On the first (extra) day of Christmas Catch Up
While I was getting my epic list of CCU films together 3 pretty big Critics' awards were being handed out. By the time I had posted I saw the simultaneous announcement happening on various websites. The biggest being the Los Angeles Film Critics followed by the New York Online Critics and the Boston Film Critics. With LA "Gravity" and "Her" tied for Best Pic, while slave won the other two prizes. I was prepared for the fact that "12 Years a Slave" was not going to dominate the critics prizes. It just wasn't. It is an incredible film...but it is not a sweeper. There is too much baggage attached to a film about slavery for it to overcome every critic out there. What also didn't really surprise me was the showing of "Her." This is its second win for Best Picture. If you listened closely to the chatter out there you could hear that people really love the film. And not in the fanboy way people loved "Drive." It is absolutely going to have a shot at a Best Picture nom.
There are a couple of things I am a little worried about. Sasha Stone (my editor at Awards Daily) always says these prized can't hurt, they can only help. Well...I was hoping for a little more help for "Before Midnight" and Julie Delpy. I have a wonderful interview with Delpy that I'm saving until a little closer to the nomination deadline because I want to do anything I can to assure she lands a nomination. Looks like the film is in for screenplay. And then there is the fact that "Inside Llewyn Davis" seems to be settling for cinematography or...runner up in cinematography and the occasional music prize. I am going to a special event on Thursday celebrating the music. Perhaps they are giving up on Best Picture? I hope not. Although I have a lot left to see it is sitting firmly atop my number one perch. It is early. It is very early. Right?
So, the big question right now is whether or not "Gravity" is the frontrunner for Best Picture and Director. It feel like the consensus choice to me. It really does. And it appears like that film that I really loved but have softened on over time and could possibly start to resent come January just as it becomes absolutely clear that it is going to win the top prize. Sound familiar ("The Kings Speech,") It doesn't really seem as if "American Hustle" has much of a shot anymore. Other than NYFCC most critics have barely even mentioned it. I will be seeing it tonight, so that should shed a bit of light on the Best Picture situation for me. Perhaps. But the way things went yesterday the "12 Years a Slave"/"Gravity" battle we envisioned over a month ago appears in tact.
This morning I began my Catch Up by watching "Short Term 12," starring Brie Larson as Grace, a young woman supervising a foster care facility. Every year there seems to be an actress in a smaller movie that we really hope gets in to a major category, and just when we thing it might happen, it doesn't. Well...at least recently. Melissa Leo did get in for "Frozen" as did Amy Adams for "Junebug." But Ann Down couldn't break in last year...an she had one of those great Oscar stories (hard to beat paying for your own screeners). Perhaps Brie's situation is more similar to Ryan Gosling who did make it in for "Half Nelson." It is a wonderful performance. And I think the film is remarkable as well.
I have had a bit of luck with securing a few screenings/screeners. I might have to give up "Her" on Sunday to see "Gloria," a Chilean film vying for Best Foreign Film...and one that could have a shot at my top 10....perhaps. I can always catch "Her" at the cinemas. Or perhaps I can squeeze both of them in on Sunday. This morning I also received a link to watch "The Act of Killing." Perhaps this year I might have somehow managed to see all 5 doc feature noms before they are announced. I doubt it though. I am always surprised by this category. And that is part of the fun.
Here's to catching up!