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Oscars 2018: BFCA (Critics Choice) Awards

The Critics Choice Awards were tonight.

They don’t mean a whole lot to me now, since I’m in the middle of figuring out what’ll get nominated for the Oscars. Sure, this helps a little bit, but winners really only matter after we get nominees. So some of it will factor into my decision-making, but I suspect a lot of this will confirm what I already suspected to be the prevailing winds.

Generally what I’m looking for here is to see if some things win that I think may potentially be left off the Oscar list, which could help shore up a nomination (at least spiritually). Otherwise, I expect this all to be confirmation bias.

Here are your Critics Choice winners:

Best Picture

Black Panther

BlacKkKlansman

The Favourite

First Man

Green Book

If Beale Street Could Talk

Mary Poppins Returns

Roma

A Star Is Born

Vice

Winner: Roma

That’s its first major win of the season. Arguably the second, since the Globes pretty much spelled out that they would have voted for it if they had the chance. It won everything it needed to there for me to know that it would have won Picture had they been able to put it there.

This made sense all along as a winner, since A Star Is Born never struck me as the kind of movie that would go all the way, and Green Book also never felt like it would actually win. Unless The Favourite is gonna make a play for it, this was the movie all along that was gonna be the top contender to win the whole thing.

Apparently they don’t care about that whole Netflix thing anymore, huh?

Best Director

Damien Chazelle, First Man

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Peter Farrelly, Green Book

Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite

Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman

Adam McKay, Vice

Winner: Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Even if Roma doesn’t win the whole thing, Cuaron should take this down pretty easily. I don’t know what the final category is gonna be, but Cooper won’t win, and Peter Farrelly won’t win. Cuaron’s the strongest effort there, and that’s without knowing who the other two nominees are gonna be (probably Spike Lee and one of the other three in this category, Chazelle, Lanthimos or McKay). He should cruise to a second win pretty easily.

And also, just so we’re clear, him winning the Oscar would mean that between 2013 and 2018, Cuaron will have two Best Director wins, Inarritu will have two Best Director wins and Guillermo del Toro will have one Best Director win. With Damien Chazelle the only other person in between to have won. That’s pretty insane. But also… pretty deserved, all those wins. Still, insane that they’re all best friends. This must be what it felt like to be Spielberg and Lucas in the 80s, where every giant hit was one or the other.

Best Actor

Christian Bale, Vice

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate

Ryan Gosling, First Man

Ethan Hawke, First Reformed

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Winner: Christian Bale, Vice

Well, that’s the start of him winning the whole thing. He needed to start strong, and now he’s got two wins.

Cooper will go home empty-handed at the Oscars, most likely, with the acclaim being the thing he gets out of it. I feel like this movie assured him a win somewhere a bit down the road. Either in acting or a Warren Beatty-type win. It won’t be this year. That movie is the kind that is destined to get all the nominations and none of the wins. That’s what happens when you make something that’s a fourth remake.

Malek needs another big win to parlay that Globes win into anything serious. I’d look to BAFTA on that. Mortensen should have another “nomination but no win” season like he’s had in his past two nominations. I don’t see how he takes down either of the two remaining precursors.

We don’t know who that fifth spot is gonna be, but they won’t contend for the win. It’s pretty much Bale all the way through, provided he wins either SAG or BAFTA. I don’t even think he needs both at this point. It should be his to lose.

Best Actress

Yalitza Aparicio, Roma

Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns

Glenn Close, The Wife

Toni Colette, Hereditary

Olivia Colman, The Favorite

Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Winner: TIE: Glenn Close, The Wife and Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born

Oh, so we’re doing 1968 all over again, are we? The Katharine Hepburn/Barbra Streisand year?

This will make things slightly more interesting. If only they put Gaga in Musical/Comedy, then we’d legitimately have them having two wins apiece going into the big two. Colman’s still got that Globe win, and right now it’s kind of a three-person race.

SAG and BAFTA should tell the tale on this one, though there’s a chance we’re gonna have those go ways we don’t expect. Picture this — Colman wins BAFTA and Gaga wins SAG… what do you do? That’s a legitimate possibility, owing to the large voting body of SAG. Do you discount it? Or is SAG gospel? Then you’ll have Close with the Globe and BAFTA, Colman with BAFTA and the Globe, and Gaga with SAG and BFCA. A lot of decisions will have to be made, depending on how things go. This might be the most interesting Best Actress race in years. Or one of the two will win the next two and it’ll be moot. This will either be the most interesting this  category gets, or we’re all gonna have theories as to what precursor is more important than the others.

