Awards Season Narrows the Oscar Field, With BFCA Widening it

oscars_2011_a_lWe’re getting to that time of year when awards are piling up to make a sufficient guess at where the “critical” consensus is regarding the best pictures of 2017.

Critics don’t pick the Oscars, or the Golden Globes, for that matter. But they do tend to define the field, which pictures-performances have the best shot, which will require Oscar voters to think outside the box these earlier awards want to paint them in.

A couple of megalopolis movie critics groups — NY and LA Critics — tapped this year’s version of last year’s gay coming of age awards-bait ( “Moonlight”) as their best picture, “Call Me By My Name.” Groupthink settles in on such organizations, so we’ll see how much traction that idea gains (Back to back indie gay romances, this time with a teen and an older man element, sounds like the best way to write off the last vestiges of the Oscar TV audience. Heterosexual romances don’t typically win Oscars these days, either.)

The misnamed National Board of Review did its usual safe choice, going for Spielberg’s “The Post.”

But now we’ve got a more reliable Oscar predictor weighing in. The Broadcast Film Critics are all atwitter over Guillermo Del Toro’s smart, topical sci-fi with heart, “The Shape of Water.”

Per the BFCA’s oddly-organized press release — “The Shape of Water” leads all films this year with 14 nominations including Best Picture, Sally Hawkins for Best Actress, Richard Jenkins for Best Supporting Actor, Octavia Spencer for Best Supporting Actress, Guillermo del Toro for both Best Director and Best Original Screenplay alongside Vanessa Taylor, Dan Laustsen for Best Cinematography, Paul Denham Austerberry, Shane Vieau, and Jeff Melvin for Best Production Design, Sidney Wolinsky for Best Editing, Luis Sequeira for Best Costume Design, Best Hair and Makeup, Best Visual Effects, Best Sci-Fi or Horror Movie, and Alexandre Desplat for Best Score.

“Call Me By Your Name,” “Dunkirk,” “Lady Bird,” and “The Post” impressed with eight nominations each, and are all in the running for Best Picture and Best Director, among others.  “Blade Runner 2049” earned seven nominations, followed by “The Big Sick” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” each with six, and “Get Out” and “I, Tonya” with five.

Friends and I have been going back and forth over this year’s best bets for the as-many-as-ten Best Picture nominations for the Academy Awards (and five drama/five best musical or comedy Golden Globe nominations). I lean toward Films I Want to See Again as a tie-breaker, one of those qualities I take into account when I shrug off this or that Ten Best Contender.

“Dunkirk” has been a near-given Best Picture nominee since it classed up last summer’s screens with vivid, lived-in and immersive WWII history. I have yet to see a picture I thought was better. Working against it? Jealousy about Christopher Nolan’s genre-jumping success, and a lack of actual nominate-able performances. Tom Hardy? Mark Rylance? Maybe.

“Darkest Hour,” widely considered the companion piece to Nolan’s dazzling “Dunkirk,” is stealing some of its best picture attention by opening at the end of the year. Acting nominations will spin out of this one.

But “The Florida Project,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “The Disaster Artist” and “Lady Bird” feel like contenders, even if “Lady Bird,””Florida Project” and “Call Me By My Name” have more of an Indie Spirit Award quality.  I’d put “The Big Sick” in there, too, though to me it and “Get Out” weren’t and aren’t Top Ten contenders.

“The Post,” with Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks and the story of the Pentagon Papers and the Washington Post, has felt like an Oscar nominee from the moment it was announced.

“The Shape of Water” and “Get Out” are fanboy genre pictures that might transcend genre enough to collect best picture nominations. “I, Tonya” feels a little narrow for best picture parameters.

bill1Nominations for Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards”), Streep (“The Post”), Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”), Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”) and the likes of Judi Dench (“Victoria & Abdul”), Laurie Metcalf (“Lady Bird”) and Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”) seem likely, in lead or supporting roles. Jessica Chastain (“Molly’s Game”) is bubbling up, thanks to the Critic’s Choice nomination.

Best actor and supporting actor seem much more wide open, with Gray Oldman (“Darkest Hour”), Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”), Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson (“Three Billboards”) looking like front-runners, JPatrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman (“Logan”) Jake Gyllenhaal (“Stronger”) and Denzel (“Roman J. Israel, Esq.”) long shots.

The Golden Globes, with nominations coming Dec. 11, set the precedent for casting their net absurdly wide to ensure they don’t miss “picking the Oscar winner” before the Oscars, and BFCA does that in spades. Multiple “CYA” categories, finding a way to give Steve Carell (“Battle of the Sexes”) a shot at something, “best young actor” (Brooklyn Prince from “The Florida Project” ought to lock that up.) etc.

My favorite headline about that dubious “EVERYBODY gets a trophy” (or just a nomination) BFCA practice comes from D-Listed — “Everybody with a SAG Card Gets a Critics’ Choice Award Nomination.” L.O.L.

The full list of BFCA film nominees is below.

FILM NOMINATIONS FOR THE 23rd ANNUAL CRITICS’ CHOICE AWARDS

BEST PICTURE

The Big Sick

Call Me by Your Name

Darkest Hour

Dunkirk

The Florida Project

Get Out

Lady Bird

The Post

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

BEST ACTOR

Timothée Chalamet – Call Me by Your Name

James Franco – The Disaster Artist

Jake Gyllenhaal – Stronger

Tom Hanks – The Post

Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out

Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread

Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour

 

BEST ACTRESS

Jessica Chastain – Molly’s Game

Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie – I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird

Meryl Streep – The Post

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project

Armie Hammer – Call Me By Your Name

Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water

Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Patrick Stewart – Logan

Michael Stuhlbarg – Call Me by Your Name

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Mary J. Blige – Mudbound

Hong Chau – Downsizing

Tiffany Haddish – Girls Trip

Holly Hunter – The Big Sick

Allison Janney – I, Tonya

Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water

 

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

Mckenna Grace – Gifted

Dafne Keen – Logan

Brooklynn Prince – The Florida Project

Millicent Simmonds – Wonderstruck

Jacob Tremblay – Wonder

 

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

Dunkirk

Lady Bird

Mudbound

The Post

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

BEST DIRECTOR

Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water

Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird

Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk

Luca Guadagnino – Call Me By Your Name

Jordan Peele – Get Out

Steven Spielberg – The Post

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor – The Shape of Water

Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird

Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani – The Big Sick

Liz Hannah and Josh Singer – The Post

Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Jordan Peele – Get Out

 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

James Ivory – Call Me by Your Name

Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber – The Disaster Artist

Dee Rees and Virgil Williams – Mudbound

Aaron Sorkin – Molly’s Game

Jack Thorne, Steve Conrad, Stephen Chbosky – Wonder

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Roger Deakins – Blade Runner 2049

Hoyte van Hoytema – Dunkirk

Dan Laustsen – The Shape of Water

Rachel Morrison – Mudbound

Sayombhu Mukdeeprom – Call Me By Your Name

 

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Paul Denham Austerberry, Shane Vieau, Jeff Melvin – The Shape of Water

Jim Clay, Rebecca Alleway – Murder on the Orient Express

Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis – Dunkirk

Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola – Blade Runner 2049

Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer – Beauty and the Beast

Mark Tildesley, Véronique Melery – Phantom Thread

 

BEST EDITING

Michael Kahn, Sarah Broshar – The Post

Paul Machliss, Jonathan Amos – Baby Driver

Lee Smith – Dunkirk

Joe Walker – Blade Runner 2049

Sidney Wolinsky – The Shape of Water

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Renée April – Blade Runner 2049

Mark Bridges – Phantom Thread

Jacqueline Durran – Beauty and the Beast

Lindy Hemming – Wonder Woman

Luis Sequeira – The Shape of Water

 

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP

Beauty and the Beast

Darkest Hour

I, Tonya

The Shape of Water

Wonder

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Blade Runner 2049

Dunkirk

The Shape of Water

Thor: Ragnarok

War for the Planet of the Apes

Wonder Woman

 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

The Breadwinner

Coco

Despicable Me 3

The LEGO Batman Movie

Loving Vincent

 

BEST ACTION MOVIE

Baby Driver

Logan

Thor: Ragnarok

War for the Planet of the Apes

Wonder Woman

 

BEST COMEDY

The Big Sick

The Disaster Artist

Girls Trip

I, Tonya

Lady Bird

 

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY

Steve Carell – Battle of the Sexes

James Franco – The Disaster Artist

Chris Hemsworth – Thor: Ragnarok

Kumail Nanjiani – The Big Sick

Adam Sandler – The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

Tiffany Haddish – Girls Trip

Zoe Kazan – The Big Sick

Margot Robbie – I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird

Emma Stone – Battle of the Sexes

 

BEST SCI-FI OR HORROR MOVIE

Blade Runner 2049

Get Out

It

The Shape of Water

 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

BPM (Beats Per Minute)

A Fantastic Woman

First They Killed My Father

In the Fade

The Square

Thelma

 

BEST SONG

Evermore – Beauty and the Beast

Mystery of Love – Call Me By Your Name

Remember Me – Coco

Stand Up for Something – Marshall

This Is Me – The Greatest Showman

 

BEST SCORE

Alexandre Desplat – The Shape of Water

Jonny Greenwood – Phantom Thread

Dario Marianelli – Darkest Hour

Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer – Blade Runner 2049

John Williams – The Post

Hans Zimmer – Dunkirk

 

 

 

 

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One Response to Awards Season Narrows the Oscar Field, With BFCA Widening it

  1. wow! This seems like the most logical nominations I have ever seen regarding Awards Shows. I still have a few more of these to see but from what I see bad on these lists they got it right across the board. I love the fact that we are getting genre bending films in the mix for awards but, I am def sick of seeing lbgt films just because of that. If those films are worthy of earning nods for for themselves all the more power but I’m sick of this trend. This year a a whole has been rather disappointing imo.

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