What do Critics’ Choice Awards mean for Oscars?

The Critics’ Choice Awards are one of the best barometers for predicting the Oscars.

Over their 18-year, these awards bestowed by the Broadcast Film Critics Assn.have proven to be the most accurate precursor prizes to the Oscars predicting 12 Best Picture, 12 Best Actor, 10 Best Actress, 11 Supporting Actress and nine Supporting Actor winners.

However, last year they only went three for six in foreseeing the winners of these major awards at the Oscars. 

But, with many of the categories at these kudos having six slots, they do well at foreseeing the eventual five Oscar nominees. This year, they previewed 28 of the 34 Oscar nominees in the top six categories; last year, they went 29 out of 34. 

Below, an analysis of this year’s BFCA winners and nominations for these top six awards, including handicapping the likelihood of these prizes previewing the eventual winners slate at the Oscars. (Oscar nominees are in bold, with the BFCA winner in gold as well.)

BEST PICTURE
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her

Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
Saving Mr. Banks
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

The BFCA lineup included eight onf the nine Oscar nominees for Best Picture. The BFCA snubbed “Philomena.” 

After being snubbed by the three major print critics awards — the Gotham and LA groups and the national society — “12 Years a Slave,” which had won over many regional critics, picked up this prize.

Last year, the BFCA foresaw eight of the the nine Best Picture nominees: “Argo,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Django Unchained,” “Les Miserables,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln,” Silver Linings Playbook,” “Zero Dark Thirty.” They opted for “The Master” and “Moonrise Kingdom” over eventual Oscar contender “Amour.” Both the BFCA and the Oscars went with “Argo.” 

BEST DIRECTOR
Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity
Paul Greengrass, “Captain Phillips
Spike Jonze, “Her
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”
David O. Russell, “American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street

Cuaron has claimed the lion’s share of critics awards and is the clear Oscar frontrunner. Three of the other BFCA nominees make the cut for the Oscar, with Alexander Payne (“Nebraska”) reaping that fifth bid over DGA nominee Greengrass and Jonze. 

Last year, the BFCA presaged three of the Best Director Oscar nominees: Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”); David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”); Steven Spielberg (“Lincoln”). Snubbed Ben Affleck won the Critics’ Choice award while Lee took home the Oscar.
 

BEST ACTOR
Christian Bale, “American Hustle
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave

Tom Hanks, “Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford, “All is Lost

While the BFCA included eventual Oscar nominee Bale in this race, they snubbed Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Wolf of Wall Street”) who had to settle for the Comedy Actor award.  

McConaughey continues to build momentum, and wins over voters every time he delivers an acceptance speech. 

Last year, the BFCA foresaw all five of the the eventual Best Actor nominees — Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”), Hugh Jackman (“Les Miserables”),  Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”) and Denzel Washington (“Flight”) — with Day-Lewis winning both awards. 
 

BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity
Judi Dench, “Philomena

Brie Larson, “Short Term 12
Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County
Emma Thompson, “Saving Mr. Banks

Oscar nominee Amy Adams (“American Hustle”) had to be content with a Comedy Actress award at the BFCA. 

Blanchett continues to pick up every precursor prize and is as close to a lock as you can get with the Oscars. 

Last year, the BFCA predicted the Best Actress lineup at the Oscars — Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook), Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour), Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild) and Naomi Watts (“The Impossible”) — with Chastain winning over the critics but losing the Oscar to Lawrence. 


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl, “Rush
Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave

James Gandolfini, “Enough Said
Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club

This BFCA lineup was our first hint that Tom Hanks (“Saving Mr. Banks”) might be snubbed at the Oscars; Jonah Hill (“The Wolf of Wall Street”) nabbed that fifth slot. 

As with Blanchett, Leto is sweeping the precursor awards and is the clear frontrunner to take to the stage at the Dolby Theater on Oscar night. 

Last year the BFCA foresaw four of the five Oscar nominees — Alan Arkin (“Argo”), Robert De Niro (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Philip Seymour Hoffman (“The Master”) and Tommy Lee Jones (“Lincoln”) — but nominated Javier Bardem (“Skyfall#”) and Matthew McConaughey (“Magic Mike”) over eventual Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained“). The BFCA winner was Hoffman. 


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Scarlett Johansson, “Her
Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle
Lupita Nyongo, “12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County
June Squibb, “Nebraska

Oprah Winfrey, “The Butler

Golden Globe nominee Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”) rounded out the Oscar lineup over SAG contender Winfrey; Johansson was always a longshot at the Oscars for her voice performance in “Her.”

Nyongo deliverered yet another winning acceptance speech. She is poised to be a strong contender at the Oscars, with last year’s Best Actress champ Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”) her closest rival.   

Last year, the BFCA got four of the eventual Oscar nominees — Amy Adams (“The Master”);  Sally Field (“Lincoln”); Anne Hathaway (“Les Miserables”); Helen Hunt (“The Sessions”) — but went with Judi Dench (“Skyfall”) and Ann Dowd (“Compliance”) over eventual Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook”). Hathway won over both the BFCA and the academy. 

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