But we’re also not up to that yet. These people still need to be nominated. We are basically all locked up in this category anyway. The only real question is who that fifth spot is gonna be, seemingly between Aparicio and Blunt. But still, there’s a chance, theoretically, that someone gets left off. And then it’s just chaos.

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Green Book

Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy

Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman

Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther

Winner: Mahershala Ali, Green Book

That’s two wins for him, and he should cruise to an easy Oscar win.

Right now, the only intrigue for me in the category is whether or not they nominate Sam Elliott. It’s him vs. Rockwell for that fifth spot, and I don’t know which way they’re gonna go. I hope it’s Elliott, but it’s tight. Or at least appears to be tight.

Either way, who is there that takes down Mahershala at this point? You’re gonna need the SAG win, and it can pretty much only be Elliott who does it, right? On that Alan Arkin thing? Where Eddie Murphy swept everything else, lost BAFTA to Arkin and Arkin took down the Oscar. Doubt anyone beats Ali, but it’s possible.

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, Vice

Claire Foy, First Man

Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Emma Stone, The Favourite

Rachel, Weisz, The Favourite

Winner: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

That’s two wins for her.

Imagine if they leave her off the nominations list. She wasn’t nominated for SAG, but I’m pretty sure it’s because SAG is oversaturated and it evens out to a popularity contest. Still, they could fuck this up and back themselves into a corner

Once she gets nominated though, she should take the whole thing down pretty easily, considering her major competition is a vote split between Weisz and Stone. Adams won’t do any damage, and we don’t even know who the fifth spot is. Conventional wisdom says it’s either Claire Foy or Margot Robbie. Neither of them seems like a contender for the win.

Assuming King makes it on (and I see no reason why she won’t), she should win pretty handily.

Best Young Actor/Actress

Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade

Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace

Ed Oxenbould, Wildlife

Millicent Simmonds, A Quiet Place

Amandla Stenberg, The Hate U Give

Sunny Suljic, Mid90s

Winner: Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade

Of course she won. Good category, she’s a fine winner. I think McKenzie gave a better overall performance (as did Stenberg), but Fisher is a fine winner. Good for her.

Best Acting Ensemble

Black Panther

Crazy Rich Asians

The Favourite

Vice

Widows

Winner: The Favourite

I mean, of course. Three acting nominations. What else was there to choose?

Best Original Screenplay

Eighth Grade

The Favourite

First Reformed

Green Book

A Quiet Place

Roma

Vice

Winner: First Reformed

Now THIS is the most intriguing decision of the night.

Because First Reformed is not guaranteed a Screenplay nomination. This is its only precursor nomination. However… BFCA has handed out screenplay awards since 1995. Not once has a BFCA screenplay winner (in either category) not been nominated for the Oscar.

This is them calling their shot. Which is interesting, because they could have gone with The Favourite or Green Book. But they didn’t.

What makes this so interesting as a winner is that it wasn’t nominated for the WGA award. And it was eligible. It just didn’t get it. So now, we’ve legitimately got to call it a contender for that fifth spot. It always kind of was, but I’d have leaned more toward two of the other scripts on this list — Eighth Grade or A Quiet Place. There’s no guarantee it gets on, but now you’ve got to consider them all. And your entire list of possible nominees is here. So your category is staring you in the face. You just need to figure out which two they’ll leave off. This win just made it a little bit harder.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Black Panther

BlacKkKlansman

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

First Man

If Beale Street Could Talk

A Star Is Born

Winner: If Beale Street Could Talk

Fuck yeah.

Maybe this means he can win.

At this point, your category is up here. Five of these six will be your nominees. The question is whether or not that fifth spot is Black Panther or First Man, most likely.

Still, whatever the category, I think Jenkins might take it down, which would be very deserving, and might make up for a possible Best Picture snub his film is in line to possibly get.

Best Editing

The Favourite

First Man

Roma

A Star Is Born

Vice

Widows

Winner: First Man

It’s the best edited film on this list. Makes total sense to me.

I love that they included Widows. But First Man is the one that should have win. I assume it will be the only non-Best Picture film on the Editing list, unless something gets on Editing and gets left off Picture (like, say, Vice).

I’m glad they focused on editing here and not anything else. Because at the Oscars, Green Book will likely (assuming they liked it enough to seriously contend for Picture) end up with an Editing nomination.

Still, First Man seems like the odds-on favorite no matter what the rest of the category looks like.

Best Cinematography

Black Panther

The Favourite

First Man

If Beale Street Could Talk

Roma

A Star Is Born

Winner: Roma

Your category is likely in here, sans Black Panther. Oh, right, and Cold War. That’s also in there. So Cold War in place of one of those other ones. Probably Beale Street, knowing them.

But Roma is almost an automatic winner, isn’t it? Which would mean Cuaron could end up a triple winner in three separate categories come Oscar night.

Best Song

“All the Stars,” from Black Panther

“Girl in the Movies,” from Dumplin’

“I’ll Fight,” from RBG

“The Place Where Lost Things Go,” from Mary Poppins Returns

“Shallow,” from A Star Is Born

“Trip a Little Light Fantastic,” from Mary Poppins Returns

Winner: “Shallow,” from A Star Is Born

Of course. We’re already 1/1 on Oscar night because of this category.

Best Score

Black Panther

First Man

Green Book

If Beale Street Could Talk

Isle of Dogs

Mary Poppins Returns

Winner: First Man

That’s two wins for First Man. If it takes down the BAFTA too, that’s a mighty hard thing to overcome for the rest of the nominees. Three precursor wins is nearly automatic at the Oscars.

This win also basically assures it will be nominated. Your entire category is probably in here, too. Green Book is ineligible, but those other five sure look like your final Oscar category.

Best Production Design

Black Panther

Crazy Rich Asians

The Favourite

First Man

Mary Poppins Returns

Roma

Winner: Black Panther

Oh, so this is where they start giving it wins to show support.

Isn’t this a win for Best Visual Effects, in essence? What sets did they really build? The casino? The street scene that we got like, a minute of before they cut away from it? Oakland?

I wanna see what the final category ends up being. But Production Design? Really? It’s fucking Marvel.

Best Costume Design

Black Panther

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Favourite

Mary Poppins Returns

Mary, Queen of Scots

Winner: Black Panther

And they gifted it two wins.

Objectively it’s a third choice at best in this category. Take your pick for the two above it. I’d put it fourth, myself.

Doubt it can win this at the Oscars, but everyone seems nuts this year, I don’t fucking know what’s gonna happen.

This also might be your Oscar category, by the way.

Best Hair and Makeup

Black Panther

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Favourite

Mary, Queen of Scots

Suspiria

Vice

Winner: Vice

Yeah. They love actor transformations, and if Bale is winning, this will be like Darkest Hour last year. The makeup team will come too.

I can’t even wonder what this means for the category, because five of your seven shortlisted movies are on here. They only left off Stan & Ollie and Border. So this doesn’t help us at all. Because we know what’s gonna win. What we need is to figure out the two that are gonna lose to it.

Best Visual Effects

Avengers: Infinity War

Black Panther

First Man

Mary Poppins Returns

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Ready Player One

Winner: Black Panther

Of course they did.

Are they so blind for this movie that they’re gonna give it Visual Effects despite the fact that the effects looked bad? It’s one of the weaker looking Marvel movies. As much as I don’t like to give them credit for their CGI fests, Avengers objectively looked like a better movie than Black Panther did. And for that matter, so did Ready Player One. I know that’s not Marvel, but it did.

Really, we should give this to First Man, because those were actual effects. I’m pretty sure not all of that was done on a computer, and it actually felt real. Maybe we should start going back to that a little bit.

I also am very happy they nominated Fallout, which also felt like it contained actual effects. I get why it won’t ever get nominated, but I’m glad they included it.

That said, please don’t let Black Panther win this Oscar category. We’ve already made it Best CGI, let’s not turn it into a popularity contest too.

Best Animated Feature

The Grinch

Incredibles 2

Isle of Dogs

Mirai

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Winner: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The way this is going, this might actually take down the Oscar category.

