The nominees for the 18th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards were announced. While many of their choices weren’t surprising, it remains a mixed bag this year. Leading the pack was Spielberg’s historical opus Lincoln with a record-setting 13 nominations.
Despite being a fantastic and ambitious film that includes Daniel Day Lewis in one of his best roles to date, one has to wonder whether or not it truly deserves to win best picture. At its core it remains a preachy, often dry film that does not speak to the masses. While its message of equality and peace is dead on, there are many that might find it less than entertaining. Still, it should be commended that such an intellectual film has received so much attention. While also of the same ilk, the upcoming Les Misérables followed close behind with 11 nominations. This one deserves a little more consideration. While it may be a story that has been remade dozens of times, the choice of using live music during the production means that the film audiences are watching is truly unlike any released before. It also seems to be taking a much grittier, more realistic approach than previous adaptations and should be commended on its ambition. Whether it is a good movie remains to be seen since it has not be released yet but this is defiantly one movie that deserves notice.
Other nominations included Life of Pi, Argo, Moonrise Kingdom and Zero Dark Thirty. “This has been a truly spectacular year in filmmaking and our voters had an embarrassment of riches to choose from,” says BFCA President Joey Berlin. “To recognize the remarkable achievements across every genre of filmmaking we have added several new categories this year, including often overlooked performances in comedy and action. And to add even more fun, we’re letting fans in on the voting in one special category.”
The most confusing category seems to be for best animated feature. With nominees like Brave, Madagascar 3, Rise of the Guardians and Wreck-it-Ralph it seems like the judges just piled in every animated movie released this year without noticing if they had any real quality to them. Granted, movies like Brave and ParaNorman could both be considered groundbreaking and well deserving of honors. But Rise of the Guardians and Madagascar 3 seem to be thrown in there to appease the studios that produced them.
This year has shown us both the best and worst in cinema. One has to wonder what they were thinking when they nominated Ted as one of the best comedies of the year. At least gems like Looper, Cabin in the Woods and Prometheuswill finally get their due. A win for any of those films is a testament to good science fiction filmmaking.
The role of the critic is of course to find the best of the best. While the board that chose the nominees for this year’s awards do not speak for all of us, their choices seem to be hitting the mark a good portion of the time. May the best film win!