Oscars 2015: Critics Choice Nominations

The BFCA announced their nominations today, and I’m really interested to see which way they go. They’re quietly one of the more helpful precursors out there.

They tend to also be somewhat populist, but you can see when they are. And you can also get a sense of what the sneaky contenders are going to be (or if there are going to be any. It’s hard to tell this year).

It’s very early in the game, so I’m curious to see how much their nominees fit with what seems to be the same group of films that are out there.

Here are your BFCA nominations for 2015:

Best Picture
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

This looks almost exactly the same as OFCS. Except Big Short and Bridge of Spies instead of Inside Out and Ex Machina. So OFCS is more populist and BFCA is more “Oscar contender.”

Mostly what this tells me is: Brooklyn, Carol, Mad Max, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Sicario, Spotlight — people like those. That’s 8 right there. Real curious to see where the PGA goes with this — since they still have Hateful Eight out there to see, and Joy. Though it’s nice, I’m looking at a solid… oh, 13 contenders maybe for Best Picture. Something like that? This’ll make the nominations guessing fun.

By the way, they usually end up getting most of the list right. They’ve only missed one for the past couple of years. So based on these nominees, the one they could end up missing is likely going to be either: Hateful Eight, Joy, Trumbo or Inside Out. We’ll see what the PGA does.

This is one of those years I’m hoping we can get to 10 nominees. Because we’re really solid with films.

Best Director
Todd Haynes, Carol
Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Ridley Scott, The Martian
Steven Spielberg, Bridge of Spies

It all depends on two things: which way the Academy goes in terms of films they really like, and which way DGA goes. Miller, McCarthy and Scott should get on. Haynes is a tough choice. They’ll probably put him on. Which leaves one spot and a lot of names there. Inarritu is likely. Then there’s David O. Russell, Lenny Abrahamson, Danny Boyle. Those seem the most likely. I doubt Quentin will factor in. Jury’s out on whether they love Beasts of No Nation or not. I need to see PGA/DGA love for that before I say anything. Coogler is a pipe dream I won’t allow until I see it happen at a guild. We’re probably looking at most if not the entire Best Director list right here.

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Johnny Depp, Black Mass
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Congratulations, you just named the six primary contenders.

Will Smith is a never-ran. Christian Bale has SAG strength, but is he lead or supporting? Michael Caine, maybe? Seems unlikely. You have to consider Cranston, Damon, DiCaprio, Fassbender and Redmayne your category. Depp is unlikely, but still roundabout the conversation.

They’re usually very strong here. Last year, they missed a few (no Cooper, no Carell), but usually they’re either 4/5 or 5/5. Hard to think they won’t at least get 4 this year.

The real question is, if that is your category, who wins? Is it Fassbender? Or is it Leo? Do we put weight to Redmayne winning two in a row? Surely it’s not Cranston or Damon. So where do they go? Very interesting year this is shaping up to be.

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road

Also the entire field. Plus Charlize Theron. All the other strong leads are being forced into Supporting. Mirren and Silverman got SAG nods, but I don’t know if anyone’s really taking them seriously.

Your category is looking very much like Blanchett, Larson, Lawrence, Rampling and Ronan. There doesn’t seem to be anyone coming way off the board here. Carey Mulligan got no traction whatsoever. Unless one of the Supporting actresses goes lead (Vikander, Mara), I don’t see anyone else. I don’t think either Silverman or Mirren truly gets on, but who the hell knows.

Oh, and by the way, they’re also pretty close to getting most right. Last year was all 5, and they only missed more than one nominee once in the past six years (2011). I’m thinking at least 4/5 here, if not the full boat.

Best Supporting Actor
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Dano comes back, Ruffalo comes back, Stallone picks up another one, and Hardy makes an appearance. No Big Short actors here. No Idris Elba. No Jacob Tremblay (probably because of something coming up in a minute). Still no Benicio. So I guess that one’s out. That’s a shame.

There are a bunch of contenders here. I need more time to think this one through. Rylance and Shannon seem like locks at this point. The rest, I’ll need to think about. And see where BAFTA goes with their nominations.

Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

No surprises here. Mara, Vikander and Winslet are gonna get nominated assuming this is their category. Leigh makes a lot of sense as a nominee. And McAdams hit SAG and here, so that’s a possibility. Mirren would surprise me as an actual nominee, but I guess she has to be considered a contender. Your category is pretty much between these six and maybe Jane Fonda. Though Fonda missed just about everything so far. I want to say that Joan Allen stands a chance, but that’s a long shot at best. This is your likely category, unless there’s that crazy out of nowhere nominee, like Julie Walters in Brooklyn. But that’s incredibly rare. And happened last year with Laura Dern. Doubtful it happens two years in a row. Not with the category fraud going on this year.

Best Young Actor/Actress
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
RJ Cyler, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Shameik Moore, Dope
Milo Parker, Mr. Holmes
Jacob Tremblay, Room

Solid list. This would explain the lack of a Tremblay nomination in Supporting Actor. I imagine he wins this, not that I’m in the guessing business with them.

