New York Flm Critics Awards

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Damien
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Postby Damien » Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:33 pm

Big Magilla wrote:"Why a nomination for Mark Ruffalo?," marvels THR's source. "I don't think he'll ever be a mainstream movie star."

And there in a nutshell is what's wrong with the NY Film Critics and most other groups. What the hell difference does it make if he's going to be "mainstream." It shows that at least some of the people voting are just thinking about influencing the Oscars rather than deciding who and what might constitute the "best. Thank goodness the LA film critics clearly don't think that way.
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Postby Big Magilla » Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:42 pm

That didn't take long.

From the Hollywood Reporter:

Everyone knew the New York Film Critics Circle would follow in the footsteps of the L.A., Boston, Indiana, D.C., Southeastern and AFI film critics by showering honors on The Social Network, which won best picture and director from NYFCC on Monday.

"Social Network got a lot of support," says a source close to the NYFCC action, "but the big surprise was how well The Kids Are All Right did, even in the supporting actor categories."

Word on the street was that the most influential critics' group was likely to disdain indie director Lisa Cholodenko's successful attempt to go mainstream with Kids, and I personally would have bet $1,000 that even if Social Network won nothing else, Aaron Sorkin's preternaturally articulate screenplay would win at NYFCC, as it has in other awards competitions. It's quicker than Preston Sturges and The Front Page put together -- and David Fincher's directing note was precisely the same one George Lucas kept uttering on the original Star Wars: "Faster!"

But remarkably, NYFCC gave Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg best screenplay for Kids. How did that upset happen? The Second Ballot Gambit, says THR's source. "There are three ballots. On the second ballot, you list your top three choices. You can diss your rival by leaving them entirely off the list."

This tactic was used by at least one voter specifically to help screw Christian Bale out of a supporting actor nom. But the pro-Kids contingent was so passionate that they wangled not only the best screenplay and less-controversial best actress award for Annette Bening, but an almost completely unexpected best supporting actor win for Mark Ruffalo.

"Why a nomination for Mark Ruffalo?," marvels THR's source. "I don't think he'll ever be a mainstream movie star. But there's a mellow indie vibe to him that critics like."

"Social Network probably had broader, slightly shallower support," says the source. The kids who liked Kids, especially the screenplay, were more like an intellectual SWAT team. "They were really, really into it."

Despite the passionate intensity of Black Swan and its fans, all the film could manage was a best cinematography win for Matthew Libatique, who also won a New York Film Critics Circle Online award and a Broadcast Film Critics' Association nom this week. Libatique creeped me out way more than 127 Hours did.

NYFCC didn't feel the heat, however. "Black Swan didn't get that kind of support [that Kids did]," says the source. "It got tepid support."

There was a cliffhanger in the documentary voting, which wound up honoring Inside Job as best non-fiction film. "That took a long time. Exit Through the Gift Shop is much more artful. It's got vision, humor, a twist. Inside Job could be a TV special. A magazine article with talking heads. But I guess people wanted to send a message." Unfortunately, the people on Wall Street who need to hear that film's message are about as reachable and teachable as Kim Jong-il.

Whoever should have won the non-fiction prize, Exit's loss represents a missed opportunity for a potentially dramatic appearance of Banksy, the hooded director/hero of Exit, at the Jan. 10 NYFCC gala dinner at Crimson in New York. "Maybe Banksy will prank the awards, or send us a video message." Though Banksy famously avoids showing his face, like a superhero preserving a secret identity, he is not averse to fame. "He's not J.D. Salinger. He's hardly a recluse." Our source thinks it would've been more fun if Banksy had won and done some mischief, "rather than someone coming up and saying, 'Thanks.' " Maybe Inside Job director Charles Ferguson should plan on doing something more dramatic, like bringing one of those expense-account hookers from Wall Street who costar in his film.

What's the bottom line on NYFCC's choice to honor The Social Network and The Kids Are All Right? "They're two movies about current trends," says our source. "Things in the news."
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Postby Big Magilla » Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:35 pm

Reza wrote:Don't these critics announce who came second in each category?

