Just as "Argo" had pulled it to a tie, "Zero Dark Thirty" takes another step out ahead of the critics awards haul with Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Screenplay honors from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle. Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams won awards for their performances in "The Master." Check out the full list below and, as always, you know: The Circuit.
'War Witch' does well in Canadian spotlight awards
Four of the Academy's bake-off finalists shut out
Last week the visual effects branch of the Academy held its annual bake-off. The seven films in competition were "The Amazing Spider-Man," "The Avengers," "Cloud Atlas," "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," "John Carter," "Life of Pi," "Prometheus," "Skyfall" and "Snow White and the Huntsman." Of those 10, "Cloud Atlas," "John Carter," "Skyfall" and "Snow White and the Huntsman" were shut out of today's Visual Effects Society nominations. So take that as you will for Oscar prospects.
Day-Lewis, Chastain, Hoffman and Hathaway make good again
The Online Film Critics have jumped on the increasingly-strong "Argo" bandwagon and handed the film its Best Picture prize for 2012. Paul Thomas Anderson nabbed Best Director after his film, "The Master," led the way with nominations. Philip Seymour Hoffman was also recognized for his work in the film. Daniel Day-Lewis and Jessica Chastain won top acting honors and Anne Hathaway picked up yet another prize for her performance in "Les Misérables." Check out the full list of winners below and keep track of it all at The Circuit.
'Life of Pi' newcomer Suraj Sharma is the lone male nominee
The BAFTA Rising Star Award, the one prize subjected to a public vote at the UK's answer to the Oscars, can be a frustrating business. More often than not, it pits a host of gifted young actors against one contender with a higher profile among Britain's youthful texting masses, rendering the competition a bit flat -- and the outcome often a bit iffy. Noel Clarke over Michael Fassbender? Adam Deacon over anyone? We may routinely complain about awards bodies' decisions, but it still beats hearing the people sing.
This year, however, the BAFTA jury charged with compiling the nominees appears to have safeguarded against that problem with a discerning, evenly matched shortlist of names, most of whom will be unfamiliar to multiplex crowds.
Also: Haneke out of home awards, and an Oscar for the director of 'Contraband?'
The Best Foreign Language Film race so far has proceeded with a minimum of the usual controversy: most countries' selections were met with approval, and the Academy's eventual shortlist is a credible one. Still, dissatisfaction lingers, whether it's with the overwhelmingly European slant of this year's shortlist, or the one-film-per-country rule. Mark Olsen speaks to the directors and distributors of this year's shortlisted films to get their take on the fundamentally flawed award. Jeff Lipsky, head of "Sister" distributor Adopt Films has this to say: "The category is called best foreign language film, not best foreign language film as selected by an overly politicized committee in every nation of the world." (He also describes the widespread presumption that "Amour" is going to win an "inexplicable manifest avalanche.") [LA Times]
A break from the usual tradition - should we expect some banter?
I'm not aware of this news breaking in any other format, so I guess it fell to Seth MacFarlane's Twitter feed to announce that he and Emma Stone will be announcing the nominations for the 85th Academy Awards at 5am PST on Thursday.
This marks a break from tradition in a few ways. As long I've been watching the Oscars, it has been the president of the Academy who has delivered the crack-of-dawn news, joined by a former Oscar winner or nominee. (Recently, Jennifer Lawrence, Mo'Nique, Anne Hathaway and Forest Whitaker have all had the bleary-eyed pleasure.)
Daniel Day-Lewis and Jennifer Lawrence win top acting honors
After "Lincoln" led the way with nominations from the Houston Film Critics Society last month, it was "Argo" that took the prizes for Best Picture and Best Director. Steven Spielberg's film did win Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay, while most other awards followed established canon. This is the seventh Best Film prize for "Argo" on the critics circuit so far, bringing it ever closer to the "Zero Dark Thirty" tally of eight. Check out the full list of winners below and as always, keep track of the season via The Circuit.
Michael Haneke's film also takes Best Director and Actress
The last of the major US critics' awards landed today, and the National Society of Film Critics sided with the Los Angeles crowd, handing their Best Picture award to Michael Haneke's "Amour." The French-Austrian production narrowly saw off "The Master" to the top prize, also nabbing Best Director and Best Actress for Emmanuelle Riva. Paul Thomas Anderson's film had to settle for Best Supporting Actress for Amy Adams (again echoing the LA Critics' choice), as well as the Best Cinematography prize.
Which five will be left standing from this competitive lot?
The field of documentary feature contenders this year is bursting at the seams with quality and the signs of a true golden age for the form. And this even with a number of the year's best having failed to make the finalists cut. Issues tackled are wide-ranging, artistry is apparent in a number of entries and the stories that are being shared are as powerful as ever. How do you even begin to handicap this thing?
'Central Park Five' and 'West of Memphis' included in doc nominees
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has announced its screen nominees for the year. As always, certain films were ineligible with the WGA due to signatory issues. Examples this year which could still make a play at Oscar recognition include "Amour," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," "Django Unchained," "Les Misérables" and "Seven Psychopaths." So let's get that out of the way right at the top.