New York film critics preempt National Board of Review this year
In a very surprising twist, the New York Film Critics Circle has announced today that it will be revealing its list of superlatives on November 28, a full two days before the National Board of Review's announcement (the group which traditionally signals the beginning of the precursor season).
A number of awards-giving bodies, from the Gotham Awards (announcing nominees tomorrow) to the Hollywood Film Awards like to consider themselves the starting gun of the precursor season, but it's really always been the National Board of Review, going on 100 years now. It's the first gauge of where things might start going, with a few quirky things thrown in here and there. We all know it's just a bunch of New York film enthusiasts and not a critics group, but nevertheless, that's just been the lay of the land.
No more. In the NYFCC announcement, chairman John Anderson says, "As the nation’s preeminent critics’ group, we are excited about kicking off the annual end-of-year discussion with our new early voting date. On the basis of the films we have seen thus far, we are looking forward to another passionate debate amongst our members."
The real question, of course, concerns films like "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "War Horse" that might not even be ready for the NYFCC's screening deadline. "The Iron Lady" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" are both still in the editing bay. The NBR has even run into this before with their early December announcement, some films missing the cut or just barely making the deadline.
The rest of the release is the usual nauseating self-propelling mumbo-jumbo. "The Circle’s awards are often viewed as harbingers of the Oscar nominations. The Circle’s awards are also viewed—perhaps more accurately—as a principled alternative to the Oscars, honoring aesthetic merit in a forum that is immune to commercial and political pressures." Etc.
The sad thing is, with language like that, it's painfully obvious the NYFCC is just looking to be a substantial part of the awards season and not just one of a number of critics groups handing out awards. It's entirely self-serving. Let's not pretend it's about honoring the highest in film accomplishment more than it is puffing yourself up in an already stuffy and crowded time of year. Alrighty? You're basically telling studios, "Finish your film now or else." It's nonsense. And with the number of confessed "film lovers" in the NYFCC's ranks, you'd have expected more.
Recent winners of the NYFCC's award for Best Picture include "The Social Network," "The Hurt Locker," "Milk," "No COuntry for Old Men" and "United 93."
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
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