“I was a little surprised that ‘Foxcatcher‘ got snubbed in the best film and ensemble categories. I had read such favorable reviews of it that I thought the critics really liked it,” admits Gold Derby’s contest champ Amber Knieriem (Hummingbird Amber in our forums). Knieriem beat all others while predicting the Critics Choice Awards nominations, earning the #1 position on our leaderboard and winning a $100 Amazon gift certificate thanks to her 88% accuracy. See all of Knieriem’s predictions here.
Also in our chat, this 40-year-old cataloguer from Utah talks about her favorite performances of the year and what she thinks the critics will name Best Picture. Below, read the entire Q&A with our 2014 Critics Choice Awards nominations contest winner.
When predicting the nominees, do you usually go with the flow or go your own way?
I usually go my own way unless I haven’t seen something and everyone is saying it will get nominated. Then I go with the crowd. I normally go by instinct, but my process for picking the Critics Choice nominations was a little different. I’ve only seen six movies this year so far, so I had to completely take instinct and emotion out of the equation. I’m still waiting for most of the Critics Choice nominated films to arrive at my local theaters. It’s one of the joys of small town living. So to predict this particular contest, I kept a close eye on what the various local critics groups around the country were nominating and awarding. I figured that would be a good barometer of what the BFCA would do.
What were the biggest surprise Critics Choice nominations?
For me, the biggest surprise of the Critics Choice nominations was how well “Unbroken” did. This is not me slamming on the movie. I haven’t seen it, so I don’t know if I would like it or not. But it had a really low rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so I was under the assumption the critics didn’t care for it.
What were your personal favorite performances of the year?
My favorite performance of the year out of the movies I’ve seen so far would have to be Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl.” She played a very convincing psychopath. I also really enjoyed Ralph Fiennes in “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” It was fun to see him do a comedy.
At this point, I would be very shocked if anything other than “Boyhood” took the top prize at the Critics Choice Awards. And I did like that movie, so I’m fine with it winning. But I may change my mind as to what I would want to win as I see more films over the next couple of months. I am pretty excited to see “Birdman.” If it’s as good as I hope it will be, I’ll probably be rooting for that.
What other events do you predict at Gold Derby?
I pretty much stick to just doing the TV and film predications at Gold Derby. I watch a lot of television, so the Emmys are my favorite to predict. I get way too emotionally involved in who is going to win an Emmy every year.
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