It didn’t take long for the New York Film Critics Circle to act after one of its members, CityArts critic Armond White, ripped into 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen after the helmer was introduced at the group’s awards ceremony January 6. The NYFCC had apologized the next day for the reported outburst from White, who later denied wrongdoing. In addition to White’s jettisoning today, we’re hearing chief NY Post film critic Lou Lumenick was suspended for a year for revealing voting totals. NYFCC voting member Owen Gleiberman from EW first noted the group’s disciplinary action.
Armond White Kicked Out Of New York Film Critics Circle For Heckling ’12 Years A Slave’s Steve McQueen; Another Member Suspended
NY Film Critics Circle Apologizes For Steve McQueen Heckling; Latest Outburst In Classless Oscar Campaign Season
EXCLUSIVE: The New York Film Critics Circle has issued a formal apology for the behavior of at least one of its member critics at last night’s awards ceremony when director Steve McQueen accepted his prize for 12 Years A Slave. Our sister publication Variety identified the heckler as CityArts editor and well-known cantankerous contrarian critic Armond White, who, per Ramin Setoodeh’s report, said some remarkably inelegant foul-mouthed things to McQueen after the filmmaker was introduced in an impassioned speech by Harry Belafonte. The apology was issued to McQueen and the film’s distributor, Fox Searchlight, by NYCC chair Joshua Rothkopf.
Here is the missive:
It truly was a wonderful night: We felt like we were in the presence of
something truly historic, with Mr. Belafonte’s exquisite presentation and Mr.
McQueen’s elegant words of acceptance.
Unfortunately, the moment was slightly marred, and I’d like to address that
On behalf of the New York Film Critics Circle, I apologize sincerely for the
crass bit of heckling Mr. McQueen encountered. I’m mortified to learn that this
was from one of our own members. We are taking disciplinary action.
I’m especially pained that this occurred in your case. Rarely do we receive
thank-you notes, as Steve sent us after the vote. Moreover, his speech showed a
deep understanding of the history of our award winners: an honored group in
which he stands as an equal.
Please forward our apology on to him.
Thank you, your talent and your team for making the night a special one,
Joshua Rothkopf, 2013 Chair, NYFCC
This kind of classless behavior seems to be in full swing this Oscar season, maybe because there are so many publications covering every heartbeat of a wide-open race.
EXCLUSIVE: It was to be a big night for American Hustle, even if loopy and notorious film critic Armond White stole some of the headlines from Monday night’s New York Film Critics Circle awards ceremony by heckling 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen from the back of the room. But it shouldn’t take away from a night of celebration for all those winners. For the record, and according to media and Twitter accounts (I’m in L.A. and wasn’t there), White, a former NYFCC President (!) who does this sort of boorish behavior often at these ceremonies, called McQueen derogatory names (I don’t have to repeat them). The black “critic” has been on record as not appreciating McQueen’s film (to say the least). Seriously New York Film Critics, why do you let this guy in the building? Hopefully the director and his distinguished and iconic presenter Harry Belafonte (who reportedly brought many to tears with his moving remarks) didn’t hear any of it. At any rate Best Actor Robert Redford (All Is Lost) and Best Actress Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) were on hand to lend a touch of class as well as Supporting Actor winner Jared Leto of Dallas Buyers Club. But the big winners of the evening (as previously reported when results of the voting were announced on December 3) were the gang from Sony’s American Hustle which took Best Picture, Best Screenplay for David O. Russell and Eric Singer and …
Listen 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.
Awards Roundup: NY Film Critics, Gothams, And Oscar Docu Shortlist Get Season Rolling – So Who’s On Top Now?
The actual “awards” part of awards season is finally off and running with first results out of the East Coast with today’s New York Film Critics Circle choices and last night’s Gotham Awards. And the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences even got into the act earlier today narrowing the intense Documentary Feature competition from 151 entries to a shortlist of 15 finalists. Stuff is happening.
The NYFCC went whole hog for David O. Russell’s American Hustle (Best Picture, Screenplay, Supporting Actress) today, while Gotham unexpectedly crowned The Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis over heavy favorite 12 Years A Slave. Those results are an early indication (or even confirmation) that this could turn out to be an extremely unpredictable year — one with no frontrunner. The fact that the powerful critical favorite 12 Years, an early favorite to sweep the critics awards and use that to begin its march to Oscar (it leads most pundit polls), was shut out at the Gothams and only took Best Director for Steve McQueen at the NYFCC perhaps means this year won’t turn into a repeat of 2010. That’s when The Social Network swept the numerous critics groups Best Picture honors (and even the Globes) only to be upended by The King’s Speech when the Producers Guild turned the race. The King’s Speech became the industry favorite all the way to the Best Picture Oscar. I think dominance among the critics is important for a picture like 12 Years. That kind of awards pedigree could force reluctant Academy voters (and I know of a few resisting it because they fear it’s too brutal) to see the film and give it a shot. A lack of that kind of consensus could just bust this race wide open and turn it into a free-for-all. Of course there are many, many more of these groups to go, and 12 Years could still dominate, but the initial picture is cloudy. It’s an extremely competitive year and likely to continue to be if today’s results are an indication.
