Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happy St. Nicholas Day! Nati'l Board of Review Winners

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas to you all!
This is a very special day for me, as I have personally received many graces through the intercession of St. Nicholas; you may be interested in how the transformation from St. Nicholas to the modern Santa Claus took place and how the image of today's Santa still retains the essence of the great saint's holiness (please see From Saint Nicholas To Santa Claus).
In a second wave of awards being given,...
The NBR watches over 250 films during a cinema season, so they are the first group (and sometimes the only group) willing to call attention to films lost in the stampede of bigger, more noticeable productions.
Traditionally, The National Board of Review (NBR) has been the first group to name their cinematic winners; due to unspecified reasons for changing their voting dates however, it appears they have passed up honor. Let's pause to consider why the awards for these small groups differ so greatly from what we see at the Oscars: first, these are small groups (the NBR doesn't even give their number, just coyly saying "A select group" votes) and the NBR has a great number of students who tend to vote younger while the New York critics are older and these demographics reflect their choices; compare this to the 6,000 members of the Academy Awards who will vote for short lists, nominees and the actual Oscar and you can see easily how the Academy probably presents a more balanced approach because there is a greater variety of voters (on the screen and behind the screen). Secondly, the method of voting has a lot to do with it,...
The Academy votes by ballot; the NBR votes by ballot, but only after the films have been watched and discussed collectively; the New York Critics meet behind closed doors and talk for 5 hours and then vote. In the bid to get the Oscar, there is "campaigning" done by companies to get their film the Oscar, and while no one would say the campaigning makes all the difference, no one would forgo it, either; in these smaller circles, the personality of certain critics and inner-politics of the group probably makes the greater difference in which way the final vote goes in determining their favorite pictures of the year. At least, one more thing to consider there. So, the winners of the National Board Of Review of Motion Pictures are:
Best Film:  ZERO DARK THIRTY
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, ZERO DARK THIRTY
Best Actor: Bradley Cooper, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain, ZERO DARK THIRTY
Best Supporting Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, DJANGO UNCHAINED
Best Supporting Actress: Ann Dowd, COMPLIANCE
Best Original Screenplay: Rian Johnson, LOOPER
Best Adapted Screenplay: David O. Russell, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
Best Animated Feature: WRECK-IT RALPH
Special Achievement in Filmmaking: Ben Affleck, ARGO
Breakthrough Actor: Tom Holland, THE IMPOSSIBLE
Breakthrough Actress: Quvenzhané Wallis,  BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
Best Directorial Debut: Benh Zeitlin, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
Best Foreign Language Film:  AMOUR
Best Documentary: SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN
William K. Everson Film History Award: 50 YEARS OF BOND FILMS
Best Ensemble: LES MISÉRABLES
Spotlight Award: John Goodman (ARGO, FLIGHT, PARANORMAN, TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE)
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: CENTRAL PARK FIVE
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: PROMISED LAND
The NBR does something others don't: they make a list of the year's Ten Best Films, and those films to make the list this year were, in alphabetical order:
 ARGO
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
DJANGO UNCHAINED
LES MISÉRABLES
LINCOLN
LOOPER
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER
PROMISED LAND
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
THEN, it also makes a list of the TEN BEST INDEPENDENT FILMS of the year, and they are, in alphabetical order:
ARBITRAGE
BERNIE
COMPLIANCE
END OF WATCH
HELLO I MUST BE GOING
LITTLE BIRDS
MOONRISE KINGDOM
ON THE ROAD
QUARTET
SLEEPWALK WITH ME
 Again, as noted previously, small groups such as NYFC and NBR could have more influence over the Oscars than in years past because the Oscars have had their voting date moved up and more members will see fewer  films, so voting members may be apt to vote for a film which has all ready received awards from other groups (if they didn't have time to see it), which probably wasn't the case in years past. Again, the smaller groups also make movie-goers more apt to go to films they might not have gone to see otherwise; for example, you might have gone to see Flight with Denzel Washington, but not Silver Linings Playbook; Mr. Cooper's win, however, may tip fans to make a point to see it now. Further, a film such as Looper, which didn't do great at the box office, might get a second life in rentals because it's being tossed around as "a winner."
I will keep posting all the awards and short lists as they come out. I am nearly done with The Collection; it's just so rich in its screenplay that I keep thinking of things I want to put in the review, knowing that no one else liked it as much as I did, so I want to honor the film for what it did so well. I will have that up asap!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner