Thursday, December 1, 2011

AAN: Gotham, NYFCC and Spirit Awards

Well, I think we can officially kick Annual Awards Nerdism off. For those of you not in the know: Annual Awards Nerdism is my version of awards coverage, but I do it in a fun-ish way. When we get down to predicting the winners for the Oscars, I put them into poems. Now, you don't see that every day. Check out last years coverage here. Today I'll look at the winners of the Gotham Independent Film Awards, the New York Film Critics Circle winners and the Independent Spirit Awards nominees...

Gotham Independent Film Awards Winners

Best Film: Tie between The Tree of Life and Beginners
Best Documentary: Better This World
Breakthrough Award: Felicity Jones for Like Crazy
Breakthrough Director: Dee Rees for Pariah
Best Ensemble Performance: Beginners
Best Film Not Playing in a Theatre Near You: Scenes of a Crime

What does this mean for Oscar? The tie between The Tree of Life and Beginners is interesting, seeing as a tie has never happened for this award and these films are completely different. But I think between this and the Palme D'Or at Cannes, we could see The Tree of Life becoming a lock in the Best Picture race. Beginners I'm not so sure's a brilliant film, but I can't see it sustaining the momentum until Oscar time as a film. Christopher Plummer will probably be it's only chance at Oscar glory. Also, I was kinda surprised about Felicity Jones winning the Breakthrough Award. I don't doubt her talent, as I'm secretly hoping that maybe she'll get a few more awards, but everyone has been going for Elizabeth Olsen in Martha Marcy May Marlene and Shailene Woodley in The Descendants to be nominated this year. I wouldn't read too much into it; I think Jones' film is perhaps a little too small and it has seemed to pass by without many people noticing it. But I think people campaigning for Like Crazy should definitely push Jones even more.

NYFCC and Independent Spirit after the jump...

New York Film Critics Circle Winners

Best Picture: The Artist
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Best Screenplay: Steve Zallian and Aaron Sorkin for Moneyball
Best Actor: Brad Pitt for Moneyball and The Tree of Life
Best Actress: Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady
Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks for Drive
Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain for Take Shelter, The Help and The Tree of Life
Best Cinematographer: Emmanuel Lubezki for The Tree of Life
Best Documentary: Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Best Foreign Film: A Separation
Best First Film: Margin Call

What does this mean for Oscar? Personally, I think we can all pencil in The Artist to win Best Picture. While we still have films like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, War Horse and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to go, I think that The Artist will sustain it's momentum and take out the prize. I mean, come on, it's a black-and-white silent film. You can't beat that.
It may indeed be Brad Pitt's year to win the Oscar. If he doesn't, I believe he'll still be nominated for both Moneyball and The Tree of Life. I should probably put Meryl Streep into my Best Actress predictions, but I really don't wanna take out Rooney Mara just yet. I didn't know that anyone had seen The Iron Lady yet! Albert Brooks should probably be added to my predictions too, but I don't know if he will sustain the momentum until Oscar time. Surprising that they didn't choose Christopher Plummer, though.
I'm glad that Jessica Chastain got the award for all of her brilliant work this year. But I'm still not sold on her Oscar potential (even though I'm campaigning for her by myself). She's just been so consistent this year, it's difficult to choose just one of her performances, and I have a feeling that voters will remember this, and then forget her. Mind you, I'm still pushing for her to get nominated for The Help.
I think we can safely say that A Separation will probably win Best Foreign Film. And there seems to be a lot of love for Margin Call, should we start adding that to predictions? The weird release it had could hurt it.

Independent Spirit Nominees

Best Feature: 50/50, Beginners, Drive, Take Shelter, The Artist, The Descendants.
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Mike Mills (Beginners), Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter), Alexander Payne (The Descendants), Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive).
First Feature: Another Earth, In the Family, Margin Call, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Natural Selection.
Best Screenplay: Joseph Cedar (Footnote), Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Tom McCarthy (Win Win), Mike Mills (Beginners), Alexander Payne (The Descendants).
First Screenplay: Mike Cahill, Brit Marling (Another Earth), JC Chandor (Margin Call), Patrick deWitt (Terri), Phil Johnston (Cedar Rapids), Will Reiser (50/50).
Female Lead: Lauren Ambrose (Think of Me), Rachael Harris (Natural Selection), Adepero Oduye (Pariah), Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene), Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn).
Male Lead: Demian Bichir (A Better Life), Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Ryan Gosling (Drive), Woody Harrelson (Rampart), Michael Shannon (Take Shelter).
Supporting Female: Jessica Chastain (Take Shelter), Anjelica Huston (50/50), Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs), Harmony Santana (Gun Hill Road), Shaliene Woodley (The Descendants).
Supporting Male: Albert Brooks (Drive), John Hawkes (Martha Marcy May Marlene), Christopher Plummer (Beginners), John C Reilly (Cedar Rapids), Corey Stoll (Midnight in Paris).
Best International Film: A Separation, Melancholia, Shame, The Kid with a Bike, Tyrannosaur.
Cinematography: Bellflower, The Off Hours, Midnight in Paris, The Artist, The Dynamiter.
Documentary: An African Election, Bill Cunningham New York, The Interrupters, The Redemption of General Butt Nacked, We Were Here.
Producers Award: Mosquita Y Mari, Take Shelter, Martha Marcy May Marlene.
Robert Altman Award: Margin Call.