No, they never have, but in the past attendees spilled the beans on their own. Wait and see, someone will say something soon.




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Postby Reza » Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:01 pm

Don't these critics announce who came second in each category?

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Postby Sabin » Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:13 pm

(Eric @ Dec. 13 2010,6:05)
(Sabin @ Dec. 13 2010,5:47)
It's as though the film is disgusted by him.

It just doesn't like him as much as you, apparently.

I want to revise my statement a little. Before Bening's discovery, The Kids Are All Right is a good sitcom. It's a bit arrhythmic, and, if the storylines with the children were not truncated in post, they certainly were conceived anemically. After Bening's discovery, it reveals itself as a bad after school special. The fact that this happens to coincide with the departure of the film's charming lothario doesn't help my case as viewing it through the prism of a heterosexual male. I don't disagree with your beat-by-beat of his departing scene, but everything following the scene of Bening's discovery (save for how she confronts Moore) feels clunky in every conceivable way. If the film believes the AB and C as you and a few on this board have mentioned, it has a funny way of showing it, eg sucking until the final shot.
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Postby Eric » Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:05 pm

Sabin wrote:It's as though the film is disgusted by him.

It just doesn't like him as much as you, apparently.

All kidding aside, he is, in the end, just a sperm donor, and if the movie makes him look bad at the moment of apology, it's probably because he, as a character, has never had to apologize on this level ever before, and thus he turns out to be pretty bad at it (i.e. looking at Laser through the window and shrugging his shoulders: "Can you believe your moms right now?"). You may find it an unfair portrayal, but I'd say it just about hits the mark for what someone of his demeanor might be expected to do in this situation. And he doesn't get a denouement in this story because he blew it.

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Postby Greg » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:58 pm

ITALIANO wrote:. . . the fast-talking, one-brilliant-line-a-minute students of Fincher's movie may be terrifying to me. . .

I think this is a huge overreaction. I can understand your being annoyed, but terrified?
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Postby Sabin » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:47 pm

(OscarGuy @ Dec. 13 2010,5:33)
Sabin, I don't think I agree with your assessment of the treatment of Ruffalo's character. Had he been intended to be just a fall guy, I don't think we would have seen him so vulnerable and human. His guilt at letting his libido take control and ruin everything he had possible is summed up nicely in his vain attempt to seek forgiveness from those he hurt at the end of the film.

Every single person in the film gets to move on, or continue their journey beyond that fight and he doesn't. He's trapped in a moment of solitary blame. That's not the film that Cholodenko set up at the beginning, and it's not satisfying at the end. This is compounded further by how clunky it is for her to move from scene to scene.

(OscarGuy @ Dec. 13 2010,5:33)
I would say from that perspective, it is Bening who is unforgiving. Yes, I would have liked more resolution for Ruffalo's character and feel he deserved more, but I don't think he was considered a louse or treated like shoe-sole scum to the extent you seem to.

I mean, you're more than welcome to disagree. I know people for whom this doesn't bother them. I think that Cholodenko stages three leads: Bening, the harsh, cold, and justified; Moore, the indecisive, warm, and exploratory; and Ruffalo, who finds something in his life he never knew that was lacking and screwed up. These are all very human people within the confines of a sitcom, and that Ruffalo is promptly excised from the film with a stretch to go treats him like a louse after the fact. No, you are only good for sperm. The truth is, he may not have much of a role in their lives, but it creates a sense of whiplash for the family to only facilitate reconciliation once he is banished, not even to be seen by himself as the family continues. It's as though the film is disgusted by him.
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Postby OscarGuy » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:33 pm

Sabin, I don't think I agree with your assessment of the treatment of Ruffalo's character. Had he been intended to be just a fall guy, I don't think we would have seen him so vulnerable and human. His guilt at letting his libido take control and ruin everything he had possible is summed up nicely in his vain attempt to seek forgiveness from those he hurt at the end of the film. I would say from that perspective, it is Bening who is unforgiving. Yes, I would have liked more resolution for Ruffalo's character and feel he deserved more, but I don't think he was considered a louse or treated like shoe-sole scum to the extent you seem to.
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Postby Hustler » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:24 pm

ITALIANO wrote:And these are the intellectual, provocative New York critics..? Even the Academy may prove more revolutionary.