Best Acting Ensemble
The Big Short
The Hateful Eight
Straight Outta Compton

Well, yeah.

Best Original Screenplay
Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
The Hateful Eight
Inside Out

Is there a whole lot else besides these? Joy? Mad Max? Not much of a script. Is Straight Outta Compton Original? Doubt they nominate that anyway. Ex Machina seems your least likely nominee. Though I haven’t looked too much into this category to know what would be nominated instead. Otherwise, this is a solid category, so that’s cool.

Oh, Sicario. That’s one.

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Big Short
The Martian
Steve Jobs

This makes sense. No Carol. No Revenant (though that makes sense). It’s pretty much between these five and Carol for your final category.

Best Editing
The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

Interesting choices. This means nothing because they’ll nominate the major Best Picture contenders for Editing. They always do.

Best Cinematography
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

Yeah, they looked nice. The Assassin is gonna get nominated, I’m sure. And you can’t rule out Bridge of Spies, as much as this category seems to be more than enough. Gotta wait and see what ASC nominates before we guess anything.

Best Production Design
Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian

Weird that Crimson Peak is nowhere to be found. They have to at least consider that in the guilds, right? I need to see guild stuff before I think about these categories.

Best Costume Design
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road

Okay. Cool.

Best Hair & Makeup
Black Mass
The Danish Girl
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

They’ll shortlist a bunch of movies, and most of these probably won’t be on there. The category is fairly easy to guess once the shortlist happens.

Best Visual Effects
Ex Machina
Jurassic World
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
The Walk

These are all on the longlist. So technically they could happen. Still gonna be a shortlist coming up though.

Best Animated Feature
The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie

This category has hit every single precursor. It’s almost a foregone conclusion at this point. Would be nice if you can guess the movie that’s gonna make it on instead if it happens.

Best Action Movie
Furious 7
Jurassic World
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Fair enough.

Best Actor in an Action Movie
Daniel Craig, Spectre
Tom Cruise, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Tom Hardy, Mad Max: Fury Road
Chris Pratt, Jurassic World
Paul Rudd, Ant-Man

Aww, none of you really had all that much to do in your movies, acting wise.

Best Actress in an Action Movie
Emily Blunt, Sicario
Rebecca Ferguson, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Bryce Dallas Howard, Jurassic World
Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road

Bryce Dallas Howard?

Best Comedy
The Big Short
Inside Out

Sisters? Really? And The Big Short is a comedy? And Inside Out? If you say so.

Best Actor in a Comedy
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Steve Carell, The Big Short
Robert De Niro, The Intern
Bill Hader, Trainwreck
Jason Statham, Spy

Statham all the way. Though Bale will win, I’m sure.

Best Actress in a Comedy
Tina Fey, Sisters
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Melissa McCarthy, Spy
Amy Schumer, Trainwreck
Lily Tomlin, Grandma

Lawrence kinda dwarfs the rest of the category.

Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie
Ex Machina
It Follows
Jurassic World
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian

Nice category.

Best Foreign Language Film
The Assassin
Goodnight Mommy
The Second Mother
Son of Saul

Can’t disagree with this.

Best Documentary Feature
Cartel Land
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
He Named Me Malala
The Look of Silence
Where to Invade Next

These seem to be the mainstream choices.

Best Song
“Love Me Like You Do,” from Fifty Shades of Grey
“See You Again,” from Furious 7
“Til It Happens To You,” from The Hunting Ground
“One Kind of Love,” from Love & Mercy
“Writing’s on the Wall,” from Spectre
“Simple Song #3,” from Youth

One of these isn’t eligible for the Oscars.

Best Score
The Hateful Eight
The Revenant


Best Drama Series
Mr. Robot
Penny Dreadful
The Knick
The Leftovers

I don’t know what rectify or Unreal is. I’ve only barely heard of The Leftovers.

All for The Knick. Though where’s Fargo? Are they still counting that as a miniseries?

Best Comedy Series
Jane the Virgin
Master of None
The Last Man on Earth
You’re the Worst

I’ve only see You’re the Worst, and not even this season. So my vote is that.

Best Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth
Randall Park, Fresh Off the Boat
Fred Savage, The Grinder
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Fred Savage?

Best Actor in a Drama Series
Hugh Dancy, Hannibal
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Clive Owen, The Knick
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Justin Theroux, The Leftovers
Aden Young, Rectify

Best Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries
Wes Bentley, American Horror Story: Hotel
Martin Clunes, Arthur & George
Idris Elba, Luther
Oscar Isaac, Show Me a Hero
Vincent Kartheiser, Saints & Strangers
Patrick Wilson, Fargo

Well there’s my Fargo answer.

Best Actress in a Comedy Series
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Aya Cash, You’re the Worst
Wendi McLendon-Covey, The Goldbergs
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
Constance Wu, Fresh Off the Boat

Aya Cash is great on that show. I hear good things about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend though.

