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Tom O'Neil has the inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

Category: Broadcast Film Critics Association

Oscars derby update: Can 'Avatar' triumph at Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Awards to emerge as official front-runner?

January 14, 2010 |  1:46 pm

Now that "Avatar" has proven its enduring might with fans ($440 million at the U.S. box office after four consecutive weeks at No. 1) and film critics (82 score at RottenTomatoes), and "The Hurt Locker" just swept the film critics trifecta -- wining best picture from the journos in New York, Los Angeles and in the National Society of Film Critics --  they both must battle "Up in the Air," "Precious" and "Inglourious Basterds" this weekend at the Critics Choice Awards and Golden Globes.

Those five films recently established themselves officially as the most serious rivals to win the top prize at the Oscars by reaping nominations from the Directors' Guild of America  -- the most important Academy Awards omen.

Avatar Golden Globes Critics Choice awards news

But how accurate are the Critics' Choice Awards and Golden Globes? What will we learn from seeing who wins this weekend? (The Critics' Choice Awards are on VH1 on Friday, the Golden Globes on NBC on Sunday.)

Let's examine what's happened over the past 10 years. The Globes have two sets of awards, remember — drama and comedy/musical. One of their two best pictures repeated at the Oscars six times since 1999. That percentage is slightly lower than the Globes' average over the past 50 years, so maybe their level of agreement with Oscar will rally soon.

Critics' Choice is much higher: 80% over the past decade. In 2005, members of the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. opted for "Brokeback Mountain" over "Crash" and, in 2004, "Sideways" over "Million Dollar Baby."

The Critics Choice Award also has a better history predicting best actor and actress than the Golden Globe over the past decade. Seven of the 10 best-actor prizes bestowed by BFCA repeated at the Oscars. Only five of the 20 best actors crowned by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. went on to Oscar glory.

The Critics Choice voters aren't so savvy forecasting the lead actress champs. Their percentage is only 60% in 10 years. Globers hailed eight Oscar winners in one of their two lead-actress categories; nine if you count Kate Winslet, who won in lead at the Oscars for "The Reader" and in supporting at the Globes. Of course, Winslet also won the lead Globe race too, for "Revolutionary Road."

The reason that these two awards are so good at predicting the Oscar is because they actually influence academy voters, who tune in to view the precursor award shows on TV. Winners must give performances on the podium just as amazing as the film turns that got them there. Hilary Swank and Jamie Foxx won Oscars for "Boys Don't Cry" and "Ray" largely because they were so amazing on the Globes' stage sharing stories of their tearful struggle to make it in showbiz (Swank) and love of a grandmother (Foxx).

Giving a knockout performance on the podium is easy for an ole pro like Meryl Streep, who always wows, but the pressure is really on young stars like Carey Mulligan ("An Education") and Gabourey Sidibe ("Precious"), who don't have experience at this. Lucky for them both, they're not competing at the Globes against Streep, who is pushed off into that separate race for comedies/musicals. If one of the young new stars can get past veteran Sandra Bullock ("The Blind Side") in the race for best drama actress, she has the chance of a lifetime to become an Oscar-bound superstar.

Memo to Mulligan and Sidibe, whoever wins: Keep the laundry list of names short. Go for a knockout punch to TV viewers' guts, breaking our hearts. Share your dream, tell us a story, and don't be afraid to cry. Genuine, triumphant tears are perfect for the occasion. Kate Winslet shed a river of them at the Globes last year, and they helped to float her to Oscar victory.

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Gold Derby nuggets: Mo'Nique reveals 'Precious' moment | Ricky Gervais toasts Golden Globes | Marvin Hamlisch scores again

December 9, 2009 |  8:00 pm

Monique Precious Oscars • Time magazine film critic Richard Corliss delivers a top 10 movie list -- animated films "The Princess and the Frog," "Up" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox" top the chart -- as well as a roster of the top 10 performances which is led off by "Precious" supporting player Mo'Nique. TIME

Pete Hammond wonders whether Mo'Nique can win the Oscar without playing the game. Writes Pete, "with a five-night-a-week talk show that tapes in Atlanta, some things just aren't gonna happen. Believe me, her presence is felt at every Q&A director Lee Daniels and the other cast members do. I happened to moderate one with Daniels, Gabourey Sidibe and Paula Patton last night at the Crest Westwood for SAG, and even though Mo'Nique was not in the house, those voting members in the audience were very much aware of her work through the pointed nature of the questions asked by SAG members who had just viewed the movie and the answers given by the panel lauding her performance. Does absence make the heart grow fonder for Mo'Nique or give her potential competitors an opening?" NOTES ON A SEASON

