I had thought that the New York Film Critics’ Circle might want to separate themselves a bit from the pack and go for an upset pick like “Black Swan” or even “Winter’s Bone,” but no such luck. Instead, “The Social Network” continued its steamroller campaign, though Aaron Sorkin finally ran into a group that wanted to spread the love around a little more and NOT give him best screenplay. Instead, “The Kids Are All Right” ended up getting a nice bump after being snubbed by the BFCA earlier today, taking the NY critics’ Screenplay, Actress and Supporting Actor awards. I’m especially digging the love for Bening; it puts a bit of a hold on Natalie Portman’s campaign and reminds everyone that this is still very much a race (to clarify, it’s not that I’d have any problem with Portman winning, I just hate it when a category get locked up this early; what am I going to talk about for the next two months otherwise?).
Anyway, the big question is now, is “The Social Network” the new “L.A. Confidential” or the new “Hurt Locker?” Those were the last two cases in which both the NY and LA critics were in agreement; the former lost the Oscar to “Titantic,” the latter ultimately triumphed. It’s also becoming increasingly clear, I think, that this race is not and never has been “The Social Network” vs. “The King’s Speech.” It’s “The Social Network” vs. “The King’s Speech”/”Inception”/”True Grit”/maybe “Black Swan”/maybe “127 Hours.” Which really bodes well for Fincher’s film. Unless it gets snubbed in a big way by the guilds (which I doubt), “The Social Network” is just about the only film with across-the-board support. Given Oscar’s new ranking system, that’ll mean a lot of #2 and #3 votes even on those ballots that don’t put it as #1. None of those other films, at the moment, look like they will be so consistently at or near the top of voters’ lists.
Anyway, check out the full list of NYFCC winners. In the next couple of days I’m planning on moving all my future Oscar predictions to a separate page on the site, so they can be more easily updated and the home page will be a little less cluttered with these long posts. Maybe even a precursor page to gather all this data in one place that I can just direct you to when new groups release their nominations. We’ll see what I can get around to.
Best Picture: The Social Network
Best Director: David Fincher, “The Social Network”
Best Screenplay: Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko, “The Kids Are All Right”
Best Actress: Annette Bening, “The Kids Are All Right”
Best Actor: Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”
Best Supporting Actor: Mark Ruffalo, “The Kids Are All Right”
Best Cinematography: Matthew Libatique, “Black Swan”
Best Animated Film: The Illusionist
Best Non-Fiction Film: Inside Job
Best Foreign Language Film: Carlos
Best First Feature: Animal Kingdom