Best Actress in a Drama Series
Shiri Appleby, UnREAL
Carrie Coon, The Leftovers
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Eva Green, Penny Dreadful
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Krysten Ritter, Jessica Jones

Oh, I remember what Unreal is now.

Best Actress in a TV Movie or Miniseries
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Hotel
Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
Sarah Hay, Flesh and Bone
Alyvia Alyn Lind, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors
Rachel McAdams, True Detective
Shanice Williams, The Wiz Live!

How does Dunst not win this?

Best Guest Actor/Actress in a Comedy Series
Ellen Burstyn,  Mom
Anjelica Huston, Transparent
Cherry Jones, Transparent
Jenifer Lewis, Black-ish
Timothy Olyphant, The Grinder
John Slattery, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

Why combine them into one? You already have like fifty categories.

Best Guest Actor/Actress in a Drama Series
Richard Armitage, Hannibal
Justin Kirk, Manhattan
Patti LuPone, Penny Dreadful
Margo Martindale, The Good Wife
Marisa Tomei, Empire
B.D. Wong, Mr. Robot


Best TV Movie or Miniseries
Childhood’s End
Saints & Strangers
Show Me a Hero
The Wiz Live!

Fargo. End of story.

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Jaime Camil, Jane the Virgin
Jay Duplass, Transparent
Neil Flynn, The Middle
Keegan-Michael Key, Playing House
Mel Rodriguez, Getting On


Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Clayne Crawford, Rectify
Christopher Eccleston, The Leftovers
Andre Holland, The Knick
Jonathan Jackson, Nashville
Rufus Sewell, The Man in the High Castle
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot

Are we done yet?

Best Supporting Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries
David Alan Grier, The Wiz Live!
Ne-Yo, The Wiz Live!
Nick Offerman, Fargo
Jesse Plemons, Fargo
Raoul Trujillo, Saints & Strangers
Bokeem Woodbine, Fargo

Offerman deserves it for the police station episode alone. But Woodbine was consistently the biggest scene stealer on that show.

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory 
Kether Donohue, You’re the Worst
Allison Janney, Mom
Judith Light, Transparent
Niecy Nash, Getting On
Eden Sher, The Middle


Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Ann Dowd, The Leftovers
Regina King, The Leftovers
Helen McCrory, Penny Dreadful
Hayden Panettiere, Nashville
Maura Tierney, The Affair
Constance Zimmer, UnREAL

We have to be running out of categories, right?

Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie or Miniseries
Mary J. Blige, The Wiz Live!
Laura Haddock, Luther
Cristin Milioti, Fargo
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Hotel
Winona Ryder, Show Me a Hero
Jean Smart, Fargo

Why are there more categories?

Best Animation Series
Bob’s Burgers
BoJack Horseman
South Park
Star Wars Rebels
The Simpsons

I feel bad for whoever has to announce these nominees. They might still be announcing them.

Best Reality Show – Competition
Face Off
MasterChef Junior
The Amazing Race
The Voice

Please stop with the categories.

Best Reality Show Host
Ted Allen, Chopped
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
James Lipton, Inside the Actors Studio
Jane Lynch, Hollywood Game Night
Jeff Probst, Survivor
Gordon Ramsay, Hell’s Kitchen


Best Structured Reality Show
Antiques Roadshow
Inside The Actors Studio
Project Greenlight
Shark Tank
Undercover Boss

I like how “structured” means “written.”

Best Talk Show
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
The Graham Norton Show
The Late Late Show with James Corden
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon 

You guys really want people to know what you like, don’t you?

Best Unstructured Reality Show
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Deadliest Catch
Naked and Afraid
Pawn Stars

Thank god this was the last one.

– – – – – – – – – –



3 responses

  1. What are your thoughts on Film and TV getting combined into one three-hour telecast this time? I feel that they’re going to overestimate the time, commercial through too many of the categories (which I hate A&E for doing already and that was before the fusion of the two shows), and leave little awards-ing for the actual on-screen telecast. Of course, there’s always the likelihood that they’ll just steamroll through categories like they were driving down Fury Road and finish on time without unnecessary banter for us to endure. Do they plan on offering enough booze? For the actors’ sake, I hope they do. If they’re going to emulate the Golden Globes like this, then they might as well go all the way.

    (I also hope that the Academy’s Music Branch isn’t stupid enough to nominate anything from Fifty Shades Of Gray when “Feels Like Summer” from Shaun The Sheep is just sitting there, waiting to be nominated. But hey, a man can dream, right?)

    December 15, 2015 at 9:36 am

  2. I’m gonna make the call and say that Joy probably isn’t going anywhere beyond a nomination for Lawrence. And given that she missed SAG, even that might not be a sure bet (though I think Charlotte Rampling is more vulnerable).

    December 15, 2015 at 11:29 am

  3. So, umm…as of this morning, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens has been added as an 11th Best Picture nominee by the BFCA.

    December 22, 2015 at 12:27 pm

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