Dec 12, 2011

No clear frontrunners for the awards madness in 2011/12?

Is it just me or this year is shaping up to be a very interesting one, full of surprises? Usually by this time you already have some clear favourites, especially in the acting department (like Natalie Portman and Colin Firth in 2010/11), but for this season I really don't see anything clear in front of me!Ok, I am exaggerating....maybe Albert Brooks for Supporting Actor and MAYBE the Artist for Best Picture, but the others are pretty open!

Let's take some examples!
Best Actor: In my opinion, this is the one to watch- there are so many good performances that you can't really know which way it can go! Brad Pitt in Moneyball or Tree of Life, Ryan Gosling in Drive, George Clooney in The Descendants, Michael Fassbender in Shame, Jean Dujardin in the Artist, Michael Shannon in Take Shelter, Joseph Gordon Levitt in 50/50, Leonardo Dicaprio as J.Edgar Hoover and so on! For me, and from what I have seen, they all have an equal chance of getting those big statues (Golden Globes, SAG, Oscar), but no one is a frontrunner yet and I like it! I, persoanlly, am rooting for either Fassbender or Pitt(he deserves one).

Who are the winners so far?
NYCC- Brad Pitt for both Moneyball and Tree of Life
National Board of Review- George Clooney in The Descendants
BIFA- Michael Fassbender in Shame
WAFCA- George Clooney in the Descendants
BSFC- Brad Pitt, runner ups George Clooney and Michael Fassbender
NYFCO2011- Michael Shannon for Take Shelter, runners up Michael Fassbender(Shame) and Gary Oldman(TTSS)
LAFilmCritics- Michael Fassbender for everything this year, runner up Michael Shannon for Take Shelter
San Francisco- Gary Oldman for TTSS

Best actress: Again, another strong category! Some say Meryl Streep has it in the bag with The Iron Lady, but when you are in a category with the superb Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe, or the loveable Viola Davis in The Help, not to mention the stunning Tilda Swinton(We need to talk about Kevin), you can't be sure of anything. Other notable performances that can surprise are Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) or Elizabeth Olsen in MMMM. Oh, and Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs looks fantastic, maybe she will get nominated as well, although I don't know its release date. I can't bet on anything here, either, although I am hoping for either Williams or Swinton or maybe Viola Davis, but I don't think so. You need an incredible strong performance if you are a lesser known actress to be considered above women like Streep or Swinton, and, although I loved Viola in the movie, I don't think it's strong enough.

Who are the winners so far?
NYCC- Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady
National Board of Review- Tilda Swinton for We need to talk about Kevin
WAFCA- Michelle Williams in My week with Marilyn
BSFC- Michelle Williams for My week with Marilyn
NYFCO- Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady, runner up Viola Davis for The Help
LAFilmCritics- Yun Lung-hee for Poetry(WTF?), runner up Kirsten Dunst for Melancholia
San Francisco- Tilda Swinton for We need to talk about Kevin

Best Supporting Actor: I thought this one would be easier, as many of the raves went to Albert Brooks(Drive) early on into the awards season, but Christopher Plummer (Beginners) still has a shot, and I wouldn't count out John Hawkes(MMMM), either. I am hoping for some Nick Nolte appreciation in the following months, as his part in Warrior was amazing.

Who are the winners so far?
NYCC- Albert Brooks for Drive
National Board of Review- Christopher Plummer in Beginners
WAFCA- Albert Brooks in Drive
BSFC- Albert Brooks in Drive
NYFCO2011- Albert Brooks in Drive
LAFilmCritics- Christopher Plummer in Beginners
San Francisco- Albert Brooks for Drive

Best Supporting Actress: Similar to the category above, there are 2 or 3 clear frontrunners that are battling for the statue- Jessica Chastain(in The Help or Tree of Life of Take Shelter), Octavia Spencer in The Help and suprisingly, Shailene Woodley is starting to raise up her stakes for her role in The Descendants. I don't think she will win(the age sometimes is an issue, as they think the younger actors have enough time to collect awards), but she is a contender. Both Chastain and Spencer are wonderful and I will be happy either way.

Who are the winners so far?
NYCC- Jessica Chastain for The Help, Tree of Life and Take Shelter
National Board of Review- Shailene Woodley for The Descendants
WAFCA- Octavia Spencer in The Help
BSFC- Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids
LAFilmCritics: Jessica Chastain for basically everything she has done this year
NYFCO2011: Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids
San Francisco- Vanessa Redgrave for Coriolanus

Best Director: This race is tricky, as most of time features the best, world-wide known directors, and the debutans rarely get more then one spot at the table. And it's a pity, since this year has been fantastic in this department. I am especially excited and am rooting for Sean Durkin(MMMM), Nicholas W Refn(Drive) and Steve McQueen(Shame). These 3 have blown me away with their new, fresh, interesting, unusual, yet fascinating and beautiful style- I love them all and I can't wait to see more films made by them. But you really can't count out people like Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Alexander Payne, David Fincher or Michel Hazanavicius. If it would be me, I would choose anyone of the first three, obviously.