Also, I mean, how many movies are produced every year in the US? More than five or six I suppose. And is it possible that every single group has declared the SAME movie as the best of the year? (Not to mention the fact that this same movie is something like The Social Network). I live in a divisive country and I know that it's not a very good thing, but I'm not sure that this obsessive total agreement is a much better cultural aspect.

I couldn´t agree more! It´s really surprising how the critics associations this year have decided to award commercial and previsible films. Do we have to accept that there is lack of artistic and interesting movies in the annual summary?

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Postby ITALIANO » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:03 pm

I don't know... I mean, I see things from a country where The Social Network was liked by some critics, disliked by others, and vanished from cinemas after only two weeks. So it IS possible to have doubts about this movie - it's not true that it has been universally praised. I realize that, since I don't live in the US, mine isn't the best perspective to judge the Oscar race - though it may not be completely wrong either, for other reasons (and it has helped me with my predictions in the past). Seeing things from a distance can be good sometimes.

Yes, I know that if all these groups seem to agree that The Social Network is the best film of the year it means that their members individually loved it - that this mirrors the fact that most American critics think that this is a great movie. But I hope that it's still my right to be surprised, and not positively surprised. Because The Social Network isn't a great movie, and there have been lots of much better movies made in America since Schindler's List (I think most here will agree with me on this). And my surprise is genuine - I'm truly interested: how can this happen? This kind of compact, absolute critical consensus is rare, and it would always make me a bit skeptical, even if it were, say, on an Orson Welles movie - but when the so-called masterpiece is The Social Network I wonder if the problem is with American cinema or with American film criticism. Because there must be a problem.

But this doesn't have anything to do with The Social Network's chances at the Oscar. Which are, at this point, undeniably strong. Yes, Brokeback Mountain started like this and at the end suddenly failed. But it failed for reasons that had more to do with its content - the fast-talking, one-brilliant-line-a-minute students of Fincher's movie may be terrifying to me, but they will certainly prove less threatening than Ang Lee's gay cowboys to the Academy. And also, there seems to be no alternative, at least till now. The King's Speech? The Kids Are All Right? Mmm.

The only hope - I know, Americans love it, so I should say "my only hope" - and it's not a completely groundless one, is that, unlike film critics, the (generally not too young) members of the Academy will find no connection at all with the world of internet, of Facebook, of its creators. That could lead to a big surprise on Oscar night - but then they could always honor an even less interesting movie.

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Postby Sabin » Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:59 pm

Yes. And she has a right to be incredibly pissed at both of them. But Cholodenko's thesis re: the role of a sperm donor within the lives of his...donations. His last moment in the film is one of rejection, hurling a motorcycle helmet at his bike, defeated, helmet mid-air. Everyone else gets to continue their lives. Cholodenko denies him a life to return to. This is my problem. For a humanist film, he is seen as inhuman. And he's not. He's a louse, a slacker, a likable fellow, but a womanizer, and an unconscious one. He only halfway deserves responsibility for initiating things with Julianne Moore, but for a film of humanism (and the film has several PLEASE UNDERSTAND US! monologues), his human desires are viewed as that of a disease, and I find that beneath the fairly accomplished film.
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Postby rolotomasi99 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:57 pm

Mister Tee wrote:There is no plane of earth where Up in the Air dominated the critics last year. The Hurt Locker's march to best picture despite its commercial failure was clearly a result of its sweeping the three old-time critics' groups' top award.


UP IN THE AIR won Best Film and/or Director, Screenplay, and at least one acting award from at least 8 major critics groups including the National Board of Review and the Washington DC critics. Now I know those groups do not carry the same weight as the holy trinity THE HURT LOCKER won, but it still seemed like quite a few critics were lining up behind a pretty bland movie.

Mister Tee wrote:You didn't like The Social Network.


