Getting around to the BFCAs

Posted by · 10:26 am · December 9th, 2008

Kate Beckinsale in Nothing But the TruthA late night premiere and after party kept me in bed most of the morning.  It happens.  So I’m just now coming around to today’s BFCA announcement.  First, some reactions (full disclosure, I am a member of the organization).

First and foremost, the group subtracted one category (Best Family Film) and added another (Best Action Film).  I think we all know where the latter is headed.  Speaking of which, “The Dark Knight” actually had a hell of a showing, popping up in the expected areas but also grabbing a nomination for director Christopher Nolan and composers James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer (who find themselves back in the Oscar hunt as of yesterday).

The group also combined the Best Young Actor and Best Young Actress categories to reflect both sexes in the same arena.  A good call, since I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt like I was grasping at straws to list six names some years.

The startling omission: “Revolutionary Road.”  I’m sure there are more than a few broken hearts at Paramount Vantage this morning, but chin up.  “Into the Wild” landed the most nominations with the BFCA last year and only managed two Oscar nominations.  So it all goes to show you these things aren’t set in stone.  That having been said, the BFCA is simply the best Oscar predictor around and I’m thinking it will prove itself a nice tip sheet going into January 22.

A few quasi-surprises were in store.  I’m sure not too many people were expecting Kate Beckinsale and Vera Farmiga’s names to pop up for Rod Lurie’s “Nothing But the Truth.”  Lurie, it should be said, is a founding member of the BFCA, though in fairness, that was 15 years ago and he was in the group for two years.  He has friends in the organization, sure, but they represent a fraction of the 200-strong membership.  Regardless, I truthfully think both actresses deserve a spot at the table so it’s nice they could push their way through.

But getting back to “Revolutionary Road,” this is an out-and-out shut-out, and that really hurts the film’s buzz potential.  It’s one thing to miss this category or that, but nothing for Leo (with six shots at it), nothing for Kate (ditto), not even a nod for Michael Shannon, who damn well deserves a mention.  I’m truthfully surprised.  I think our Best Picture line-up will be taken from the top 10 list, and like I said, it can’t be happy times for that hard-working crew.  Scott Rudin is still sitting pretty, though, as his “Doubt” popped up in a number of areas.  But “Button,” “Dark Knight,” “Frost,” “Milk,” “Slumdog” — you might as well take it to the bank.

Oh, and one final note.  I’m actually quite happy to see Clint Eastwood’s name pop up in the composer category for “Changeling.”  I think the jazzy soundtrack is his best work as a film musician to date and, if the Academy’s music branch ever saw past their bias, would make a fine Oscar nominee.  Nice to see him show up here.

The top 10 list, with a full list of nominations after the jump:

Best Picture
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Dark Knight”
“The Reader”
“Slumdog Millionaire”
“The Wrestler”

Best Director
Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”
David Fincher, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Ron Howard, “Frost/Nixon”
Christopher Nolan, “The Dark Knight”
Gus Van Sant, “Milk”

Best Actor
Clint Eastwood, “Gran Torino”
Richard Jenkins, “The Visitor”
Frank Langella, “Frost/Nixon”
Sean Penn, “Milk”
Brad Pitt, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler”

Best Actress
Kate Beckinsale, “Nothing But the Truth”
Cate Blanchett, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Anne Hathaway, “Rachel Getting Marreid”
Angelina Jolie, “Changeling”
Melissa Leo, “Frozen River”
Meryl Streep, “Doubt”

Best Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin, “Milk”
Robert Downey Jr., “Tropic Thunder”
James Franco, “Milk”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Doubt”
Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
Viola Davis, “Doubt”
Vera Farmiga, “Nothing But the Truth”
Taraji P. Henson, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Marisa Tomei, “The Wrestler”
Kate Winslet, “The Reader”

Best Writer
Simon Beaufoy, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Dustin Lance Black, “Milk”
Peter Morgan, “Frost/Nixon”
Eric Roth, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
John Patrick Shanley, “Doubt”

Best Acting Ensemble
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Dark Knight”
“Rachel Getting Married”

Best Composer
Alexandre Desplat, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Clint Eastwood, “Changeling”
Danny Elfman, “Milk”
James Newton Howard, Hans Zimmer, “The Dark Knight”
A.R. Rahman, “Slumdog Millionaire”