I’m not calling this a lock, because I’ve seen what happens in this category. We get to final voting, and the old, white majority who hasn’t seen any of these movies looks at their ballot, sees the Pixar movie, and votes for that because it’s Pixar. Fucking Brave won this category. So while Spider-Verse seems like the odds-on favorite… I can’t rule out Pixar, because people just blindly vote in this category.

The only real bit of intrigue for this category is what the nominees list is gonna be. Are they gonna seem progressive and go back to the cool, artistic choices, or has the genie been pulled from the bottle and there’s no chance of that happening anymore? Because this new voting system has seemingly doomed us to populist choices forever. Last year, Ferdinand and The Boss Baby were nominated. And while I love The Boss Baby, it’s not the kind of choice we’d have seen without the change in voting.

Do we really need an Oscar category with The Grinch? Do people really care? Was this category really that big of a ratings draw that we needed to do it like that?

Best Action Movie

Avengers: Infinity War

Black Panther

Deadpool 2

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Ready Player One

Widows

Winner: Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Good for them. The movie with real stunts and action in it.

Why do I feel like they only let this happen because of a technicality. “Actually, Black Panther is a drama with Shakespearean elements that just happens to have action sequences in it.”

Whatever. Glad this won.

Best Comedy

Crazy Rich Asians

Deadpool 2

The Death of Stalin

The Favourite

Game Night

Sorry the Bother You

Winner: Crazy Rich Asians

Of course. Way to look progressive, guys. I’m sure your backs aren’t lonely from all those pats you’re giving yourselves.

Best Actor in a Comedy

Christian Bale, Vice

Jason Bateman, Game Night

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

John C. Reilly, Stan and Ollie

Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool 2

Lakeith Stanfield, Sorry to Bother You

Winner: Christian Bale, Vice

This category is so unfair to the people not nominated in the top category.

They should have a rule where, if you’re nominated in the top acting categories, you are removed from voting here and they let the next person up get nominated. Take Bale and Mortensen off this and let some other people get on. Then you get a real category, as opposed to an excuse to give someone another award.

Best Actress in a Comedy

Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns

Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade

Rachel McAdams, Game Night

Charlize Theron, Tully

Constance Wu, Crazy Rich Asians

Winner: Olivia Colman, The Favourite

So they managed to reward all three. How diplomatic.

Best Sci-Fi or Horror Movie

Annihilation

Halloween

Hereditary

A Quiet Place

Suspiria

Winner: A Quiet Place

Of course it did.

Best Foreign Language Film

Burning

Capernaum

Cold War

Roma

Shoplifters

Winner: Roma

What’s the probability of that happening? If people vote Roma Best Picture, will they not vote it for Foreign Language Film? Can it win both? Will it? Will they leave it off, assuming it gets on Best Picture? This is mighty interesting.

We’ve had nine foreign language films nominated for Best Picture so far. Eight of them came in an era where there was a Foreign Language category. Z in 1969 won Foreign Language Film that year. The Emigrants was nominated for Foreign Language Film in 1971 and then was nominated for Best Picture in 1972. Cries and Whispers was nominated for Picture but not Foreign Language Film. Same for Il Postino. Life Is Beautiful won Foreign Language Film, as did Crouching Tiger. Technically Letters from Iwo Jima is an American film set in a foreign language. So that barely counts. And Amour won Foreign Language Film in its year. None of those, save maybe Crouching Tiger, stood a legitimate chance to take down Best Picture. Roma’s the first one that could legitimately win both. Huh. There might be lots of history on the line with this one.

– – – – – – – – –

So that’s BFCA.

We’re finishing the Release Calendar this week. Then this weekend we start getting into Oscar nominations. They’re announced next Tuesday morning. Actual voting closes tomorrow at 5, so get ready for all those thinkpiece articles about people scrambling to get votes at the last minute and how it means something. Man, do I not miss any of that shit.

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One response

  1. As great as First Man’s VFX are, I’m permanently won over by the entire Royal Doulton China Bowl sequence in Mary Poppins Returns, especially knowing that Rob Marshall INSISTED to Disney execs that hand-drawn animation was the only way to go.

    January 13, 2019 at 10:15 pm

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