‘The Artist,’ ‘Hugo’ lead with 11 Critics’ Choice nominations

The Artist” and “Hugo” lead the nominations for the 17th annual Critics’ Choice Awards bestowed by the Broadcast Film Critics Assn with 11 bids each. “The Artist,” which won Best Picture from the New York Film Critics Circle last month, and “Hugo,” which was similarly feted by the National Board of Review, are both in contention for Best Picture here as is “The Descendants,” which won over the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. on Sunday and got seven nods from the BFCA. 

The Best Picture race also includes “Drive” and “The Help,” which both reaped eight BFCA bids, as well as “War Horse” (7), “The Tree of Life” (5), “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” (4), “Midnight in Paris” (3) and “Moneyball” (3). All of these films with the exception of “Drive” are in the top 10 among the Gold Derby frontrunners for Best Picture at the Oscars. At Gold Derby, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” is in the 10th spot while “Drive” is down at No. 15. 

The BFCA members gave “Drive” a score of 91; the only films to do better with the group were “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” which got 93 but no Best Picture nomination and, at 92, both “The  Descendants” and “Martha Marcy May Marlene” which had to settle for just one acting nod. Also at 91 were “The Artist” and “Moneyball” as well as “The Ides of March” which contends only in the Acting Ensemble category. “The Help” scored 89 while “Hugo” merited 87 as did “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” which was shut out of these awards. Both “Midnight in Paris” and “My Week With Marilyn” came in at 85. While “Bridesmaids” rated 82 it contends for Best Comedy while Best Picture nominee “The Tree of Life” was only at 78. “War Horse” is at 81 and counting as reviews come in. “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” has yet to be scored. 

Last year, the BFCA forecast nine of the 10 eventual Best Picture Oscar nominees (it went for “The Town” over “The Kids Are All Right”). However, as with all the critics’ groups, the BFCA crowned “The Social Network” as Best Picture while the Academy Award went to “The King’s Speech.” The BFCA has predicted nine of the past 15 Best Picture Oscar winners, 11 Best Actor, 10 Best Actress, nine Supporting Actress and eight Supporting Actor Oscar winners. They went four for four both last year and in 2009 although at the Critics’ Choice eventual Oscar champ Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) did tie with Meryl Streep (“Julie & Julia”).  

WIth six slots in the acting races, the BFCA has done well presaging the eventual five who contend at the Oscars. Last year, it recognized 18 of the 20 eventual Oscar nominees. From this year’s Gold Derby Oscars frontrunners, five of the top six Best Actor contenders reaped BFCA bids: George Clooney (“The Descendants”), Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”), Brad Pitt (“Moneyball”), Michael Fassbender (“Shame”) and Leonardo DiCaprio (“J. Edgar”). Only Gary Oldman (“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”), who is in fifth place at Gold Derby, was snubbed; the BFCA field is filled out by Ryan Gosling, who is in the 11th position at Gold Derby for an Oscar nod for “Drive.”

The Best Actress race has our top three Oscar frontrunnersMeryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”), Viola Davis (“The Help”) and Michelle Williams (“My Week With Marilyn”) — as well as contenders in the fifth (Tilda Swinton, “We Need to Talk About Kevin”), seventh (Charlize Theron, “Young Adult”) and eighth postions (Elizabeth Olsen, “Martha Marcy May Marlene”). Snubbed by the BFCA were fourth place Glenn Close (“Albert Nobbs”) and sixth place Rooney Mara (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”). 

This year’s Supporting Actor nominees include our top two Oscar frontrunnersChristopher Plummer (“Beginners”) and Albert Brooks (“Drive”) — as well as fourth place Kenneth Branagh (“My Week With Marilyn”), seventh place Nick Nolte (“Warrior”) and tenth place Patton Oswalt (“Young Adult”). The final slot at the BFCA is taken by Andy Serkis for his CGI performance in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” With the Academy’s aversion to this type of acting, he is in 18th place on our chart. Among those Oscar contenders overlooked by the BFCA are third place Max von Sydow (“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”) and Ben Kingsley (“Hugo”) who is in the fifth slot. 

The Supporting Actress lineup includes four of our top six contenders: Octavia Spencer (“The Help”),  Shailene Woodley (“The Descendants”), Berenice Bojo (“The Artist”) and Melissa McCarthy (“Bridesmaids”). While Gold Derby forecasts Jessica Chastain to be nominated at the Oscars for “The Tree of Life,” the BFCA has recognized her for “The Help.” And while our odds predict Vanessa Redgrave to contend at the Oscars for “Coriolanus,” the BFCA filled out the category with Carey Mulligan (“Shame”) who is 10th place on our chart. 

The Directors list has our top five contenders: Alexander Payne (“The Descendants”), Michel Hazanavicius (“The Artist”), Steven Spielberg (“War Horse”), Martin Scorsese (“Hugo”) and Stephen Daldry (“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”). However, the sixth slot at the BFCA went to “Drive” director Nicholas Winding Refn who is in 14th place at Gold Derby. Among those he edged out were helmers of four other Best Picture contenders who all rank above him on our chart:  LAFCA champ Terrence Malick (“The Tree of Life”), Woody Allen (“Midnight in Paris”) Bennett Miller (“Moneyball”) and Tate Taylor (“The Help”). 

Review the full list of nominees here

The BFCA is the largest film critics’ organization in North America with 250 members. The winners will be revealed on a VH1 kudocast on Jan. 12.

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