This is my favorite time of year. It’s Oscar season, the time when films and actors manuever to win nominations and awards. This is the time of year when anything seems possible, when you think that maybe Exit Through The Gift Shop will get a best picture nomination or perhaps Christopher Nolan will be nominated for best director for Inception. In short, this is the month and a half before bitter disillusionment sets in.
During Oscar season, several mysterious groups hand out awards of their own. These groups are made up of critics desperately trying to convince themselves that they matter and the awards that they hand out are often seen as an indicator of what will eventually end up getting nominated. Last year, just about every single critical group named The Social Network as best picture and David Fincher as best director and we all remember how little that actually meant once it came time for the actual Academy Awards to be handed out.
Earlier today, the New York Film Critics Circle helped to start things off by announcing their picks for the best of 2011. Reportedly, they held off a day on selecting their picks so that they could attend a special screening of David Fincher’s remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. And how did that work out? Well, check out what won:
Best picture: “The Artist”
Best director: Michael Havanavicius, “The Artist”
Best actor: Brad Pitt (“Moneyball,” “Tree of Life”)
Best actress: Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”)
Best supporting actor: Albert Brooks (“Drive”)
Best supporting actress: Jessica Chastain (“The Tree of Life,” “The Help” and “Take Shelter”)
Best screenplay: Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, “Moneyball”
Best cinematography: Emmanuel Lebezki, “Tree of Life”
Best non-fiction film (documentary): “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”
Best foreign language film: “A Separation”
Best first feature: “Margin Call”
Just a few comments on these awards: I have yet to see The Artist but I’m really looking forward to it. I have a feeling I’m either going to love it or else I’m going to hate it with a passion. It just appears to be one of those films. I also haven’t seen Margin Call because its subject matter — Wall Street — makes me go “Bleh!” But I may have to see it now because it appears to be becoming a bit of an awards dark horse.
I have a feeling that Brad Pitt’s going to win an Oscar for his performance in Moneyball but I really didn’t think it was anything that special. I thought Pitt was likable but not much else. Some of that could have had a bit to do with the fact that I couldn’t really follow the film as I’m about as interested in baseball as I am in Wall Street. Hopefully, I won’t have to sit through another Aaron Sorkin acceptance speech at next year’s Oscar ceremony. Seriously, there’s only so much time I can spend listening to a pompous millionaire talking about how he thinks the world works.
I haven’t seen The Iron Lady yet but its going to be boring and people are going to feel obligated to pretend like they got something out of it.
Finally, yay to the NYFCC for awarding both Albert Brooks and Werner Herzog’s The Cave of Forgotten Deams.