Circuit Round-Up (Week Ending 12/16)

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  • Aside from the 84th Annual Academy Awards™, there was no bigger week this year at The Awards Circuit than this one. Sunday began with three critics groups — Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Boston Film Critics and New York Film Critics Online — announcing their winners and runners-up for the best in Film 2012. Zero Dark Thirty continued its dominance with the critics groups, but wavering contenders like Dwight Henry and Joaquin Phoenix a hefty boost by winning “Best Supporting Actor” and “Best Actor,” respectively, from LAFCA. As this was going on, we managed to successfully debut our first-ever LIVE Power Hour Podcast. Ann Dowd, winner of the National Board of Review’s “Best Supporting Actress” award, was an utter delight as our guest and we wish her all the best in this highly competitive awards season.
  • And, of course, the BIG THREE: Broadcast Film Critics Association, Screen Actors Guild and Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Translation: Critics Choice Awards, SAG and Golden Globes! I might be a bit biased but based on the past few years, it seems as though BFCA rarely gets their nominations wrong or causes an uproar of injustice amongst the public. The same cannot be said for SAG and The Golden Globes, especially in regards to some horrific — yes, that superlative does apply — snubs and seemingly random recognitions. Was Joaquin Phoenix’s own guild punishing him for his controversial, “anti-awards” statements a few months back? Surely the snub cannot be pure coincidence. And then there is Robert De Niro missing out on a Globe nod, which is a bit head-scratching considering his performance in Silver Linings Playbook is touted as a comeback for the legendary vet. Don’t even get me started on the last-minute nominations for Nicole Kidman in The Paperboy. The last thing we need is another Iron Lady situation, i.e. an Academy darling that gets shoved right past worthier performances in far, FAR greater films. In better news, the one-two punch of nominations for Naomi Watts from SAG and HFPA leads me to believe that our favorite underrated contender may find herself in the “Best Actress” lineup come Oscar® morning. Editor-in-Chief Clayton Davis attempts to figure out the methods behind the madness of SAG and HFPA with some in-depth analysis.
  • On top of a busy week that included a luncheon with the cast of Zero Dark Thirty and the latest Sizing Up article (Original Screenplay), Joey Magidson of course set aside time to announce his DVD Pick-of-the-Week…Seth MacFarlane’s hysterical yet lovably sweet, Ted. A foul-mouthed treat that will surprisingly have you in tears by the end, Ted is the best comedy of the year and one of 2012’s most unexpected box office successes — wholly deserving, by the way! For his vintage selection in honor of Alan Cumming’s Any Day Now, Joey chooses Gus Van Sant’s Milk, a film of similar activist ilk in the fight against homophobia in America.
  • AMPAS’ Best Original Song, Best Original Score and Best Hairstyling and Makeup categories are narrowed down following some newly released shortlists. Cloud Atlas’ snub in a category it was presumed a frontrunner in may indicate an across-the-board dismissal for the polarizing film when nominations are announced in January.
  • Which two films went home this week on Academy Idol in a double elimination results show? Find out here, and be forewarned: those who admire the “out there” and “unique” might not be too thrilled with the outcome.
  • Finally, with some of the precursors now behind us or still underway, Editor-in-Chief Clayton Davis has updated the entire spectrum of Oscar Predictions. Be sure to check them out, and stay tuned for a complete list of staff predictions within the next week or two. On a sadder and more pressing note, The Awards Circuit sends our deepest sympathies and prayers to the victims of the Newtown Elementary School shootings and their families. Such evil senselessness is confounding but we must remain strong and never give up on the hope that these atrocities might one day stop. Be safe, hold your families a little tighter and we hope that these next few days get a bit easier for everyone. Thanks again.