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Deadline Awards Watch 53 – The Finally It’s Winnin’ Time Podcast

Deadline Awards Watch episode 53Listen to (and share) episode 53 of our audio podcast Deadline Awards Watch, With Pete Hammond.

Deadline’s awards columnist talks with host David Bloom about this week’s first batch of year-end film kudos, from the National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle and Film Independent’s Gotham Awards, as well as the Annie Award nominations for animation and the Oscar short list of candidates for documentary feature, and see if we can tease out trends or favorites that might impact the rest of awards season.

Pete also talks about the “rapturous” initial response at SAG screenings for The Wolf Of Wall Street, the on-again, off-again excessive tale of high-finance excess from Martin Scorsese that finally made it on screen this weekend for some awards voters.

Finally, we’ll get Pete’s take on Out Of The Furnace, Scott Cooper’s latest intense drama with a glittering cast chock full of prominent actors, and the only film debut opening wide in U.S. theaters this weekend.

Deadline Awards Watch episode 53 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Awards Watch episode 53 (.M4A version)
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National Board Of Review Names Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’ Best Film

By | Wednesday December 4, 2013 @ 10:19am PST
Pete Hammond

The ever-quirky National Board Of Review has crowned Her as the year’s Best Film and its helmer Spike Jonzeher-movie-poster as Best Director. It only adds to what is becoming a year without consensus — at least so far, after the New York Film Critics Circle named American Hustle their best film yesterday and the Gotham Awards chose Inside Llewyn Davis. The latter won Best Screenplay from NBR, but there was no mention of Hustle anywhere on its list this morning (see the full list of winners below). Also largely ignored were three films most pundits put at the top of their Oscar frontrunners: 12 Years A Slave, Gravity and Captain Phillips. The latter was completely dissed and 12 Years and Gravity mentioned only in NBR’s Top Ten list, but NO individual awards other than a technical citation for Gravity’s “creative innovation”.

NationalBoardOfReview_logonewUnlike last year when NBR and NYFCC agreed on Zero Dark Thirty as Best Pic and Director , this morning’s list was far apart. The groups’ only matches came for The Wind Rises in animation, Stories We Tell in Documentary and Fruitvale Station as best first film. NBR’s acting choices of Bruce Dern and Will Forte in Nebraska, Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks and Octavia Spencer for Fruitvale represented a completely different quartet than the NYFCC picks of Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto and Jennifer Lawrence. But for those who harbor Oscar hopes, don’t despair. The National Board of Review, which describes itself as “a select group of knowledgeable film enthusiasts and professionals, academics, young filmmakers and students”, has had a lousy track record in recent years of picking eventual Oscar winners.  In the past five years only one of their Best Film picks — Slumdog Millionaire — and just two acting choices — Christopher Plummer and Penelope Cruz — went on to win Academy Awards.  They haven’t had a Best Director in common with Oscar since Martin Scorsese for The Departed in 2005 — the same year they chose Letters From Iwo Jima as Best Film. Here is NBR’s full list of winners:

Best Film
Best Director
Spike Jonze, HER

Best Actor
Bruce Dern, NEBRASKA

Best Actress
Emma Thompson, SAVING MR. BANKS

Best Supporting Actor
Will Forte, NEBRASKA

Best Supporting Actress

Best Original Screenplay
Joel and Ethan Coen, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Animated Feature

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National Board Of Review Sets 2014 Gala

By | Monday April 22, 2013 @ 9:11am PDT

The National Board of Review said its annual awards gala will be Tuesday, January 7, 2014, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. Last year the critics group gave its Best Picture award to Zero Dark Thirty, one of the first awards-season honors for the Kathryn Bigelow-directed pic that eventually earned a Best Picture nomination.

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OSCARS: ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Gives Sony Early Awards Heat, But Will It Last?

Pete Hammond

With its one-two punch now of Best Film and Best Director wins from the first two voting bodies on the so-called critics awards circuit — the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of ReviewSony‘s Zero Dark Thirty directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal is establishing itself as a powerful and promising early force in the race and only stands to add to the total as a tsunami of critics awards are unleashed over the next couple of weeks (including LA, Boston, etc, later this week). In many recent years critics groups have tended to follow each other like lemmings, and sometimes — especially if it is a nearly unanimous choice like Bigelow and Boal’s The Hurt Locker in 2009 (although NBR virtually ignored that one) –  it can definitely have an impact on Oscar voters.  Academy voters at the very least will be rushing this year to see everything they think they should see in time for the earlier voting period starting December 17 through the holidays to January 3rd. Big early wins like this won’t go unnoticed.

Related: ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Debuts: Can It Overcome Controversy To Wow Oscar Voters?

Of course there can also be a great divide as we saw in 2010, when critics groups (including NYFCC and NBR) almost in lockstep chose Sony’s The Social Network right through to its victory at the Golden Globes (the HFPA often likes to go with a perceived winner). That film was then completely upended at the Producers Guild and subsequent industry awards by upstart The King’s Speech, which of course went on to win four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director for Tom Hooper.

Related: Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond, Episode 3

Although Sony should be feeling very good about the way things are going right now, this studio which had high hopes based on that torrent of critics awards for Social Network was obviously none too happy as that season played out the way it did — especially since it looked so good in December and most of January. My guess is with that in mind they are going to grab this early momentum for Zero Dark Thirty and run with it. It recently hired Michael Kupferberg of Strategy PR as a consultant. Isn’t it ironic that again one of their major competitors is a Hooper film, Universal’s Les Miserables. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate Sony bummer if he were able to come along and again rain on the studio’s parade when the guild shows roll around? Read More »

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National Board Of Review Best Film: ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Katheryn Bigelow‘s hunt-for-bin Laden pic has won the National Board of Review‘s Best Film honor, its second victory in three days after New York Film Critics Circle voted it the year’s top film Monday. Bigelow also repeated her NYFCC Best Director win and Zero Dark Thirty‘s Jessica Chastain won Best Actress from the group, comprised of a select group of film enthusiasts, filmmakers, professionals, academics and students who watch more than 250 films throughout the year. The Weinstein Company’s Silver Linings Playbook also showed well in today’s announcement, taking Best Actor for Bradley Cooper and Best Adapted Screenplay for writer-director David O. Russell. Leonardo DiCaprio won Best Supporting Actor for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, and Compliance‘s Ann Dowd won Best Supporting Actress.

Zero Dark Thirty has been under the microscope from the beginning, with some groups claiming that Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal were given access to classified documents by the Obama administration while making the film, which chronicles the manhunt that led to the eventual killing of Osama bin Laden in a Navy SEAL raid. The filmmakers have denied they received such info. The Sony war drama, which stars Chastain, Chris Pratt and Joel Edgerton, will be released in the U.S. on December 19 and now has plenty of momentum as awards season kicks into high gear. Bigelow and Boal’s previous film, the war drama The Hurt Locker, won six Oscars in 2010 including Best Picture, and made Jeremy Renner a star.

Last year, the NRB voted Hugo its Best Film, with the Martin Scorsese 3D fantasy going on to earn an Oscar nomination.

The National Board of Review’s awards will be handed out January 8 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City in a gala hosted by Meredith Vieira. Here is the complete list of today’s winners, which includes the NBR’s top lists of films in several categories in alphabetical order:


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 Read More »

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National Board Of Review Critics Vote Set For December 5

By | Thursday October 18, 2012 @ 5:48am PDT
Mike Fleming

The National Board of Review has weighed in and announced its vote on the year’s best picture will be announced December 5. This follows the New York Film Critics Circle declaration this week that its vote will be taken December 3. This puts the groups in the tight proximity that existed (NBR is usually first) before the NYFCC last year moved their vote to November 29 to be first, which meant the voting critics couldn’t factor Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close into the mix. Here’s the NBR’s announcement: Read More »

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HAMMOND: Oscar Race Still Wide Open As Early Awards Provide No Clear Clues

Pete Hammond

National Board Of Review Names ‘Hugo’ Best Film, Martin Scorsese Best Director
‘The Artist’ Is NY Film Critics Best Picture; Meryl Streep Best Actress, Brad Pitt Best Actor

The first week of actual awards-giving and nominations has now passed and pundits are searching for clues. Has anything actually been clarified in this year’s Oscar race?


Based on the mixed bag out of the New York Film Critics, National Board of Review and Gotham Awards winners along with the announced nominees for Independent Spirit Awards, this year is completely, completely wide open. But then you knew that already.

The New York Critics so wanted to be first and “influence” the Oscars that they advanced their voting date up two weeks and prematurely presented a list of winners Tuesday that seemed downright conservative and very “Academy friendly.” After honoring harder edged films in the past, they went for a delightful black and white silent film as their Best Picture (The Artist) and Director (Michel Hazanavicius) plus big stars  Meryl Streep (in another biopic — as Margaret Thatcher this time) and Brad Pitt (Moneyball) both playing real-life characters, something  Academy voters have tended to favor in many of their recent acting winners. It was Streep’s fifth acting honor from the NYFCC. The group moved their voting up in order to beat everyone else, particularly the National Board of Review which is normally first, and in effect forced Sony to show them David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by agreeing to move their voting date back a day (and then ignored the film). They also miscalculated Warner Bros’ willingness to show Stephen Daldry’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close before it was completely finished and ready to be seen by some of the nation’s most “important” (at least in their own minds) critics. So that one wasn’t part of their deliberations. The Broadcast Film Critics Association (I am a member) and the Los Angeles Film Critics among others will be able to see Dragon Tattoo starting Friday. Neither has changed its voting schedules (about 10 days out) in order to jump the gun and will be able to see everything before weighing in on the year’s best. That seems like the right course for critics groups  instead of trying to force the hands of filmmakers in order to pursue their own delusional quixotic quest for influence. Read More »

