Oscars 2013 Update: Critics Choice Nominations

The Broadcast Film Critics Society have announced their nominations.

Most people will tell you that this is the most accurate depiction of what the best films and performances are, since the BFCS seems to hit that perfect sweet spot between critical acclaim and general objectiveness. That is to say — you’d find yourself hard-pressed to disagree with a lot of their choices. Even if you disliked certain films, very rarely will they throw something on their list for the sake of it being something that seemed like it belonged there (looking at you, The Butler…). And, I’m pretty sure, they’re also a pretty good predictor for what’ll actually happen at the Oscars.

So, without much ado, let’s get into their nominations:


American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Inside Llewyn Davis
Saving Mr. Banks
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

I really wouldn’t be surprised if this were your Oscar list. I don’t think Dallas Buyers Club makes a final Best Picture list, given the difficulty of the #10 nominee, but the other nine wouldn’t surprise me at all.

The only other films that could potentially be in contention here are The Butler (since you can’t ever count out the bland old white person demographic. Remember Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close?), maybe Fruitvale and then… depending on the reviews, I wouldn’t rule out Philomena. But I highly doubt it.

Pretty sure your top nine for Best Picture are gonna be:

1. Gravity

2. 12 Years a Slave

3. American Hustle

4. Captain Phillips

5. Inside Llewyn Davis

6. Nebraska

7. The Wolf of Wall Street

8. Her

9. Saving Mr. Banks

Not necessarily in order. I’m just leaving the ones that came out earlier higher since they had time to establish themselves. I’m pretty sure we’re having 8 nominees for sure, with Mr. Banks as the swing candidate. And I’m not gonna discount Fruitvale or The Butler at all. One of those will probably be my #10 spot (since I always give ten and say that my list cuts off where theirs cuts off. So if I pick a nominee at #9, and there are only 8 nominees, then I was wrong.).


Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford, All Is Lost

 They love going six nominees here. I don’t think Bale gets nominated at all. It’s figuring to be a major contender, and those will always get at least one acting nomination. But this film’s nomination seems to be locked at Jennifer Lawrence. So they don’t need to give it any more unless they love it. So, that being said, I’m pretty sure the other five are pretty locked as your Best Actor nominees. Pretty sure it’s gonna be:

Bruce Dern, Nebraska

Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips

Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Robert Redford, All Is Lost

Aside from these five, the only people really circling a nomination are Forest Whitaker, Leo, maybe, if they fall in love with Wolf of Wall Street (highly doubt they’ll go there, knowing their track record with him and the subject matter), Oscar Isaac, Michael B. Jordan, and Joaquin Phoenix. I’d say Joaquin has the biggest chance at it, with Jordan second, and Isaac the dark horse.

I like how this is all taking shape.

Oh, by the way, to get it out of the way now — I have no idea what’s going to happen for the win. It’s completely up in the air at this point. For this or the Oscars.


Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Brie Larson, Short Term 12
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks

Six nominees again. Brie Larson won’t get on. She has no precursors. The other five, however, have shown up anywhere and seem locked as your nominees. I don’t see anyone but these five getting on.


Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Daniel Brühl, Rush
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
James Gandolfini, Enough Said
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

It’s really starting to look like Daniel Brühl is gonna get nominated for an Oscar. For now, he has to be considered on until he’s not nominated. Every single major group has nominated him so far.

Which means, right now, we seem to have four locks — Brühl, Fassbender, Abdi and Leo. With the fifth spot open. Gandolfini could get it, maybe Cooper gets on. Will Forte is in the mix, I think. Other than that, no one’s really jumped up and gotten enough nominations to be taken seriously. It would be a huge shock if someone came out of nowhere to get it. Usually, when there’s a surprise nowadays, it’s a familiar face from a beloved film. Like when Jacki Weaver got nominated last year.

But, right now, statistically, your probable Oscar category for Supporting Actor is looking like:

Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

Daniel Brühl, Rush

Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

James Gandolfini, Enough Said

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

And it’s really looking like Leto is your favorite here.

Really intrigued as to how this one turns out.


Scarlett Johansson, Her
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska
Oprah Winfrey, The Butler

Now this one really intrigues me. Because, based on everything so far — Lawrence, Nyong’o and Roberts are on. And June Squibb and Oprah are really looking solid (not so sure about Oprah, but we’ll leave her there for now). Johannson is a major wild card, and I don’t know how they’re gonna respond to her being a contender with only having a voice performance. Octavia Spencer is also in the mix there, and maybe another August: Osage County nominee (but I doubt it. Julia is really the one there who deserves the attention. I saw it. It’s her). But honestly, right now, your category is really looking like it’s gonna be:

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

Julia Roberts, August: Osage County

June Squibb, Nebraska

Oprah Winfrey, The Butler

No idea how it turns out, but that’s what it seems like right now.


Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Spike Jonze, Her
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Well, I think we all expect Cuaron, McQueen, Greengrass and Russell. It’s really gonna come down to who the fifth nominee is. I suspect it’s gonna be Jonze, given the crazy amount of love that film is getting. Alexander Payne is gonna also merit serious consideration. As are the Coens. Otherwise, I don’t see anyone else contending. So, depending on how the DGA nominations turn out, I suspect your Best Director category is gonna look a lot like that category up there.

1. Cuaron

2. McQueen

3. Russell

4. Greengrass

5. Jonze

6. Payne

7. Scorsese

8. Coens

I feel like those are your eight major contenders. No one else seems to have a shot at this.


