‘Wild Things,’ ‘Up in the Air’ lead Chicago crix nods

Posted by · 8:36 am · December 16th, 2009

Where the Wild Things AreNormally, I’m against critics’ groups bothering with nominations. Just cut the crap and give us your picks — you’re not that anticipated, after all.

But I’ll make an exception this year for the Chicago Film Critics Association, if only because it allows them to shine a light on some names that have been lost amid the consensus of critics’ prizes so far. There are some pleasantly left-field picks here, beginning with a co-leading six bids, Best Picture and Director included, for “Where the Wild Things Are.”

“A Serious Man” also makes the Best Picture cut, while “Precious” is a surprising omission. (Is it losing momentum?) Hearty cheers, too, for the mentions of Matt Damon (for the right film, this time) and — finally“Bright Star”‘s Abbie Cornish and Greig Fraser. Still no Tilda Swinton, but I’m letting that one go.

Full list of nominees (props to AwardsDaily) after the cut.

“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“A Serious Man”
“Up in the Air”
“Where the Wild Things Are”

Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker”
Joel and Ethan Coen, “A Serious Man”
Spike Jonze, “Where the Wild Things Are”
Jason Reitman, “Up in the Air”
Quentin Tarantino, “Inglourious Basterds”

Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney, “Up in the Air”
Matt Damon, “The Informant!”
Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker”
Michael Stuhlbarg, “A Serious Man”

Abbie Cornish, “Bright Star”
Carey Mulligan, “An Education”
Maya Rudolph, “Away We Go”
Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious”
Meryl Streep, “Julie & Julia”

Peter Capaldi, “In the Loop”
Woody Harrelson, “The Messenger”
Christian McKay, “Me and Orson Welles”
Stanley Tucci, “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”

Vera Farmiga, “Up in the Air”
Anna Kendrick, “Up in the Air”
Mo’Nique, “Precious”
Julianne Moore, “A Single Man”
Natalie Portman, “Brothers”

“Away We Go”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“A Serious Man”

“An Education”
“In the Loop”
“The Informant!”
“Up in the Air”
“Where the Wild Things Are”

“Broken Embraces”
“Red Cliff”
“Sin Nombre”
“Summer Hours”
“The White Ribbon”

“Anvil!: The Story of Anvil”
“Capitalism: A Love Story”
“The Cove”
“Food, Inc.”

“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“The Princess and the Frog”

“Bright Star”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Where the Wild Things Are”

“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“The Informant!”
“Where the Wild Things Are”

Neill Blomkamp, “District 9”
Scott Cooper, “Crazy Heart”
Cary Fukunaga, “Sin Nombre”
Duncan Jones, “Moon”
Marc Webb, “(500) Days of Summer”

Sharlto Copley, “District 9”
Christian McKay, “Me and Orson Welles”
Carey Mulligan, “An Education”
Max Records, “Where the Wild Things Are”
Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious”

→ 35 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Daily

35 responses so far

  • 1 12-16-2009 at 8:43 am

    Emi said...

    Nice to finally see some Bright Star and a director nod for Spike Jonze. Both are very well deserved.

  • 2 12-16-2009 at 8:51 am

    Hardy said...

    I’m not sure being omitted from the Chicago Critics nominations factors into losing momentum for the Oscars. It’ll be there.

  • 3 12-16-2009 at 8:59 am

    Dylan said...

    If it weren’t for the Firth snub, this would be my favorite list of the season.

  • 4 12-16-2009 at 9:00 am

    Jeff said...

    Like you mentioned above, I can’t believe no one has gotten behind Tilda Swinton’s performance in Julia. Not a single critic’s group has even mentioned the BEST leading actress role of the year. It boggles my mind…

  • 5 12-16-2009 at 9:00 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    @Hardy: Oh, it’ll definitely be there. No question about that. I’m not really referring to this one (rather small) snub, but the film’s general precursor profile so far, which — the Mo’Nique Express aside — is lower than I was expecting when I predicted the film as our Oscar champ last month.