• Mo'Nique did sit down for a revealing roundtable discussion with five other awards hopefuls -- Emily Blunt ("Young Victoria"), Patricia Clarkson ("Whatever Works"), Vera Farmiga ("Up in the Air"), Carey Mulligan ("An Education") and Robin Wright ("The Private Lives of Pippa Lee"). During the frank conversation, she revealed how she handled the request by Daniels to film a very intimate moment for her character. THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

• Both of the New Yorker film critics -- David Denby and Anthony Lane -- include "Up" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox" in their top films of the year. The only other movies they agree on are "Up in the Air" and "The White Ribbon." NEW YORKER

• The seventh annual edition of the Emmy Awards for Business and Financial Reporting were handed out on Monday afternoon at Fordham University in Gotham. CBS won four of the eight competitive races, and lifetime achievement awards went to Paul Kangas, anchor of "Nightly Business Report" on PBS, and Linda O'Bryon of Northern California Public Broadcasting. NATAS

Golden_globesAnn Oldenburg has more of the bon mots delivered by Ricky Gervais during a recent conference call promoting his upcoming gig as host of the Golden Globes. "Gervais said more than once that he plans to have a cocktail or two while on the job. 'Over the three hours, I imagine my tie's going to come off and I'll get drunker and drunker. I don't know what the last hour's going to be like, but the first hour will be watchable.'" For Gervais, " 'This is the only' award show he can see doing. 'In all honesty. No one wants to see me mucking around at the Oscars. They're there to see if they've won the most important award of their life.' And the Emmys? 'I couldn't do the rehearsals. This is perfect. They said I could turn up and say what I wanted and get drunk. What's also nice is I've only been in this business about 10 years -- because I'm a very lazy person -- and I've achieved enough. I only do things that could possibly end my career. Cheers!' " USA TODAY

Mavis Spencer -- daughter of Golden Globe winning actress Alfre Woodard ("Miss Evers' Boys") and producer Roderick Spencer -- will be handing the hardware to the presenters at this year's Golden Globes. The gig always goes to the son or daughter of some famous Hollywood folk -- last year Rumer Willis (daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis) was Miss Golden Globes. GOLDEN GLOBES

Paul Gaita reports that Emmy and Tony winner Kristen Chenoweth will be hosting the 15th annual edition of the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. kudos Jan. 15 from the Hollywood Palladium. The newly named Critics Choice Movie Awards boast additional categories and will air on VH1. THE CIRCUIT

Marvin HamlischTodd Martens talks to grand slam awards winner Marvin Hamlisch about his score for "The Informant!" The three-time Oscar champ admitted, "Being about an unconventional character required an unconventional way of going about the score." As Todd writes, "For two weeks, Hamlisch said he composed and threw out multiple takes on the score before settling on the jovial direction the music ultimately took. 'We were playing the ultimate mind game. What we were trying to do was get into the mind of this guy, and given that he's under more pressure, what would he be thinking? It starts out where he has no problems. Slowly and surely the problems start, and he's lying bigger and bigger. The more he escalates, the more we get wilder and wilder -- get me some serotonin quick!' " POP & HISS

Dave McNary reports that the DGA will be feting Roger Goodman, Cleve Landsberg and Maria Jimenez Henley for lifetime career achievement and extraordinary contribution to the guild at the annual awards dinner Jan. 30. "Goodman draws the kudo for news direction, while Landsberg has been tapped for the Frank Capra trophy, given to an assistant director or unit production manager. Henley will receive the Franklin J. Schaffner award, given to an associate director or stage manager." VARIETY

Greg Ellwood previews next week's three movie kudofests -- the L.A. and Gotham film critics awards and the AFI top 10 list. Says Greg, "The big question is: can 'Up in the Air' go for the sweep? Well, yes, but most likely no." He thinks the three films in play with the critics will be "A Serious Man," "A Single Man" and "The Hurt Locker." And Greg thinks, "the AFI top ten will be a strong bellwether by many of who are serious contenders for Oscars' final ten this year (and by not making the list who isn't)." HIT FIX

Photos: Monique in "Precious" (Lionsgate); Golden Globes (NBC); Marvin Hamlisch (Los Angeles Times)

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Let's predict the Critics' Choice Awards!