What does this mean for Oscar? It confuses me that Midnight in Paris has received some nominations, yet it's not nominated for Best Feature. I considered it a lock for Best Picture, but I'm not so sure now. Still, that's a fine line up...expect The Artist to win. Same thing for Director, but it's nice to see Nicolas Winding Refn nominated.
I'm still holding onto hope that Elizabeth Olsen will be nominated for Best Actress for Martha Marcy May Marlene. No, I haven't seen the film, but I have a soft spot for indie actresses, who just happen to blow us all away with their debut performance. Surprising not to see Felicity Jones nominated for Like Crazy, but like I said, I don't think she'll be making a huge impact on awards season. But by what I have heard, Michelle Williams looks like a lock for Best Actress, and she'll probably win the award too.
I think I might have to put Jean Dujardin in for The Artist, but that means I'd have to take either Michael Fassbender or Gary Oldman out, which is something that I'm not ready to do. There's going to be a few shock snubs in Best Actor.
Glad to see Jessica Chastain nominated again. Shall we start pushing Take Shelter, too? I think that Shailene Woodley has a huge chance, I should put her into my predictions too. Albert Brooks got a nomination for Drive, too. I think he could possibly get into Oscar, too. I was thinking of adding John Hawkes to my predictions too, just because he's so awesome. But what's particularly awesome is that Corey Stoll got nominated for Midnight in Paris. He was awesome in that movie. Christopher Plummer will probably win this award anyway.
The Best International Film is an interesting lineup. Glad to see Melancholia nominated, but will it get any attention at the Oscars? Anyway, I can see either A Separation or Shame winning this one.

So, there's my commentary. What do you think of these winners and nominees? Who are you picking for awards attention so far?


  1. Oh man, we are officially starting the awards frenzy! I have yet to see The Artist, but how good can it be? I have a feeling I will be surprised!

    I love and support Jessica Chastain, but how come Fassbender wasn't nominated for Shame? Is a NC-17 rating so bad for awards? I hope not, I hope he at least gets nominated!

    Great post! I am sure the Golden Globes and Oscars will be the most talked about- and with good authority....they are the most important ones! Looking forward to discussing it with you guys!


    Seeing that I haven't seen most of these films, I am reserving judgement. But yeah, I highly doubt that Beginners will get any Oscar love except maybe for Plummer and Original Screenplay.

    Elizabeth Olsen > Felicity Jones. Period.

  3. Great analysis Stevee! I'm always glad that the more independent awards go first. Hopefully some of them will be able to keep up the momentum. I saw Martha Marcy May Marlene and Like Crazy, and personally I think Olsen will be the newcomer who will make it in (along with Williams, of course.)

    I currently think The Artist will win Best Picture, but I won't be able to watch it until this weekend, so I hope to have a better feel for it at that time.

    Looking forward to the poetry as the season gets deeper in!

  4. Aziza - I can't wait to see The Artist!
    I don't know. I find the Spirit awards quite confusing. I hope that Fassy gets an Oscar nomination, though.
    Those, along with the Critics Choice and the SAGs are the best awards, in my opinion, and definitely the most influential. I look forward to them!

    Nikhat - I KNOW! I'm so excited!
    I am reserving judgement until I see the films, too, but that won't be until after awards season, probably. So I'm just having fun guessing!
    Well, since I haven't actually seen anything with Elizabeth Olsen in it, I'm going for Felicity Jones. I love her.

    NeverTooEarlyMP - I hope some of them do too. And yes, I think Olsen has more of a chance than Jones. They're both brilliant anyway, I'm sure.
    I won't be able to see it until February, but I think it's going to win anyway.
    I can't wait to write the poetry!

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


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