Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' Cannes Review: Todd Haynes' 'Carol' Starring Cate Blanchett & Rooney Mara Cannes Review: Todd Haynes' 'Carol' Starring Cate Blanchett & Rooney Mara Cannes Review: Gus Van Sant's 'The Sea Of Trees' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe & Naomi Watts Cannes Review: Gus Van Sant's 'The Sea Of Trees' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe & Naomi Watts Cannes Review: Woody Allen's 'Irrational Man' Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone And Parker Posey Cannes Review: Woody Allen's 'Irrational Man' Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone And Parker Posey Simon Pegg Reveals Daniel Craig's Role In 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Simon Pegg Reveals Daniel Craig's Role In 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Cannes Review: Yorgos Lanthimos' Outstanding 'The Lobster' Starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz & John C Reilly Cannes Review: Yorgos Lanthimos' Outstanding 'The Lobster' Starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz & John C Reilly Watch: Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard In The Intense First Clip For ‘Macbeth’ Watch: Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard In The Intense First Clip For ‘Macbeth’ George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Oscars: 'Zero Dark Thirty' Isn't The Frontrunner Yet & More Observations After The NYFCC & NBR Awards

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist December 6, 2012 at 9:59AM

Are you a fan of hearing that people have won things? Then you're in luck, because between now and the end of February, you'll struggle to go 24 hours without some kind of awards news. After the Gothams and the Independent Spirit nominations last week, the first major salvos of the awards season were fired this week, with the New York Film Critics' Circle giving out their prizes on Monday, and the National Board of Review awarding theirs yesterday.
3
Oscars NBR NYFCC

Are you a fan of hearing that people have won things? Then you're in luck, because between now and the end of February, you'll struggle to go 24 hours without some kind of awards news. After the Gothams and the Independent Spirit nominations last week, the first major salvos of the awards season were fired this week, with the New York Film Critics' Circle giving out their prizes on Monday, and the National Board of Review awarding theirs yesterday.

Neither are necessarily the most reliable of prognosticators -- like all critic's groups, NYFCC can lean artier or more esoteric than the Academy, while the NBR, like the Golden Globes, are mostly intended to seek attention and to rub shoulders with movie stars. But it does indicate a certain amount about where things are heading at this stage, with Oscar ballots two weeks away from going out, and most of this year's films out in the marketplace, or close to it. Below are the most crucial things we've learned from the awards so far.

Amour
1. It's going to be a broad, diverse field.
It took the NYFCC five hours to get through their voting this year, against three last year, and generally less in prior years. This suggests that the debate was more heated than ever, and backs up something that's becoming increasingly clear about this field; there's very little consensus, and a wide range of players in contention. Some have suggested that there could only be six or seven Best Picture nominees, but we feel the exact opposite is true; we're expecting nine or ten (and to be honest, expect that to be the case in most years, at least until the rules change). And while "Amour" in Foreign Language, Anne Hathaway as Best Supporting Actress, and Daniel Day-Lewis as Best Actor are seemingly frontrunners, a lot of room remains for upsets to that lineup. All of the major films have pros and cons behind them, and this year lacks the kind of popular favorite present in the past two years in "The Artist" and "The King's Speech." Expect to be guessing about many of the categories right up until Oscar night.

Zero Dark Thirty Chris Pratt Joel Edgerton
2. No, "Zero Dark Thirty" isn't a frontrunner just yet.
Learning that Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" won Director and Feature at the NBR and the NYFCC (picking up Best Actress at the former as well) would make many (including some hasty, shifting-with-the-wind Oscar bloggers) suggest that the Bin Laden movie is now the presumptive frontrunner. We'd disagree. There's no denying that "Zero Dark Thirty" is in a very strong position; it's assured of a nomination, and it'll certainly challenge for Best Picture and many other awards. But neither the NYFCC and the NBR are great precursors for this category; the former matched the Academy four out of the last ten years ("The Artist," "The Hurt Locker," "No Country For Old Men," and "Return of the King"), the NBR only twice ('No Country' and "Slumdog Millionaire"). This could, of course, be an outlying year -- 'ZDT' has as good a chance as anything. But it is a procedural, a film for the brain, not the heart, and it remains to be seen how the audience -- both within the Academy and on a broader scale -- respond to it. Whereas more naturally crowd-pleasing films, in particular the going-down-like-gangbusters "Les Miserables," was never going to be something that did well with the NYFCC. "Zero Dark Thirty" has the traction right now; but don't forget the last film to win both was "The Social Network," another fearsomely smart, somewhat chilly movie that took home all kinds of guild awards, only to beaten by a Tom Hooper movie...

This article is related to: Awards, Zero Dark Thirty, The Master, Life Of Pi, Rachel Weisz, Matthew McConaughey


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates