Saturday, December 10, 2005

Tis The Season To Be Jolly

I love December. Not only because it means christmas but because it also means it's the beginning of Awards Season. With the NBR delayed because of balloting problems, the responsibility of initiating the first critical prizes of the year lies with the Los Angeles Film Critics Assocation. The LAFCA are always viewed as one of the major critics associations, despite recently having a patchy record at matching AMPAS. Still, an indication is an indication and aren't we glad of that early pointer? Here are the winners:

Picture: Brokeback Mountain (Runner Up - A History Of Violence)
Director: Ang Lee (Runner Up - David Cronenberg)
Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman (Surprise Surprise) - (Runner Up - Heath Ledger)
Actress: Vera Farmiga - Down To The Bone (who? interesting.) - (Runner Up - Judi Dench :) )
Supporting Actor: William Hurt (Runner Up - Frank Langella)
Supporting Actress: Catherine Keener (Runner Up - Amy Adams)
Screenplay: Dan Futterman, Capote (Runner Up - Noah Baumbach, The Squid and the Whale)
Cinematography: Robert Elswit, Good Night, and Good Luck (Runner Up - 2046)
Production Design: 2046 (Runner Up - Good Night, and Good Luck)
Music: Joe Hisaishi, Howl's Moving Castle
New Generation Award: Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow
Documentary: Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man (Runner Up - Alex Gibney's Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room)
Animated Feature: Wallce + Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Foreign Film: Michael Haneke's Cache (Runner Up - 2046).

Reaction: Ok, so they went with the critical darlings thus far. It's clear that they LOVED Brokeback, two wins and one runner-up - that's probably a lock for a Best Pic nod. They LOVED A History Of Violence, giving it one win and two runners up. That cements it as a decent contender. They LOVED Capote, giving it three major wins, which gives slight hope for a pic nod, but mainly puts Hoffman as a lock and Keener as a probable, as well as a screenplay lock of course. The inclusion of Vera Farmiga in Down To The Bone (don't worry I haven't heard of her or the film either) is very very interesting, if only because we get another contender in this race. I still believe that a nomination for Farmiga is unlikely, especially as she is a total unknown and the film has only been released in New York and LA thus far. It all depends on whether she gets the hype.

Aside from the LAFCA, the big oscar hints will be given tomorrow at Boston, and especially at the announcement of the Golden Globe Nominations on Tuesday morning (1pm UK Time - live on E! (Sky Digital)). In the spirit of competition and anticipation, I will now attempt to predict the major categories. Please don't laugh at me afterwards when I get it completely wrong:

Brokeback Mountain
Goodnight, and Good Luck
King Kong

BEST PICTURE (Musical/Comedy)
The Family Stone
Mrs. Henderson Presents
Pride and Prejudice
The Producers
Walk The Line

Woody Allen (Match Point)
George Clooney (Goodnight, and Good Luck)
Stephen Frears (Mrs Henderson Presents)
Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain)
Steven Spielberg (Munich)


Eric Bana (Munich)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote)
Anthony Hopkins (The World's Fastest Indian)
Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain)
David Strathairn (Goodnight, and Good Luck)

BEST ACTOR (Musical/Comedy)

Steve Carrell (40 year-old Virgin)
Jeff Daniels (The Squid and the Whale)
Terrence Howard (Hustle and Flow)
Nathan Lane (The Producers)
Joaquin Phoenix (Walk The Line)


Joan Allen (The Upside Of Anger)
Felicity Huffman (Transamerica) Note: I'm not sure at all about whether this will be comedy/drama.
Gwyneth Paltrow (Proof)
Charlize Theron (North Country)
Naomi Watts (King Kong)


Jennifer Aniston (Rumor Has It)
Judi Dench (Mrs Henderson Presents)
Keira Knightley (Pride and Prejudice)
Sarah Jessica Parker (The Family Stone)
Reese Witherspoon (Walk The Line)


George Clooney (Syriana)
Matt Dillon (Crash)
Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man)
Bob Hoskins (Mrs Henderson Presents)
William Hurt (A History Of Violence)


Amy Adams (Junebug)
Maria Bello (A History Of Violence)
Scarlett Johansson (Match Point)
Diane Keaton (The Family Stone)
Rachel McAdams (The Family Stone)
Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain)


Brokeback Mountain (Larry McMurtry)
Capote (Dan Futterman)
The Family Stone (Thomas Bezucha)
King Kong (Phillipa Boyens, Peter Jackson)
The Squid and the Whale (Noah Baumbach)

Will be here to announce Boston tomorrow and try and update predictions accordingly. Bye.

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