Are you a fan of In Contention?
Sign up to get the latest updates instantly.
Hey, have you heard the news? Apparently, in a last-minute schedule change, the Academy has moved the Oscar ceremony up to tomorrow. Critics' groups, as a result, have gone into panic mode, desperately flinging out awards announcements today in the hope of remaining relevant to the Oscar race. That's my theory, anyway. Seriously, what's wrong with the other six days of the week?
Anyway, after Los Angeles, Boston and the New York Online crowd had their say (with San Francisco still to come this afternoon, I gather), the Detroit critics' nominations aren't exactly the biggest news. Indeed, one could argue that nominees are an unnecessary indulgence for smaller critics' groups. But it's hard to complain when it allows for some unusual suspects to show up, and such is the case with the Motor City's list, which is unexpectedly topped by Jeff Nichols' disquieting indie hybrid "Take Shelter."
Nichols' film leads with six nods, and is an odd one out in a Best Picture lineup otherwise heavy on established critical favorites. Nichols also snags a Best Director bid, which puts him ahead of Alexander Payne, the only helmer of a Best Pic nominee missing in the category -- in favor of, in another pleasingly offbeat pick, Nicolas Winding Refn for "Drive."
Indeed, they liked "Drive" so much they also nominated Ryan Gosling for -- oh wait, that's the Supporting Actor category Gosling appears in, for "Crazy, Stupid, Love." The other left-of-center choice in the acting categories is a Best Actress mention for Felicity Jones in "Like Crazy," who somehow has a higher precursor tally than Elizabeth Olsen at this stage, though they both appear in the Breakthrough category.
Also interesting is that they're the first precursor I'm aware of to go out on a limb and pick one Jessica Chastain performance in the Supporting Actress category. Given their overall enthusiasm for "Take Shelter" (and her very fine performance in it), it's no surprise they've gone with her work there, though she's mentioned for multiple films in the Breakthrough field.
Anyway, vive la différence. The full list:
"The Tree of Life"
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Terrence Malick, "The Tree of Life"
Jeff Nichols, "Take Shelter"
Nicolas Winding Refn, "Drive"
Martin Scorsese, "Hugo"
George Clooney, "The Descendants"
Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
Michael Fassbender, "Shame"
Brad Pitt, "Moneyball"
Michael Shannon, "Take Shelter"
Viola Davis, "The Help"
Felicity Jones, "Like Crazy"
Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Charlize Theron, "Young Adult"
Michelle Williams, "My Week with Marilyn"
Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, "My Week with Marilyn"
Albert Brooks, "Drive"
Ryan Gosling, "Crazy, Stupid, Love"
Patton Oswalt, "Young Adult"
Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"
Best Supporting Actress
Bérénice Bejo, "The Artist"
Jessica Chastain, "Take Shelter"
Carey Mulligan, "Shame"
Vanessa Redgrave, "Coriolanus"
Octavia Spencer, "The Help"
"Crazy, Stupid, Love"
Jessica Chastain, "The Help," "Take Shelter" and "The Tree of Life"
Felicity Jones, "Like Crazy"
Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"
Elizabeth Olsen, "Martha Marcy May Marlene"
Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants"
"Into the Abyss"
"We Were Here"
For more views on movies, awards season and other pursuits, follow @GuyLodge on Twitter.
Everything: Academy Awards
Latest news, photos, reviews, interviews, videos and more.