‘Black Swan’ leads BFCA field with a record 12 nominations

Posted by · 2:56 am · December 13th, 2010

The most striking thing about this year’s slate of BFCA nominations is that, to go by the films listed in the various categories, apparently there were only 30 or so movies released this year. And most categories were dominated by the same five films, which is disappointing, if a bit predictable.

When the organization added below-the-line categories last year, though, it was probably asking for this kind of distillation. I’m not sure a great many of the membership knows from quality sound in a motion picture, but this is their (our — I am a member) platform. You’ll see my ballot Wednesday, but it’s considerably different than this.

Anyway, “Black Swan” led the field with a record 12 nominations. “The King’s Speech” and “True Grit” weren’t far behind with 11 each. “Inception” netted 10, “The Social Network” landed nine and “127 Hours” nailed down eight. Those are clearly the favorites throughout.

Immediately noteworthy is that “The Kids Are All Right” did not receive a nomination for Best Picture. It didn’t even get a citation in the Best Comedy category where things like “Get Him to the Greek” found room. It nevertheless managed to rack up four nods (for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay and Best Acting Ensemble), but it’s pretty damning, I think, that it couldn’t slide into the top 10. It was probably nudged out by “Winter’s Bone,” which also landed four nods.

Another shocker is the unconscionable snub of Lesley Manville for Mike Leigh’s “Another Year.” Maybe she split her vote.  Whatever the case, shameful.

Most of the major categories showcase six nominations, so I guess it wasn’t hard for a film to be a “record breaker” in the nod tally. But “Black Swan” also got a mention for Mila Kunis’s supporting performance, which is interesting. It’s nice to see Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams recognized for “Blue Valentine,” while Chloe Moretz’s double dip in the Best Young Actor/Actress category is pretty nifty.

The only other somewhat unexpected nomination of note is Noomi Rapace landing a bid for Best Actress in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” Oh, and Nicole Kidman landed her record seventh nomination for the organization. (She won at the first Critics’ Choice Award for “To Die For” 15 years ago.)

The BFCA likes to constantly tout its Ocsar prognosticative prowess, for whatever reason.  Last year two films in the 10, “Invictus” and “Nine,” dropped out.  “The Blind Side” and “District 9” took their place on Oscar’s slate.  Despite eight nominations here, I’d say “127 Hours” is in a weak position because there are many who flat out refuse to watch it.  Or perhaps “Winter’s Bone” isn’t more than a critical fave.  As for what could replace, “The Kids Are All Right” makes the most sense.  Point being: surely SOMETHING will fall out, right?

I’ll leave it to you to chew on all of that here in the wee hours of the morning. Check out the full slate of nominees at The Circuit. The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards will go down on Friday, January 14, 2011.

[Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures]

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47 responses so far

  • 1 12-13-2010 at 3:17 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Best Action Film merits five slots.

    Best Foreign Language Film merits three slots, apparently. You know, because it’s not like there were a lot of worthwhile foreign-language pictures released in 2010.

    I’d ask for an explanation, but I don’t want to care that much.

    Due respect to Kris and many of the members who I know take great care over their ballots, but I hate this institution, not least because they claim the “Critics’ Choice” label when a sizable proportion of the voters aren’t critics.

  • 2 12-13-2010 at 3:17 am

    Alex in Movieland said...

    I wasn’t that crazy about Kids Are All Right, so in a way I’m smiling :P But I suspect it will replace The Town in the final Oscar line-up…

    What confuses me a bit is the Directing Oscar line-up… Fincher, Boyle, Hooper are in. Coens most likely… but the 5th?
    I find it a bit hard to say Nolan, considering they didn’t even nominate him for Dark Knight (which in my opinion was more successful that Inception, with critics AND audience, and Daldry was easy to beat back then)…

    So maybe Aronofsky… or Debra G.

  • 3 12-13-2010 at 4:01 am

    Graysmith said...

    Ugh, the uneven number of nominees in the categories are really annoying. Each category should have 5 nominees, or at the very least the same number. 3-4-5-6 nominees, give me a break, especially when having only three foreign-language films make all of BFCA seem like a bunch of amateurs who don’t watch foreign films (which is probably true, for the most part).