    @Dylan: I didn’t even notice the Firth snub! And they actually nominated Moore … how bizarre.

    @Jeff: She was the runner-up in the NYFCC voting. I think that’s as good as we’re going to get … unless the NSFC stick up for her. (It’s the kind of thing they might do.)

  • 6 12-16-2009 at 9:02 am

    Morgan said...

    Glad to see that the kudos for District 9 are more properly placed with this list. (I’m not sure why it keeps getting screenplay attention, if only because of the improv nature of the film confuses matters.)

  • 7 12-16-2009 at 9:06 am

    aspect ratio said...

    I’d have to disagree about not wanting to see nominations from critics groups, I prefer it to only getting the list of winners, especially in a year like this where some categories have turned into one-way streets. List after list of winners from critics groups where they all seemingly only cared for Mo’Nique and Waltz (as the prime example) really just makes all the groups seem exactly the same, like there’s no personality or uniqueness to them. Even if Chicago might pick the exact same winners as everyone else, at least by letting us see what other films and performances were among their favorites make them more interesting, especially when they pick some films that aren’t showing up everywhere (like Where the Wild Things Are).

    This is easily the most interesting critics group so far.

  • 8 12-16-2009 at 9:09 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Aspect Ratio: Agreed. Of course, you know they’ll end up picking the same winners as everyone else ;)

    By the way, I do have to deduct some points for their slightly uninspired documentary and foreign-language lineups. “Broken Embraces?” C’mon, that’s autopilot voting … and I say that as an Almodovarite.

  • 9 12-16-2009 at 9:26 am

    McGuff said...

    A nice little double nomination for Dave Eggers here. I can’t really decide whether I like either of his works, but I think it’s interesting that this is the first time we’ve really seen him land something.

  • 10 12-16-2009 at 9:32 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I’d prefer to pretend those Away We Go nods didn’t happen. But you can’t have it all.

  • 11 12-16-2009 at 9:45 am

    Adam Smith said...

    Frankly, for a second, I though Eggers was from Chicago, which is the only explanation for nominating both of his screenplays this year. WTWTA is a stretch. But Away We Go is a fucking crime. I try whenever possible to be civil and articulate when I talk about film, whether I like or dislike it. But Away We Go is such a prime example of the sort of twee, faux-quirky bullshit that people label as “indie” and “charming” that it loses all sense of charm. It’s all so forced and fake and proud of itself, it makes me honestly angry. It’s far and away my choice for the year’s worst film.

  • 12 12-16-2009 at 9:47 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Adam said it so I don’t have to. Thanks, Adam.

    (I won’t go quite as far as “the year’s worst film,” but…)

  • 13 12-16-2009 at 9:49 am

    Matt King said...

    Other than the nominations for Inglourious Basterds, I quite like these nominations. Love the Where the Wild Things Are nominations and really glad to see Abbie Cornish and Greig Fraser on there.

  • 14 12-16-2009 at 9:51 am

    Clifft said...

    The Cinematography nominees make a splendid pyramid.

    Also, best critics group results of the year so far, even without knowing the winners.

  • 15 12-16-2009 at 9:57 am

    Clifft said...

    Maybe scratch that list bit. I hadn’t seen the Toronto critics list yet. It’s a close call. Cage!

  • 16 12-16-2009 at 10:11 am

    Chris said...

    I agree with Adam. “Away We Go” will easily be among my bottom top 10 of the year.

    (But I suspect that “Inglourious Basterds” will be too.)

  • 17 12-16-2009 at 10:59 am

    Billyboy said...

    Exactly, Jeff. How the critics and precursors keep ignoring Tilda Swinton’s performance is beyond my mind.

    One of the best performances of the decade. Period.

  • 18 12-16-2009 at 11:07 am

    Adam Smith said...

    Just curious, Guy, what would you say is the worst? Granted, I ain’t seen Transformers 2, but at least it knows it’s stupid (though Armond White’s comment about it reflecting our ambiguous relationship with technology as something we both love and fear is kind of interesting, if misguided in an Armond White sort of way).

