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]