    The Kids Are All Right got snubbed for Picture. No idea what that’s about, but it’s a great shame and hopefully something the Academy will rectify. And John Hawkes, who it makes no sense to snub when you put the film in your Best Picture top ten.

  • 4 12-13-2010 at 4:08 am

    Graysmith said...


    Personally I think out of those six directors BFCA nominated, Boyle is going to miss out (at the Oscars) in favor of Aronofsky and a nominee line-up of Aronofsky, Coens, Fincher, Hooper and Nolan. 127 Hours just seems to have fallen away. It’s doing well but not great at the box office, and right now Black Swan is scorching the earth by comparison. Both films are very auteur, very much director’s movies.. I don’t know, I’m just not feeling Boyle over any of the other directors in the race.

    Of course, all that can change just tomorrow when the Golden Globes announce. They might outright snub Black Swan (save for Portman) and give lots of love to 127 Hours.. So who knows?

  • 5 12-13-2010 at 4:15 am

    Amy said...

    Where is Aaron Eckhart, he really should be recognised. Glad to see Kidman, though. I am hoping RH gets something from a critics’ body for Best film or ensemble just so she can get that producer nomination, lol. Come on Rabbit Hole, come on!

  • 6 12-13-2010 at 4:23 am

    half empty said...

    Purely anecdotal evidence, but….

    The most common complaint I’ve heard about Kids is the ending (without major spoilers, how a particular character is treated). Kris, this is something you mentioned in the last podcast, and it is definitely not a unique position – there are others out there for whom this torpedoes the movie. It seems like if the ending turns you off, it REALLY turns you off the whole film. At least, that has been my experience. Maybe that’s working against it? There’s a passionate base, but not a lot of support outside of the diehards?

  • 7 12-13-2010 at 4:26 am

    Alex in Movieland said...

    I haven’t seen 127 hours yet, but I imagine Direction to be the one place to really score!

    I myself also suspect Black Swan to get just one GG nomination, though it will be a winning one :)

    Nine also made the BFCA BP list last year, as they didn’t include District 9.

    shit: District 9 a Best Picture nominee… I need to shake that off everytime I remember it.
    and when you think people are now saying Black Swan is too edgy…

  • 8 12-13-2010 at 4:26 am

    Glenn said...

    Yeah, that foreign language category is a farce. Not for the film’s nominated, but for the sad sorry fact that they only found three and yet five for action film category? What a disgrace, really.

  • 9 12-13-2010 at 4:44 am

    AmericanRequiem said...

    is it just be or is black swan getting a ton of attention right now. with 10 best pictures slots its getting harder and harder to not see it make it, especially with the critics on its side, would seem like quite the snub

  • 10 12-13-2010 at 5:08 am

    Graysmith said...

    I can’t imagine the Academy going for Black Swan in such a big way as the BFCA did, but on the other hand it could surely rack up quite a few nominations if they really love it: Picture, Director, Actress, Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Costume Design and so on.

  • 11 12-13-2010 at 5:15 am

    EdwardN said...

    Hi Kris, perhaps it’s time to update your ‘Actress In A Supporting Role’ predictions on the side bar to include none other than the Australian and quiet achiever…

    Jacki Weaver
    “Animal Kingdom”

    Don’t you think it’s time considering she’s been gaining a huge awards traction recently with her AFI win amongst other major wins?

    To those living in Melbourne, Australia, here’s something to look out for. There’s a place in Docklands (inner city suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) where you see the Walk of Stars. I stumped across Jacki Weaver’s star today (it was created when she’s a relative unknown in Australia many years before Animal Kingdom) next to none other than Oscar winner Nicole Kidman. I thought to myself – ‘Wow, is it a coincident? Out of all the Aussie stars out there!’ Perhaps this is a sign of better things to come for this extraordinary woman, who’s now “quite ripe” for the picking and ready to shine in Hollywood!

  • 12 12-13-2010 at 5:21 am

    EdwardN said...

    Here’s a heads up to the next up and coming Aussie star. His name is Eddie Perfect. Watch out for his career. Just remember I told you so!


  • 13 12-13-2010 at 5:36 am

    red_wine said...

    Its difficult to imagine that 200 discerning people like you Kris and can turn in such a … (what word should I use) slate. I already know your Top 10 is exemplary but its tragic that your colleagues in the organization came up with these nominations.

    You would think young hip bloggers would come up with something kick-ass and with personality. Instead we have to leave that to the middle-aged critics at LAFCA. God damn the soul of the person who utters the name of one foreign-language film in regards to the year’s best offerings.

    There is a reason why these awards are disposable. Years later in their old age, an actress will not have consolation that she won BFCA best actress award, it’ll probably be somewhere in the attic. But a win from LAFCA will mean something because they have their own identity. Getting an award like the BFCA is nothing more than getting a lottery ticket for the big draw, the excitement of being in the hunt for the big prize is obviously there but ultimate gratification solely rests with the outcome of the lottery, the ticket is thrown away after the lottery winner is announced, regardless of whether you have won or not.

    I think we will also run out of things to discuss because when the next-in-line organization announces it nominations, we will realize we have already seen and discussed these.

    The Kids Are All Right is a bad miss alright, a film I think is better than The social Network even though I was not pleased with the ending either (though for entirely different reasons than the prevalent ones).

  • 14 12-13-2010 at 5:47 am

    tdr said...

    I am completely baffled by the lack of recognition for Bardem, save for the St. Louis nom. I really expected him to get a push here, considering that the BFCA regularly has 6-7 nominees per category. More baffling to me is that Biutiful got in for Best Foreign film and he didn’t score a nom in Best Actor.
    Anyway, just my personal frustrations. Go Black Swan!

  • 15 12-13-2010 at 5:56 am

    Maxim said...

    Red, it seems to me that one could make a case that much like the overpraised LAFCA being all unique and all, a win from them is actually more lotterylike then a win from a bigger organization. That doesn’t make one better than the other. Just makes it different.

    “The most striking thing about this year’s slate of BFCA nominations is that, to go by the films listed in the various categories, apparently there were only 30 or so movies released this year.”

    I am not sure what this is supposed to mean. Why should one make an estimate of how many films were released based on the number of films that were SINGLED OUT for a nomination?

  • 16 12-13-2010 at 5:56 am

    Chris said...

    At the risk of coming across as one of those psycho Nicole Kidman fanboys, I just wanna say that I’m so freakin’ happy everytime her name is included on these lists. She is such a fine actress. The past few years haven’t been very kind to her. Hollywood almost wrote her off after Australia. I guess its just nice to she still has what it takes to be recognised as one of the years best actress. Im happy with these nominations, and she’s already won an oscar, so I think a Best Actress nomination as recognition would be plenty. I think Natalie Portman should walk away with it this year, but I’m a huge fan of Benings as well. Either way, I’m very happy with the Best Actress race this year.

  • 17 12-13-2010 at 6:33 am

    Princess of Peace said...

    I, too, am surprised that Bardem didn’t get in here. Biutiful did – which I am happy about. But he is in every frame of the film so how can they not nominate him? Also, how are there only three foreign language films nominated. As of now, the BFCA has lost credibility.

  • 18 12-13-2010 at 6:59 am

    Rafael said...

    3 nominees for foreign film is really a shame.

  • 19 12-13-2010 at 7:00 am

    JJ1 said...

    For me, the 2 BIG snubs are:

    Lesley Manville, and no Shutter Island anywhere (Leo, techs, ensemble).


    And I second what someone said earlier, TKAAR’s impression is lessened greatly by the ending. What comes across as ‘realistic’ also comes across as assy (to the one character), and I think a lot of reactions would be, “What!? That sucks. Eh, this movie was only alright” etc.

    That said, I hope (with help of the actors) TKAAR (or Rabbit Hole or Shutter Island or Another Year or anything) kicks Winter’s Bone’s butt to the curb come Oscar time.

  • 20 12-13-2010 at 7:08 am

    Michael (Gort2) Patterson said...

    Kris, I echo your sentiment about Lesley Manville. Actually, “Another Year” would be on my ballot as one of the ten best films of the year.

  • 21 12-13-2010 at 7:15 am

    red_wine said...