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National Board Of Review Names ‘Hugo’ Best Film, Martin Scorsese Best Director

By | Thursday December 1, 2011 @ 12:19pm PST

Paramount’s Martin Scorsese film Hugo received a major shot in the arm for its Oscar hopes when the National Board of Review named it the 2011 Best Film of The Year and tapped Scorsese as Best Director. Today’s vote comes two days after the New York critics voted the Weinstein Co’s black-and-white silent pic The Artist as its top film and shut out Hugo altogether. “Hugo is such a personal film by Martin Scorsese,” said National Board president Annie Schulhof in a release announcing the winners. “It is a tribute to the early years of cinema that uses today’s cutting-edge technology to bring the audience into a completely unique and magical world. It is visually stunning and emotionally engaging.” The National Board also went with George Clooney (The Descendants) as Best Actor and Tilda Swinton (We Need To Talk About Kevin) as Best Actress, also different from the NYFCC, which went with Brad Pitt and Meryl Streep. Here’s the National Board’s full list:

Best Film: Hugo

Best Director: Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Best Actor: George Clooney, The Descendants

Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Best Original Screenplay: Will Reiser, 50/50

Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants

Best Animated Feature: Rango

Breakthrough Performance: Felicity Jones, Like Crazy

Breakthrough Performance: Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Debut Director: J.C. Chandor, Margin Call

Best Ensemble: The Help

Spotlight Award: Michael Fassbender (A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre, Shame, X-Men: First Class)

NBR Freedom of Expression: Crime After Crime

NBR Freedom of Expression: Pariah

Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation

Best Documentary: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Special Achievement in Filmmaking: The Harry Potter Franchise – A Distinguished Translation from Book to Film

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NY Critics Delay Awards A Day To See David Fincher’s ‘Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’

The New York Film Critics Circle has delayed by one day the group’s annual movie awards to allow its 33 members to see David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo from Sony. Instead of Monday November 28 the New York critics will announce their verdicts on the year’s best cinema work on Tuesday November 29. The group raised eyebrows earlier this year with the announcement that they would reveal their awards two weeks earlier than in the past in order to be the first of the numerous critics awards.  That still gives them a one-day jump on the National Board of Review, which in the past has been first. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association will reveal its choices December 11. The New Yorkers won’t, however, wait for Warner Bros to show them the Tom Hanks-Sandra Bullock vehicle Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Studio executives said the completed movie directed by Stephen Daldry would not be available for viewing until December 2. Dragon Tattoo opens December 21; Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close debuts December 25.

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New York Film Critics Jump The Gun, Unveil New November Awards Voting Date

Pete Hammond

There’s new intrigue surrounding the race to be first among critics groups in announcing film awards. In a pre-emptive move that should send shudders down the spines of the National Board of Review — normally always first to announce — and the Los Angeles Film Critics — which normally gets a one-day jump on their New York counterparts — the New York Film Critics Circle has just announced that it will vote for their choices of the year’s best films on Monday, November 28, immediately after the Thanksgiving holiday. “As the nation’s pre-eminent critic’s group, we are excited about kicking off the annual end-of-year discussion with our new early voting date,”  says new chairman John Anderson, who replaced Armond White as head of the group. (See the full release below.)

The surprise chess move puts the other groups racing for influence in the Oscar race in a tough position as they would likely have to advance their voting dates to pre-Thanksgiving to beat NYFCC to the punch — a tough task when studios and distributors probably haven’t screened all year-end contenders at that point, especially those with tight post-production schedules. It’s known that some of them rush contenders just to meet the early December voting date of the National Board of Review, so anything before the 28th could be stretching it.

New York critics were likely frustrated last year following the gang of groups crowning The Social Network best picture and thereby looking like they were following the pack. The National Board of Review chose the film first on December 2, and the LAFCC followed suit December 12, a day before NYFCC announced it as their choice December 13. In between all that, the Broadcast Film Critics Association announced their nominations.

It will be especially interesting to see what the National Board of Review does now. This is not a critics group but rather a “film society” that is placated by studios with special treatment because they are always first to announce. Even officials of this group have admitted to me in the past that the reason their choices get so much scrutiny in the entertainment media is because they are first. L.A.’s critics also like beating their East Coast rivals, but from what I hear have already planned to select their picks that weekend of December 10.

With lots of talk about the Oscars moving up a full month as early as 2013 (although I am told until they figure out how to do electronic voting, no decision is being made), today’s NYFCC move will only add to the discussion. Is it only a matter of time before one of these organizations announces their nominees on Halloween?

Here’s the NYCFF release that came out this morning: Read More »

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