Tuesday, December 11, 2012

18th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Award Nominations

After a slew of critics groups naming their best of the year earlier last week (AFI, Boston, New York, Los Angeles), it announced the late arrival of Kathryn Bigelow's every-other-award-contendor-killer, her true life military drama "Zero Dark Thirty." It is in full steam ahead as the late front-runner for Best Picture after "Argo" seemed impossible to top earlier in the fall.

Now with the arrival of this morning's 18th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, it's a nice reminder that a reputable comedy category is on its way with the Globes. With "Bernie," "Silver Linings Playbook," "Ted," "This Is 40" and "21 Jump Street" all nominated for Best Picture from the BFCA, it's a robust category and will make the Golden Globe nominations more interesting; however, they have the pesky inclusion of musical which "Les Miserables" can easily dominate.

Also a breath of fresh air is the association's inclusion of a separate action movie category where the likes of "The Dark Knight Rises," "Looper" and, most importantly, "Skyfall" can get some recognition.  The three all received nods for Best Action Movie next to superhero big-show "The Avengers." This also allowed Daniel Craig a nomination for Best Actor in an Action Movie next to co-star Judi Dench for a double-nomination in both Best Actress in an Action Movie and in the major category of Best Supporting Actress, which is a welcomed surprise along with Javier Bardem in the major Best Supporting Actor category. This is likely the most awards love "Skyfall" will receive this year.

Back to the main grind, "Lincoln" led the pack with a whopping 13 nominations, which beat out previous record-holder of "Black Swan" with 12 nominations. Yet the BFCA passed the love all around with several nominations for each major contendor. Joining "Lincoln" with a Best Picture nomination were "Argo," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Django Unchained," "Les Miserables," "Life of Pi," "The Master," "Moonrise Kingdom," "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Zero Dark Thirty." There are eight locked with "Django" and "Moonrise" slots up for grabs with the potential of "The Sessions" or "Amour" sneaking in.

Narrowing down the ten, Best Director nominations went to six: Ben Affleck for "Argo," Kathryn Bigelow for "Zero Dark Thirty," Tom Hooper for "Les Miserables," Ang Lee for "Life of Pi," David O. Russell for "Silver Linings Playbook" and Steven Spielberg for "Lincoln."

Joining front-runner Daniel Day-Lewis for "Lincoln" in the Best Actor category were Bradley Cooper for "Silver Linings Playbook," Denzel Washington for "Flight," John Hawkes for "The Sessions," Hugh Jackman for "Les Miserables" and Joaquin Phoenix for "The Master." Since this is six total, it'll likely be between Hawkes and Phoenix for the fifth spot at the Oscars.

The Best Actress category included Jessica Chastain for "Zero Dark Thirty," Marion Cotillard for "Rust and Bone," Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook," Emmanuelle Riva for "Amour," Quvenzhane Wallis for "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and Naomi Watts for "The Impossible." Take out Watts, and you're looking at the Best Actress nominees at the Oscars.

Even "The Hunger Games" nabbed some love in the form of Lawrence getting another acting nomination for Best Actress in an Action Movie. Lawrence got double-nominated for "Silver Linings" in both Best Actress and Actress in a Comedy for three acting nods total.

Best Supporting Actor is a little more interesting, especially with Javier Bardem for "Skyfall" sneaking in alongside Matthew McConaughey for "Magic Mike," Tommy Lee Jones for "Lincoln," Alan Arkin for "Argo," Robert De Niro for "Silver Linings Playbook" and Philip Seymour Hoffman for "The Master." While it's still pretty fluid who might get in (Leonardo DiCaprio for "Django" is decidedly missing), Tommy Lee Jones is the front-runner here.

Judi Dench surprised with her aforementioned Best Supporting Actress nomination for her work in "Skyfall," and joining her in the category was Helen Hunt for "The Sessions," Anne Hathaway for "Les Miserables," Amy Adams for "The Master," Sally Field for "Lincoln" and Ann Dowd for "Compliance." Again, take out Dench, and you're likely looking at this field for the Oscars.

The biggest question is whether the acting categories are locked down and prepped to snub "Skyfall" or if the mentions here will translate into Oscar love later on.

Check out the full list of nominations, and tune in to find out the winners of the 18th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 8 p.m. on the CW.

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