    Maxim, LAFCA cares a fuck about Oscar, you can see that from their winners and runners-up (though they also went with the consensus choice for Picture/Director). Its existence is individual of the Oscars.

    While these lesser critic awards and BFCA are like leeches sucking onto a big animal, they live and die with the animal. No Oscars, none of these awards.

  • 22 12-13-2010 at 7:19 am

    Graysmith said...


    Young, hip bloggers? Much if not most of BFCA’s membership isn’t made up of bloggers, they’re people doing local radio and tv, mostly complete unknowns and ones you’d only hear of if you live where they’re on the tv or radio.

  • 23 12-13-2010 at 7:25 am

    tdr said...

    Hey, does anyone know at what time New York are announcing their winners?

  • 24 12-13-2010 at 7:26 am

    RyanT said...

    Weird the absence of Scott Pilgrim. It got an 80 from them. Couldn’t even throw one nomination its way? Odd.

  • 25 12-13-2010 at 7:26 am

    Michael said...

    I guess I am in the minority here, but I am kinda happy about most of these nominations. Mostly b/c my second favorite film (behind Enter the Void of course) led the way with the most nominations. I am bummed about the snubs for Lesley Manville and John Hawkes, and then the lineup for Best Foreign Language film is kinda lame, but beyond that I am pretty happy about the nominees. I sometimes with some of the categories at the Oscars could be extended to 6 slots, b/c sometimes there really are 6 films that deserve nominations.

  • 26 12-13-2010 at 7:29 am

    JJ1 said...

    2 more things:

    Black Swan has a great, but not incredible BFCA of 89 (last I looked), yet got a record 12 nominations. Is that an idicator that while some hate it, it is wildy loved at large, hence the 12 nominations? And would AMPAS be similar?

    Also, just saw Exit Through the Gift Shop. Wow. Facinating. Fascinating how much I can’t stand Street Art or Mr. Brainwash, and yet …… the documentary is so damned voyeuristic that I couldn’t help but be won-over by the lunacy of it all, the egos, everything I saw, how people act, and what everyone was saying. Haha. Good times.

  • 27 12-13-2010 at 7:30 am

    JJ1 said...

    And Kris, any idea why the random 3 and 4 noms in certain categories?

  • 28 12-13-2010 at 7:35 am

    Maxim said...

    Red, what does LAFCA not caring about Oscars (and let’s not pretend like they never matched up with Oscars in the years past either) have to do with anything? Does that automatically mean they are right? No, it’s still very subjective. So, as far as I’m concerned best you can do as to look at the individual winners, and, frankly, my milage with both LAFCA and others varies year to year.

    “While these lesser critic awards and BFCA are like leeches sucking onto a big animal, they live and die with the animal. No Oscars, none of these awards.”

    Red, you are awfully misguided in your comments.
    You make it sound as if these people are being paid to match up with an awards body… which is even yet to declare its nominees. And yes, there is a bit of wiggle room in there.

    And I don’t really find it that strange that certain, well liked films continue to be well liked. That’s what what being well liked means. Sorry to go all David Mamet on ya ;) .

    Like I said, to me it’s not how close the picks are across the board but how good they are.

    It’s a mixed bag.

  • 29 12-13-2010 at 7:42 am

    Maxim said...

    I will say one thing though, I cannot stand it when some backwoods society for studying of moving pixels thinks it can put out a worst of the year list. It is always political and serves nothing else but to demostrate how biased/neurotic these people tend to be. Those lists should be a no-no.

  • 30 12-13-2010 at 8:14 am

    cineJAB said...

    I know BFCA tends to want to be a precursor more than they actually are a precursor…but this has to bode well for Black Swan.

  • 31 12-13-2010 at 8:15 am

    Ryan Hoffman said...