January 7, 2009 |  9:43 pm

On Thursday night the Critics' Choice Awards will be doled out by members of the Broadcast Film Critics' Assn. during a telecast on VH1 (8 p.m. ET/ PT). Will they be harbingers of Oscars' champs?

That's a very controversial question. Some kudos gurus claim that the Critics' Choice Awards are the precursor award with the best rate of predicting the Oscars. But that's a tricky assertion to make because analogies need to be qualified. For example, BFCA frequently notes that it has the highest percentage of overlapping nominees with the Oscars. Well, sure, yes, but for many years BFCA only had three nominees in the acting slots, so thus it had less chance of being wrong. But also less chance of netting Oscar's wild cards like upset winners Halle Berry ("Monster's Ball"), Denzel Washington ("Training Day") and Adrien Brody ("The Pianist"), who weren't nominated by BFCA. Nowadays BFCA has five nominees in the acting categories and double the number of best picture contenders you find at the Oscars (10).


How have the Critics' Choice Awards done among winners? Over the last 13 years, BFCA forecast eight of the Oscars' best actors and seven lead actresses. That's respectable. It's done especially well in recent years after there was a big shakeup in membership. (Leaders got tough about proof of qualification.) Over the last five years, BFCA correctly forecast all of Oscar's best actors and four of its lead actresses. You can check out a full list of nominees HERE. Below, my predix. Full disclosure: I know dozens of members of BFCA personally, and some of them ratted to me how they voted. Let's see if that means I can piece together results.

Close races between "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Bet on "Millionaire" hitting both jackpots.

Sean Penn ("Milk") has won all other critics' awards. This one's next. But, beware: That doesn't mean he'll claim the Golden Globe this Sunday.

Fierce diva clawfest between Anne Hathaway ("Rachel Getting Married") and her ole costar Meryl Streep ("Doubt"). Streep pummeled Hathaway in "Devil Wears Prada" and will do so again here.

Heath Ledger ("The Dark Knight"), of course. Members of BFCA are junketeers who did final video interviews with Ledger just before he died. (I participated in those junkets too.)

In this race, I'm totally befuddled. Penelope Cruz ("Vicky Cristina Barcelona") had the early buzz, but Viola Davis ("Doubt") and Kate Winslet ("The Reader") have come on strong in recent weeks. Cruz and Winslet were chummy darlings of the junket scene in recent years, so it's probably between them. BFCA members are suckers for glamour. Cruz it is.

Take over, please. You predict the rest HERE.

Photos: Fox Searchlight, Miramax, Focus Features, Warner Bros.

Critics' Choice Awards toast 'Milk' and 'Benjamin Button,' snub 'Revolutionary Road'

December 9, 2008 |  7:44 am

"Milk" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" lead with the most Critics' Choice Award nominations at eight apiece while "The Dark Knight," "Doubt," and "Slumdog Millionaire" have six each. All five are among the 10  films competing for best picture.

The Broadcast Film Critics Association's voters took a sharp detour from "Revolutionary Road," which was completely snubbed. No nod for picture, director (Sam Mendes), actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), supporting actor (Michael Shannon), adapted screenplay and — most surprisingly of all — actress (Kate Winslet).


Perhaps its snub for best picture isn't surprising considering that all 10 nominees for that top prize scored higher in the numerical tallies that sum up the voters' opinions at the Broadcast Film Critics Association's website ("Changeling" barely edging it, 79 to 78 — "Revolutionary Road," meantime, has a perfect 100 score from the print and Internet critics at, but the Critics' Choice Award likes to pride itself as an Oscar crystal ball. Many Oscarologists consider Winslet a front-runner to win best actress at the Kodak Theater next February. Could this be one of those cases like Halle Berry ("Monster's Ball") or Denzel Washington ("Training Day") where Critics' Choice misses the Oscar mark so much that it fails even to nominate the eventual winner? Or does this snub spell gloom for Winslet's Oscar hopes in that race? She is nominated today in the supporting category for "The Reader."

Below is a partial list of nominees. See more at the Critics' Choice website HERE.

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
"The Dark Knight"
"The Reader"
"Slumdog Millionaire"
"The Wrestler"

Clint Eastwood, "Gran Torino"
Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor"
Frank Langella, "Frost/Nixon"
Sean Penn, "Milk"
Brad Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler"

Kate Beckinsale, "Nothing But the Truth"
Cate Blanchett, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"
Angelina Jolie, "Changeling"
Melissa Leo, "Frozen River"
Meryl Streep, "Doubt"

Photos: Focus Features, Paramount, Paramount Vantage



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