  • 19 12-16-2009 at 11:13 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    The worst film I’ve seen this year, hands down, is “My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?”

    (I was going to do a gathering of the year’s worst in my list next week, but suddenly I don’t feel like accentuating the negative. So there you have it.)

  • 20 12-16-2009 at 11:19 am

    Adam Smith said...

    Fine choice. I’m much more of the type to point out absurd self-indulgence or potentially morally reprehensible work as the year’s worst than run-of-the-mill brainless shit. Except for The Cat in the Hat. I still have nightmares about that movie…it gives me the Jibblies.

  • 21 12-16-2009 at 11:26 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    For me, “My Son, My Son” takes the title by any criteria — it’s both brainless AND self-indulgent. Not to mention poorly crafted and astonishingly boring. Ticks all the boxes, really.

  • 22 12-16-2009 at 11:39 am

    Anna said...

    No Firth? No credibility.

  • 23 12-16-2009 at 11:43 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    That’s a bit reductive. Besides, there are some damn fine performances in that Best Actor lineup.

  • 24 12-16-2009 at 11:47 am

    Nigel Bridgeman said...

    I quite like that Best Supporting Actor list. I think I’ll stick with those for my predictions until Oscar time.

  • 25 12-16-2009 at 11:52 am

    The Other James D. said...


    I’m digging these picks. I’m happy to see Maya Rudolph get mentioned here and there. She’s underrated, and should have had the Julia Roberts slot at the Globes.

    The Informant! was a watchable failure of a movie. Best Actor nod is worthy, although Firth is worthier and was “robbed” (not like it matters much here); Best Adapted Screenplay is not.

  • 26 12-16-2009 at 12:08 pm

    The Dude said...

    The “most promising filmmaker” list made me pretty happy :)

  • 27 12-16-2009 at 12:34 pm

    Anna said...

    Ok, Guy, you guilted me into admitting that there are lots of good choices this year for Best Actor.

  • 28 12-16-2009 at 12:43 pm

    Nel said...

    Abbie Cornish – Yay!!! If she was to win the Chicago becomes my favourite American city
    The Toronto choices rather puzzle me they name Hunger and that QT movie (he slighted Bright Star) but then give best actor to Nick Cage, its like they want to be unique as the rest of their acting choices are pretty mundane.

  • 29 12-16-2009 at 12:49 pm

    Nel said...

    @ Nel (me!)

    I think I confused posts with the above but just noticed the Capaldi nomination so it is a double Yay for Chicago.

  • 30 12-16-2009 at 1:11 pm

    SHAAAARK said...

    Awesome. Where the Wild Things Are is a legitimately great film, and deserves better than it’s gotten. People expected a fun romp, and got a raw, intense meditation on what it means to be on the brink between childhood and adolescence. I guess I can’t blame them if they were disappointed, but what did they expect from Spike frickin’ Jonze?

  • 31 12-16-2009 at 1:23 pm

    Chase K. said...

    I think it’s undeniable that “Precious” is losing momentum. It’s box-office performance hit the wall and it now feels, to me anyways, that it’s playing second-fiddle to “Up in the Air” and “The Hurt Locker”. Of course, it will still get a boatload of nominations and is a lock to make the Final 10.

  • 32 12-16-2009 at 1:24 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    Yeah, if people thought the Dreamgirls snub was “racist”, imagine the conspiracy theories if Precious were somehow snubbed :o.

  • 33 12-16-2009 at 1:36 pm

    Travis said...

    Finally, a Natalie Portman mention!

  • 34 12-16-2009 at 9:48 pm

    Silencio said...

    Don’t let Swinton go yet. I really think enough scattered voices can slip her in contention. Let’s recall Tommy Lee Jones’ out of nowhere nomination pretty recently.

  • 35 12-17-2009 at 6:38 pm

    Me. said...

    YES!! Go Wild Things!