I can see why you think that, but on IMDB I gave three films from 2010 eight stars: SHUTTER ISLAND, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, and THE SOCIAL NETWORK. I gave three films nine stars TOY STORY 3, BLACK SWAN, and INCEPTION. Those nine star films may be lowered upon reflection, but that was first reaction to seeing them. I gave no films ten stars this year. I liked THE SOCIAL NETWORK. I just thought it was rather bland.

Mister Tee wrote:You're convinced David Fincher fucked it up. You'd have preferred a movie more like Charlie Wilson's War.


I do not think David Fincher fucked up the movie, I just think he was the wrong person for the job. I also think he was the wrong person for THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON. I think he was absolutely the right person for ZODIAC (his best movie and one of the best of the decade). I also think he was perfect for FIGHT CLUB.

Also, it is not that I wanted another CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR (though I do like that movie), it is that I think Sorkin wrote another CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR. I absolutely stand by my feeling that the screenplay and directing for THE SOCIAL NETWORK were pulling it in different directions. Even here we disagree about the tone of the film. Sonic and Okri refer to it as a comedy, but Damien has no idea what they are talking about. Sorkin wrote a comedy, but Fincher directed a legal thriller. I preferred Sorkin’s film to Fincher’s film.

Mister Tee wrote:Given the worldwide acclaim Social Network has received, I'd say this puts you in a fairly tiny clique.


THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON made more than $300 m worldwide and THE SOCIAL NETWORK will probably make more than $200 m. ZODIAC made $84 m. Believe me, I am used to being in the minority when it comes to my taste in films. I hate living in a world where ZODIAC is Fincher’s lowest grossing film and THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON is his biggest moneymaker and first Oscar nomination. It sucks, but I have accepted it. I just never thought the folks here would be fine with how boring Fincher has become. After moving past his music video roots, I thought he was going to make the leap to great director. FIGHT CLUB was my first hint of that, but ZODIAC had me convinced the transformation was complete. My mistake.

Mister Tee wrote:And thinking Lisa Cholodenko was a more deserving director this year than Fincher...well, enjoy life in that bubble.


Not to start a fight from earlier this year back up again, but it all depends on what you define the job of a director as. I say the director is the conductor, tasked with finding the right tone for the film based on what the script tells you. I was not impressed with THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT screenplay, but I thought Cholodenko found the right beats to the movie. All of my favorite moments in the film (Benning’s realization of betrayal and the daughters frantic search for her family in the dorms) were silent moments. I felt like Cholodenko nailed those scenes perfectly. Fincher…well, I have made it clear that I feel the entire success of the film is the screenplay, with the music supporting the non-dialogue parts.

Mister Tee wrote:Please stop trying to dress it up as some declaration of principle.


My principle is that artsy films rule, mainstream films drool. Simplistic I know (and there are certainly exceptions to that rule), but I never thought all these critics would champion something so bland. Not bad, Mister Tee, just bland.
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Postby Eric » Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:45 pm

Sabin, likable or not, he slept with a married woman. I think the spouse has a right to be a little bit pissed off about it.



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Postby Sabin » Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:16 pm

(rolotomasi99 @ Dec. 13 2010,2:04)
Speaking of directing, it sure seemed like Cholodenko was a much better fit for her film as a director than Fincher was for his. Very strange.

Why? She's as much as a judgmental, angry lesbian as Annette Bening's character?

It is beyond Lisa Cholodenko's worldview to AS A DIRECTOR watch her film unfold with such a likable character as Mark Ruffalo's and spread the guilt to Julianne Moore's character, and give him a modicum of the understanding given to her other characters. He is an infection to be fought off. The film is atonal and clunky, with some lovely moments here and there. As far as I'm concerned, [in the final stretch] she keeps it off course. It's a very well-acted film, so I'm happy for Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo, and I certainly hope Julianne Moore is nominated for Best Lead Actress, but no film with as bad a third act as this film's deserves a Best Screenplay Award. And I'll extend that frustration to The Social Network as well.




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