Who are the winners so far?
NYCC- Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
National Board of Review- Martin Scorsese for Hugo
WAFCA- Martin Scorsese for Hugo
BSFC- Martin Scorsese for Hugo
NYFCO 2011- Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
LAFilmCritics: Terence Mallick for Tree of Life, runner up Martin Scorses for Hugo
San Francisco- Terrence Malick for Tree of Life

Best Picture: This is the category where you almost every year get surprised! I didn't expect The King's Speech to win last year, or Hurt Locker before that and I didn't expect Lord of the Rings to win in his year(nor did I want it in every situation), so this year's winner is going in the same direction. Potential surprises: Hugo, The Artist, Midnight in Paris, Drive, Margin Call, Beginners, The Descendants, Tree of Life, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2(call me crazy, but I wish this would win, just to celebrate their glorious path), War Horse, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and so on.

Who are the winners so far?
NYCC- The Artist
National Board of Review- Hugo
WAFCA- The Artist
BSFC- The Artist
NYFCO- The Artist
LAFilmCritics: The Descendants, runner up Tree of Life
San Francisco- The Tree of Life

And now some smaller, less important, but still great categories- they are my favorites!
Some have the Ensemble Award, which I always like and from what I've seen, Margin Call and The Help are ahead, although Beginners got it at the NYCC and Bridesmaids(surprise there) in WAFCA and NYFCO, Carnage won the BSFC one. That's an interesting one, as well!

I also enjoy the Breakthrough award- it usually adds some more pressure on the main acting categories. This year there was some great talent
Gotham: Felicity Jones(Like Crazy)
National Board of Reviews: Felicity Jones(Like Crazy) and Rooney Mara(Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
PSIFFF- Octavia Spencer in the Help
NYFCO2011: Jessica Chastain

And let's not forget Best Debut Director
Gotham: Dee Rees for Pariah
National Board of Reviews: J.C. Chandor for Margin Call
NYFCO2011: Joe Cornish for Attack the block
BSFC: Sean Durkin for MMMM

The real game begins with the Golden Globes! When we see the nominations for that, we will know what to expect for this awards season! I think they are released in December, right?

What do you guys think? Do you have any favourites? Any "God, I hope X doesn't win, I hate him/her/it"? Let me know in the comments!


  1. I kind of prefer it like this. It gets nail-bitey in the end. And it's still 2 months away... by then the ideas will start forming properly.

    I think the only sure-sure win, thank the lord, is Emmanuel Lubezki for Tree of Life in Cinematography.

    I think Albert Brooks has a great chance (three cheers for Drive!)

    Also, am I the only one saddened by the preference of Felicity Jones over Elizabeth Olsen in break-out category?

  2. I like it, too, it keeps things interesting, not like last year, when you already knew that Firth, Bale, Portman and Leo were going to win!Yeah, I think EL is a sure bet for Cinematography and I totally agree with that, visually, the movie is flawless! And no, you are not the only one saddened by the preference of FJ over EO, I love Elizabeth, I hope she gets a nomination, at least at the Globes!

  3. I think the pieces are starting to come together - especially with the four groups of winners announced today. The Artist, The Descendants, Hugo and The Tree of Life have won the most (especially Pic, Director and Screenplay) so I would assume they'll be amongst the Best Pic nominees. As for the acting - It's wide open. Esp. Male lead. Supporting has been dominated by Brooks and Plummer (but Hawkes in MMMM, Kenneth Branagh in Marilyn and Hoffman in Ides all have a shot). In the women, I think Streep and Williams will be there...and Tilda Swinton too. Supporting - Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, Melissa McCarthy, Vanessa Redgrave and Shailene Woodley have been the most honoured.

    I agree with Nikhat - the only lock is Lubezki for cinematography. The guy has won everything. It will be really interesting - but I still have so many to see before I can comment on this with any authority.

  4. Thanks Andy! I agree, we can't really say for sure, but they do give us some clues! The Golden Globes usually give us about 80% of the Oscars, so we should wait until then :) Really curious about the Male Lead, everyone is going in different directions- I just hope G.Clooney doesn't win, I am sick of him!

  5. I'm kind of out of the loop about this whole award race, but usually I'm kind of blase about 'em anyway. I haven't even seen the film but I kind of want The Artist to win some awards, I guess maybe as I've been seeing so many classic movies lately I have more appreciation for BW films now.

  6. I understand the need to award The Artist for its uniqueness, but I still don't like it, although I haven't seen it! January it's the month to see Artist, Shame, War Horse and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, probably, for me, anyway!

  7. Great review of the race so far.

    This is the big week (well, one of them). Critic's Choice will announce on Tuesday Dec 13, Screen Actors Guild on Wednesday, Dec 14, and Golden Globes on Thursday, Dec 15.

    Which means that by Friday I'll either be gloating about how my favorite candidate is a lock, or dreaming up some elaborate scenario about how they could still get in even if they missed the precursors!

  8. Uuu... I didn't knew this week is going to be that big- looking forward to it! I hope at least my favorites get a nomination (Fassbender, Shannon, Elizabeth Olsen, Steve McQueen, Nicholas Refn etc), cause for the win we will have to wait!

  9. wow nice post Aziza.

    I am kinda backing anything The Artist is in. Best Picture, Best Actor, whatever. I am totally in love with that film.

  10. I am with Ruth on this one. As of late I do not generally follow the Awards season as much as I used to; I do like this time of year though because the films are quality. But that is about it. Still I would be curious to see how noms will fall into place.

  11. @Scott: Thanks for dropping by! Glad to see an Artist fan, but I am not feeling it for now- just waiting to finally see it in January! Maybe it will blow my mind away :)
    @Iluvcinema: Thanks for commenting! Yeah, I usually don't get into the awards drama, either, but this time it's more special, since I have been watching a lot more movies and paying more atenttion to these kind of details!