Asa Butterfield, Ender’s Game
Adele Exarchopoulos, Blue Is the Warmest Color
Liam James, The Way Way Back
Sophie Nelisse, The Book Thief
Tye Sheridan, Mud



American Hustle
August: Osage County
Lee Daniels’ The Butler
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Yeah, those are your ensemble cast movies.


Eric Singer and David O. Russell, American Hustle
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
Spike Jonze, Her
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis
Bob Nelson, Nebraska

Don’t think any of these surprise us at all. I haven’t thought about Screenplay yet, so I’ll just stick with “sure” here.

Tracy Letts, August: Osage County
Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight
Billy Ray, Captain Phillips
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, Philomena
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street

Pretty sure Ridley is the only major lock here right now.

Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis
Phedon Papamichael, Nebraska
Roger Deakins, Prisoners
Sean Bobbitt, 12 Years a Slave

Wholeheartedly agree with three of the five. Haven’t seen Nebraska, but I suspect that gets on regardless, and then 12 Years will get on, but I’m not sure how much I’m on board with it. That said, there don’t seem to be too many other contenders here, so I might actually stick with these five as your nominees, with Deakins the potential castoff, in favor of something like Captain Phillips or Rush. But this looks like a solid five. I’d be okay with that. Pretty sure Lubezki is winning anyway.

The Great Gatsby
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
12 Years a Slave

Don’t know about Her, but yes to the rest of these.

I suspect Mr. Banks, being a period piece, will get some attention. As will Llewyn DavisThe Butler would be a weak choice, but would make sense, given what they go for. Oz the Great and Powerful definitely carries weight here, too. Don’t rule that out. We’ll have to see which way the production designers go, though.

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Not sure if Thelma gets on the Oscar list, but she’s always a contender. I personally think the other five are going to be your Oscar category. If Rush is left off, that means they’re nominating another Picture contender they really like. I suspect if that’s anything, it’s Llewyn Davis. Maybe Her or Nebraska. But I think, right now, the top five are your Oscar category.

American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Saving Mr. Banks
12 Years a Slave

Too early to tell. But they like Middle Earth here, American Hustle and Gatsby seem like solid contenders. 12 Years is a lock. But Mr. Banks — they like to go fantasy here for at least one nominee. Or hardcore period. I’m not sure what fits hardcore period, but Oz the Great and Powerful could be fantasy. I’m not sure what else off the top of my head, but I want to see where the guild goes before I make any decisions.

American Hustle
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lee Daniels’ The Butler
12 Years a Slave

Only one of these is on your Oscar shortlist. So that should tell you something.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
Pacific Rim
Star Trek into Darkness

Wasn’t this what I said the Oscar list would be? Look like I’ll have to stick by it.

The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Monsters University
The Wind Rises

This is the populist Oscar list. Though I’m thinking Ernest and Celestine has a chance at overtaking The Croods. Though it’s looking like a long shot.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Iron Man 3
Lone Survivor
Star Trek into Darkness

Do not care.

Also… Lone Survivor? Really?

Henry Cavill, Man of Steel
Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man 3
Brad Pitt, World War Z
Mark Wahlberg, Lone Survivor

None of these. Just give it to Downey and be done with it.

Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Evangeline Lilly, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Gwyneth Paltrow, Iron Man 3

Nice to see Lilly here. Otherwise — fucking really.

American Hustle
Enough Said
The Heat
This Is the End
The Way Way Back
The World’s End

All right.

Christian Bale, American Hustle
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
James Gandolfini, Enough Said
Simon Pegg, The World’s End
Sam Rockwell, The Way Way Back

It’s funny to me that Martin Scorsese made a three hour comedy.

Amy Adams, American Hustle
Sandra Bullock, The Heat
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said
Melissa McCarthy, The Heat

Oh man, that Frances Ha… laugh out loud funny.

The Conjuring
Star Trek into Darkness
World War Z

One of these things is not like the other…

Blue Is the Warmest Color
The Great Beauty
The Hunt
The Past

Pretty sure we know what the most popular five foreign films of the year are.

I’m guessing the Oscar category is about… 40% as accurate as this.

The Act of Killing
Stories We Tell
Tim’s Vermeer
20 Feet from Stardom

Well, I’m seeing four of these everywhere. So that’s probably a good indicator. Then again, with the Academy, and this branch… nothing is a good indicator.

“Atlas,” by Coldplay, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
“Happy,” by Pharrell Williams, Despicable Me 2
“Let It Go,” by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Frozen
“Ordinary Love,” by U2, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
“Please Mr. Kennedy,”  byJustin Timberlake/Oscar Isaac/Adam Driver, Inside Llewyn Davis
“Young and Beautiful,” by Lana Del Rey, The Great Gatsby

Well we know what’s winning.

Still waiting for that Original Song shortlist, by the way.

Steven Price, Gravity
Arcade Fire, Her
Thomas Newman, Saving Mr. Banks
Hans Zimmer, 12 Years a Slave

Well this isn’t a full category. So this doesn’t help me at all.

– – – – – – – – – –

So those are your Critics Choice nominations.

The only thing they help with is when they decide who wins. For now, I’m just using this to help guess the Oscar categories.

Plus I’m in the middle of my year-end lists, so I’m really not that interested in spending too much time with this unnecessarily.


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