Best Song
“Another Way to Die” from “Quantum of Solace”
“Down to Earth” from “WALL-E”
“I Thought I Lost You” from “Bolt”
“Jaiho” from “Slumdog Millionaire”
“The Wrestler” from “The Wrestler”

Best Foreign Language Film
“A Christmas Tale”
“I’ve Loved You So Long”
“Let the Right One In”
“Waltz with Bashir”

Best Documentary Feature
“Man On Wire”
“Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired”
“Standard Operating Procedure”
“Young At Heart”

Best Animated Feature
“Kung Fu Panda”
“Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa”
“Waltz with Bashir”

Best Young Actor/Actress
Dakota Fanning, “The Secret Life of Bees”
David Kross, “The Reader”
Dev Patel, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Brandon Walters, “Australia”

Best Action Movie
“The Dark Knight”
“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”
“Iron Man”
“Quantum of Solace”

Best Comedy Movie
“Burn After Reading”
“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”
“Role Models”
“Tropic Thunder”
“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”

Best Picture Made for Television
“John Adams”
“Coco Chanel”

→ 16 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily · Featured

16 responses so far

  • 1 12-09-2008 at 10:45 am

    Patrick F said...

    This list was incredibly unsurprising, but it’s good to see Richard Jenkins in the fray.

    I think Revolutionary Road may need a boost on Thursday at the globes if it wants to survive. I’ve always thought a nomination for Leo was a longshot at best. If a Leo shows up at the Oscars, my gut says it will be in the Actress category.

    Clint shows up again for All in The Family… I mean… Gran Torino.. he could still win it.

  • 2 12-09-2008 at 11:07 am

    Josh said...

    I’m disappointed that Role Models got in for Best Comedy Movie over In Bruges.

  • 3 12-09-2008 at 11:15 am

    MARK said...


    1 -streep
    7-scott thomas

  • 4 12-09-2008 at 11:23 am

    Holly said...

    Like you, Kris, with the many ‘superlatives’ I’ve read for both Leo and Kate’s performances in “RR”, I was shocked to see no ‘acting nods’ come their way this morn.

    Much more shocked than to see no BP nod for “RR”

  • 5 12-09-2008 at 11:38 am

    Isaac Richter said...

    Hey, what happened to the Family Movie category? There’s one each year (that I can remember) and winners include the first two Harry Potter films, the first Pirates of the Caribbean, Finding Neverland, The first Chronicles of Narnia, Charlotte’s Web and Enchanted. Were there no worthy family films this year? I’m just curious, did anyone else notice that?

  • 6 12-09-2008 at 11:45 am

    McGuff said...

    I feel most comfortable commenting on the comedy category because, you know, I’ve seen all of those. And guess what, my four top comedies of the year are? Yep: Tropic Thunder, Role Models, VCB and FSM. I’m glad those got in, for sure. Especially Role Models, Josh, which I thought connected on every risk it took, and made me laugh at every joke it offered.

    I do think, however, it would have been nice to see In Bruges make it in there before Burn After Reading. But I don’t feel strong about that, and you knew the Coens were getting in there somehow.

  • 7 12-09-2008 at 12:04 pm

    Sean O'Connell said...

    It’s going to be tough voting in that Acting Ensemble category. All five are top notch.

  • 8 12-09-2008 at 12:06 pm

    Dan said...

    I’m fairly certain The Wrestler will pull a Ram Jam and destroy the competition.

  • 9 12-09-2008 at 12:15 pm

    Bryan C. said...

    I’m sorely missing Kristin Scott Thomas in that Best Actress line-up!

  • 10 12-09-2008 at 1:23 pm

    Scott Ward said...

    Even though they are minor awards, I’m glad to see Changeling getting some recognition. And no, not because of Clint Eastwood. The depressing mood stayed with me longer than most films of that nature do.

  • 11 12-09-2008 at 10:05 pm

    PJ said...

    Not too surprising a list. Melissa Leo’s stock is tending upwards, as is obviously TDK’s. Btw, shouldn’t it read “So it all goes to show you these things are not set in stone” in the fourth paragraph, Kris?

  • 12 12-10-2008 at 1:03 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Sigh. With six slots, I was hoping to see either Kristin Scott Thomas or Sally Hawkins, or ideally both, pop up.

    Generally, it looks like a cautious slate of nominees to me, though it’s nice to see The Wrestler on another Best Pic list.

  • 13 1-08-2009 at 7:47 pm

    Andrew said...

    When will Revolutionary Road finally get the nominations it deserves?