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Washington D.C. Film Critics Winners

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Like I said, before: early and without warning. Well, the winners were a bit more dispersed and shared than I had imagined. “The Artist” and “The Descendants” were the leaders with two wins apiece, with the former taking down Best Picture. Scorsese made a somewhat surprising takedown of Best Director. I must say that this is the first time in my prognosticating career that I’m disappointed about my fourth favorite director receiving accolades.

George Clooney and Albert Brooks each earn their second wins of the season, respectively. Meanwhile, Michelle Williams and Octavia Spencer each grab the first of probably many, especially for the latter. Spencer’s performance is the very definition of a standout and I hope those honors keep rolling in for her.

The most notable mention here, I have to say, is “50/50” taking down another Best Original Screenplay award. At first, I thought it was just the NBR being the NBR. But for the film to keep beating out such heavy competition as “The Artist” and “Midnight in Paris” (I mean we’re talking about Woody Allen, here, for probably his most popular film since “Crimes and Misdemeanors”), it might be moving up in the field. It’s enough for it to slide into my current predictions and make me regret not catching it in theaters. We’ll see. The proverbial night is young.

Here’s the full list of winners:

Best Picture: “The Artist”

Best Director: Martin Scorsese – “Hugo”

Best Actor: George Clooney – “The Descendants”

Best Actress: Michelle Williams – “My Week with Marilyn”

Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks – “Drive”

Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer – “The Help”

Best Adapted Screenplay: “The Descendants”

Best Original Screenplay: “50/50”

Best Art Direction: “Hugo”

Best Cinematography: “The Tree of Life”

Best Score: “The Artist”

Best Animated Feature: “Rango”

Best Documentary Feature: “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”

Best Foreign Language Film: “The Skin I Live In”

Washington D.C. Film Critics Announce Nominees

December 3, 2011 Leave a comment

I had a feeling that these guys were going to stick their heads up this week. They have a tendency of announcing early and without warning. While the results of their voting is apparently still being tallied and the winners will be announced on Monday, we can take a look at the nominees right now.

Well, there’s not much question as far as what film will likely go all the way here, and that is the emerging critical darling “The Artist.” The film received eight nominations, practically in every category that it was eligible. “Hugo” comes in second with six nominations, continuing to baffle me. I’m sure that I’m going to be saying that a lot this awards season.

The overrated, but still exceptionally cool, “Drive” picked up four nominations, including one for it’s phenomenal director Nicholas Wending Refn. “The Descendants” also continued its string of love with five nominations. Octavia Spencer receives her first of what I’m sure will be a long string of nominations for her work in “The Help,” likewise for Viola Davis. I personally wouldn’t mind seeing both of those ladies with gold in their hands come Oscar night.

A surprisingly absent film from these nods is a little title about a war and a horse. Not sure if you’ve heard of it. For a critics group that largely trends towards the Oscars, it’s highly unusual to find Mr. Spielberg’s latest largely vacant from these nominations. True it picked up a few tech nods, yet this film is believed by many to potentially be the nomination leader next month. One can’t say that the group has a beef with the director, either, for they were the first and one of the only to award “Munich” Best Picture back in 2005.

The big story here is Tom McCarthy’s “Win Win” picking up a nomination for Best Picture, beating out the above mentioned “War Horse” and a number of others. Quite a coup for this little delight of a film. Yet, as intriguing as this nomination is, I doubt it will pan out much for the rest of the year, at least in terms of Best Picture. However, a screenplay nomination for McCarthy is becoming more and more likely.

Some underdog victories abound here that are worth mentioning. Michael Shannon asserts himself as a certifiable contender, getting a nod for his fantastic work in “Take Shelter.” It’s also very refreshing to see Andy Serkis get his first and hopefully not last nomination as a motion captured ape in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” His is certainly the most interesting campaign of the season, and if it succeeds, it will make Oscar history. While I despise the precedent that it will set, I admit that I can’t help feeling proud of Andy Serkis. If it’s going to happen, it should happen to him. From Gollum, to Kong, and now Ceasar, the man has truly put his heart and soul into his work and has ultimately changed the face of cinema in a lot of ways.

Hands down, my favorite pick of the evening has got to be Melissa McCarthy for “Bridesmaids.” A good movie that this lady really took to another level with her incredible comedic skills. Her performance, if it continues down this track, could end up being one of the funnest nominations since Robert Downey Jr. in “Tropic Thunder.” Kudos to the WAFCA for getting the ball rolling, there.

Check out the full list of nominations after the cut:

Best Film
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“Drive”
“Hugo”
“Win Win”

Read more…