    I think we are starting to see that “The Kids Are All Right” is not strong (and especially not a top fiver like Kris thinks) and now you have these groups to look at and you see that this thing has little support relative to its competitors:

    BFCA: Ignored in Best Picture Noms, 4 nominations total (far outpaced by the likes of TKS, Black Swan, Inception, True Grit, and The Social Network

    Nat. Board of Review: Completely Ignored


    NYFCO: Ensemble Win

    Satellite: BP Comedy Nom, Director Nom (10), 2 Actress

    Indie Spirit: BP, Director, Actress, Supporting Actor, Screenplay Noms

    Boston FC: Ignored

    Detroit FS: Ignored in Best Pic Noms, only Supp. Actor and Ensemble Noms

    Houston FCS: BP Nom, 4 noms total

    Indiana FJA: Ignored

    St. Louis FCA: Ignored

    Washington DC AFCA: Ignored in BP, 2 noms

    Gotham’s: BP Nom, Ensemble Nom

    Hollywood FA: Actress Win

    Now, I’m not saying that the likes of the Detroit FS are great Oscar predictors, but take all of these together, and I believe that you see a trend starting.

  • 32 12-13-2010 at 8:36 am

    Chris138 said...

    I get a feeling Darren Aronofsky is going to get a directing nod. I’ll feel more sure of this when I see the DGA nominations next month.

    Also glad to see Mila Kunis recognized for her work in Black Swan. She was terrific.

  • 33 12-13-2010 at 8:38 am

    JJ1 said...

    Kris, how much do SAG, DGA, PGA, WGA care about what gets critics awards/noms?

    I know people say that they steer opinions. Is that true (partly, mostly, not at all)?

  • 34 12-13-2010 at 8:52 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Ryan: That’s cute and all, but critics don’t vote for Oscars, so it’s ultimately somewhat meaningless to put so much on that list. When it starts to nail down WGA and SAG noms, those are the areas to be taken seriously.

  • 35 12-13-2010 at 9:09 am

    The Other James D. said...

    The Kids Are All Right is replaceable. I like it, but I’m willing to see it ousted to make room for Winter’s Bone for the Sundance slot or whatever.

    I love most of these nominations, particularly: Gosling, Williams, Kunis, Garfield, Renner, Rockwell, and so forth. Manville was a snub, but maybe also indicative that a lead campaign is not wise?

  • 36 12-13-2010 at 9:32 am

    Maxim said...

    And yet, Tapley, isn’t it the same non-voting critics that made you want to re-instate Black Swan into your BP & BD list?

    A grain of salt, I know.

  • 37 12-13-2010 at 9:41 am

    Graysmith said...

    Let’s hold off on predicting the end of the world for The Kids Are All Right until at the very least tomorrow. It’s in the comedy category at the Golden Globes, and given how weak a year it’s been for comedy it’s a shoe-in.. Pic, Actress, Supporting Actor, maybe Screenplay even, and perhaps Actress x 2.

  • 38 12-13-2010 at 9:43 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Maxim: No, it’s not, actually.

  • 39 12-13-2010 at 9:45 am

    Maxim said...

    Bet on it, Gray, I can see for miles and” The Kids are Alright” will be The Who’s who at the Globes, so it’s safe to say, I think that it would all make for a very Happy Jack indeed.

  • 40 12-13-2010 at 9:48 am

    Maxim said...

    What is it then, Kris? A general sense of momentum or something more substantial?

  • 41 12-13-2010 at 9:51 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    It’s very much in the industry conversation right now. Box office has a lot to do with that but critics are helping to drive it and I talk to new people every day who saw it and loved it. I’m still slightly ambivalent, but it’s doing a lot of things right at the moment.

  • 42 12-13-2010 at 10:00 am

    Maxim said...

    It’s intetesting how the things you’ve listed tend to feed on each other. Even as there doesn’t seem to be a clear formula for a surefire success.

  • 43 12-13-2010 at 10:04 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Always in flux, a constantly shifting situation. I made the mistake int he early days of thinking it could be pegged down. Now it’s just all about letting the waves carry you, and maybe having the foresight to see that this or that will benefit from this or that.

  • 44 12-13-2010 at 10:58 am

    Ryan Hoffman said...

    Well of course the NYFC had to shut me up. I’m surprised NY responded to it considering the way LAFCA completely ignored it. Would you have expected that?

  • 45 12-13-2010 at 12:08 pm

    Paul Outlaw said...


    Four out of six are Boston metro area settings/characters…

  • 46 12-13-2010 at 12:09 pm

    Paul Outlaw said...

    That would be the Best Supporting Actor nominee list that I was referring to in an unsuccessful copy/paste.