As for American Hustle‘s triumph at the NYFCC, it’s a bit unexpected but completely deserving. Sony Pictures , which releases the film December 13, has had a very good run with the NY Critics Circle — winning Best Pic in 2010 with Social Network and again last year with Zero Dark Thirty only to be stopped cold at the Oscars. Will Hustle be able to ride farther this early wave for the studio? Time will tell. With more Academy friendly-type films like Saving Mr. Banks, Gravity, Nebraska, Philomena and others going unmentioned, there are plenty of places for Oscar voters to drift including the wild card of Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street, which was a last-minute screening for NYFCC.
New York Film Critics Circle Awards: ‘American Hustle’ Best Film; Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett Top Actor Honors
UPDATED WITH ALL WINNERS: The New York Film Critics Circle has voted David O Russell’s ensemble crime drama American Hustle as its film of the year, one of three awards bestowed today on the Sony/Columbia film by the critics group. The pic is set for a December 13 release. The NYFCC also picked Robert Redford as Best Actor for his stand-alone role in JC Chandor’s All Is Lost and Cate Blanchett as Best Actress for Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, while Steve McQueen was named Best Director for 12 Years A Slave. American Hustle, which stars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremey Renner and Jennifer Lawrence, also won for Lawrence as Supporting Actress and for Russell and Eric Singer’s screenplay. Last year, the NYFCC tapped Zero Dark Thirty for Best Film and helmer Kathryn Bigelow for Best Director, starting that pic’s path to a Best Picture Oscar nomination.
The NYFCC is one of the earliest groups to vote on the year’s best performances in film, kicking off a slew of critics organizations whose results can serve as if not Oscar predictors then maybe Oscar leaners. Like last year, this year’s NYFCC vote from its membership of NY critics from daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and online publications comes one day before the National Board of Review makes its picks. Here are the final results of today’s voting:
Robert Redford, All Is Lost
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave
Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Best Foreign Language Film
Blue Is The Warmest Color
Best Supporting Actor
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Animated Film
The Wind Rises
The New York Film Critics Circle over the past couple of years has jumped to the front of the pack among a spate of early Oscar predictors, opting to be the first group to bestow its annual film awards. This year the NYFCC has set its vote for December 3, with a ceremony date and venue to be determined. Like last year, it comes one day before the National Board of Review makes its picks. The NYFCC’s membership includes critics from daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and online publications. Last year both orgs tapped Zero Dark Thirty for Best Film and helmer Kathryn Bigelow for Best Director, starting that film’s path to a Best Picture Oscar nomination.
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 Review — Sony‘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.
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.
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?
The New York Film Critics Circle has named Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty its film of the year in voting going on right now in New York. The group also named Zero‘s Kathryn Bigelow its best director for the hunt-for-bin Laden war drama. In 2009, the NYFCC went with Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker as Best Film and Bigelow as Best Director — the same eventual results as the Oscars. The film’s director of photography Greig Fraser also won in today’s voting by New York-area film critics. Awards will be handed out January 7.
It’s the latest twist for Zero Dark Thirty, which has come under criticism from various groups 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. Bigelow and Boal went on Nightline last week to deny they received classified info. “I certainly did a lot of homework, but I never asked for classified materials; to my knowledge, I never received any”, Boal told Martha Raddatz.
The Sony pic, starring Jessica Chastain, Chris Pratt and Joel Edgerton, will be released in U.S. theaters December 19.
Other winners today included Lincoln, which saw a Best Actor win for Daniel Day-Lewis, Supporting Actress for Sally Field, and Best Screenplay for Tony Kushner. Rachel Weiss won the Best Actress nod for The Deep Blue Sea. Michael Haneke’s Amour continued its fall hot streak with a Best Foreign Language Film win, and Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie was named Best Animated Film.
The NYFCC The critics group, which is announcing winners today via its Twitter feed, last year moved out ahead of the awards pack by doling out honors November 28, a controversial move because in the rush to come before rivals the National Board of Review and the LA Film Critics it wasn’t able to see Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, which ended up with a Best Picture Oscar nomination. Now they’ve moved back a week to today, with the National Board winners due Wednesday and the LA critics voting Sunday. Here’s the NYFCC winners as they’re announced:
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:
Last year, the New York Film Critics Circle moved out ahead of the film critics awards pack by doling out their awards on November 28. It was a controversial move, jumping the National Board Of Review and the Los Angeles Film Critics because even though they delayed the vote one day to November 29 to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, they could not see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which got a Best Picture nomination. Now, the NYFCC has announced they will vote on December 3, giving movie makers an extra week to get the film before the small circle of voters. The rush to be first is becoming overwhelming in this digital age (I can’t remember where I heard this joke, but it seems that in the importance of things, the only time being first really matters is when you are a sperm in a swim race). More importantly here, finishing first doesn’t seem worth it if in doing it, you can’t see all of the competitive films, and slight a deserving picture in the race because the film maker could not make the deadline. Looks like the NYFCC learned that lesson last year.
I spoke briefly with this year’s NYFCC chairman Joshua Rothkopf, who understandably didn’t want to review last year’s decisions, but said, “Our function as a group is to be as best informed as we can be, and we wanted to make sure …
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.
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: