6.Whiplash

on the edge:
7.Gone Girl
8.Whiplash
9.Foxcatcher

dark horses:
10.The Lego Movie
11.The Grand Budapest Hotel
12.American Sniper

longshots:
13.Interstellar
14.Wild
15.A Most Violent Year
16.Mr.Turner
17.Inherent Vice
18.Snowpiercer

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterJesus Alonso

These nominations are so off beat and refreshing that I can't even work up any negative feelings about the ones I vehemently disagree with.Hurray!

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

I'm curious as to what makes you believe that Marion Cotillard doesn't have the power to make it to Oscar.It does seem as if Oscar doesn't love her,but it also seems like the Best Actress race is "thin"enough that she could finally have a shot considering all the press and attention she's receiving.I'm actually a little surprised there wasn't more Oscar talk about Cotillard throughout the year considering she gave two incredible,well-reviewed performances.

Also,can I just say that I am so so happy that Steve Carell isn't showing up anywhere in the first round of critics awards and nominations.Say what you will about Keaton,but I think Carell's John du Pont wins the award for most absurdly over-hyped performance of the year.His absence over the last few days has made me believe that there is justice in this world!

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid S.

I keep repeating this when I can,but only because I find it so damn amusing.But I like that there's even a very remote possibility that Chris Pratt's streak of being in a Best Picture nominee could extend to four years in a row with THE LEGO MOVIE doing weirdly well so far.*IF* this happens,do we need to seriously consider JURRASIC WORLD for next year?Heh.

ANYWAYS,I do like that even though there's some consensus even this early,this awards season seem more competitive and open compared to other years at this point.I'm sure SAG and GG noms will further coalesce certain things,but it's fun right now.

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

I haven't been hearing a lot of great things about Carrell.Maybe he should have gotten some pointers from Nicole on earning an Oscar.

December 9,2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

a) Carrell isn't bad,but the screenplay REALLY lets him down.

b) Cotillard didn't make in 2012 with a really strong precursor run.That she would get in for a film Weinstein dumped or a Dardennes' film would really surprise.

c) Yeah,I think Swinton is overrated in Snowpiercer.Though she's wonderful in Only Lovers Left Alive.I don't know when Swinton became the hipster version or Christopher Nolan.

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

I agree that the screenplay had issues...I don't know,maybe it's just that I would have preferred another actor in the role.I'm so distracted by the shades of Steve Carell humor and how they clash with the tone of the film that it's hard for me to really be objective about him,which is probably why I feel so strongly.Regardless,I don't see it as awards-worthy enough to be present in such a strong field.

I see your point about Cotillard.Oscar totally shafted her.I'm optimistic,though.I'll be rooting for her...

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid S.

Xavier Dolan has cast Kathy Bates and Susan Sarandon in his next feature.The one with Chastain as the villain!If this film wasn't already appointment viewing thanks to the role Chastain is playing it is now.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/susan-sarandon-kathy-bates-board-755461

December 9,2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Agree with some commenters about Boyhood,it was super disappointing to see the movie fall apart in the later acts.But my god it was still quite a journey of a film.I wish more filmmakers and studios were that ambitious.Birdman and Ida are my top of the year,but am still waiting to see Selma to see if that can shake things up.

December 9,2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

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