Oscar Circuit: What Happened Today?

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What happened to 'The Descendants?'

They bitched, they moaned, and after all this about David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo not being screened in time, the New York Film Critics ignore the film completely.  The big win of the day was Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist which landed a Picture and Director win respectively.  I felt when I first saw the film that it would be a Sideways-type of affection among critics throughout the season but then Alexander Payne’s The Descendants swooped in and started gaining a lot of momentum.  The film, which garnered three four-star reviews from our own writers here at the site, was looking signed, sealed, and delivered for some true awards attention.  Clooney even failed to get a mention today and he’s one of the best things to come out of an actor’s performance this year.

Brad Pitt might have catapulted himself to forefront of the Best Actor race for a combined win for Moneyball and The Tree of Life.  Though the latter is being campaigned Supporting, he may have the effect of “let’s reward him already” working in his favor.  The big surprise was Meryl Streep winning her record 5th NYFCC award for Best Actress for Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady.  Is Meryl a real threat or is it going to be déjà vu when she wins a butt load of awards and ultimately loses to someone else.  My heart fills with joy at the sight of Jessica Chastain being named Best Supporting Actress for her works in The Tree of Life, Take Shelter, and The Help.  While this could be a sign of bad things to come because of the combined notices, rather than a commitment to one film, I think eventually we’ll see some commitment on other’s critics and guilds.

Is Albert Brooks really a threat for Christopher Plummer?  While the film itself remains on critical life support in my opinion, Brooks still remains in talks and could very well land himself his overdue Oscar.  I don’t think Drive is a bad film by any means, and is completely worthy of awards consideration, I just don’t see AMPAS going for it.  There simply not THAT cool…yet.  He’ll have to carry the torch.

Moneyball did surprisingly well garnering a Screenplay win for Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian but I have to point out something.  Stan Chervin, who brought the story to the studio and wrote the first draft that Brad Pitt read that got him on board, is not listed.  It’s sad to see someone being given the shaft behind two big names.  He deserves his notices.  I’ll give it to him here.  Great job Mr. Chervin

The Independent Spirit Awards named their nominees today for their award show and Clooney missed a Best Actor citation.

Things I Love:

  1. Demian Bichir for Best Actor for A Better Life
  2. Ryan Gosling for Best Actor for Drive.
  3. Corey Stoll for Best Supporting Actor for Midnight in Paris
  4. Shailene Woodley for Supporting Actress for The Descendants
  5. Martha Marcy May Marlene for Best First Feature

Big Boosts: The Tree of Life and Moneyball
Big Hurts: The Descendants and Midnight in Paris

Next up…The National Board of Review on Thursday