Friday, January 14, 2011

BFCA Critics Choice Award Winners

Best Picture: The Social Network
Best Director: David Fincher - The Social Network
Best Actor: Colin Firth - The King's Speech
Best Actress: Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale - The Fighter
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo - The Fighter
One of these things is not like the others, can you guess which? The answer is Melissa Leo. Despite having won a very healthy portion of Supporting Actress awards from critics (and she could very well take the Globe on Sunday), this is a race that's poised for an upset (Jacki Weaver, please). The Globes and SAG will likely swing Leo's way, but don't be too surprised if we have a Tilda Swinton-level surprise on February 27th. As for the rest? As predictable as they come, but that's certainly not a bad thing. That said, I wouldn't mind seeing Darren Aronofsky score a few Best Director awards for bringing out Black Swan's madness so brilliantly.

And by the way, Critics Choice show runners: what the hell was up with Jacki Weaver sitting in the dark as her name was read aloud? Personally, I think Ms. Weaver has a message for those responsible:

Best Acting Ensemble: The Fighter
Best Original Screenplay: David Seidler - The King's Speech
Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin - The Social Network
The Fighter's win is a bit of a surprise, if only because Ensemble isn't an Oscar category so people don't spend lots of time predicting front-runners. This could, however, be an indication of some more love at the end of the month from SAG. That is, unless the Guild decides to vote based on what they want for Best Picture, instead of voting by the category's actual title: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. As for the screenplays, most critics awards don't distinguish between original and adapted. With Sorkin sweeping, this has left Original Screenplay wide open. Many, myself included, figured this would go to Inception, but apparently not. At least not for now. This category will only get more interesting when the WGA announces its picks on February 5th.

Best Animated Film: Toy Story 3
Best Young Actor/Actress: Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
Best Action Movie: Inception
Best Comedy Movie: Easy A
I give my full support to the first three winners wholeheartedly. Best Comedy is a different story. While the BFCA didn't mess up this category as badly as the Globes did (although they did have The Other Guys in there...bleh), they did neglect a number of deserving films. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Four Lions, and Please Give would like to have a word with you, BFCA.

Best Foreign Language Film: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Sweden)
Best Documentary Feature: Waiting for Superman
While the overrated crime film is better than that unfortunate mess from Italy (haven't seen Biutiful, so no comment there), this just seems like strong evidence of what a weak year it was for foreign language films (that met eligibility). As for documentary, a category I usually pay little attention to, I would have preferred Restrepo or Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, but I haven't seen the winner, so I can't rightfully complain about it winning.

Best Song: "If I Rise" - 127 Hours
Best Composer/Score: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - The Social Network
Indifferent on the first, but a big HELL YES to the second. People credit Sorkin's script for the film's success, and it certainly deserves that compliment. However, Reznor and Ross's electric, pulsating score was a perfect cherry on top, giving the film's already top-notch story telling an extra boost, the way a great score should.

Best Picture Made for Television: The Pacific
Best Cinematography: Wally Pfister - Inception
Best Art Direction: Guy Hendrix-Dyas - Inception
Best Editing: Lee Smith - Inception
Best Costume Design: Colleen Atwood - Alice in Wonderland
Best Make Up: Alice in Wonderland
Best Visual Effects: Inception
Best Sound: Inception
It's a little odd to give out an award to a TV film/mini-series at a show dedicated to honoring theatrical releases in all of the other categories, isn't it? At least at the Globes there are an entire set of awards given out for work on the small screen, whereas the honor sticks out like a sore thumb here. As for the rest, clearly the BFCA was a big fan of the production values of Inception and The Great Eyesore in 3D. While I doubt that this slew of awards will translate completely on Oscar night, it's a big (and not unexpected) indicator that Nolan's latest is going to do veeeeeery well in the artistic/tech categories.

Check back Sunday for the Golden Globes. I'm going to try doing some live blogging since that show usually promises some more interesting (read: drunken) celebrity behavior than the other awards shows. And of course, Ricky Gervais will be there to stir up some trouble, which guarantees a good time...for the TV audience at least.

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