Critics’ Choice Awards shakeup: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ added to Best Picture lineup

star wars the force awakens

In a rare move, the Broadcast Film Critics Association has voted to add “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” to its lineup for Best Picture at the Critics Choice’ Awards, bringing the total number of nominees from 10 to 11. See the complete (updated) list of nominations right here.

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“Star Wars” didn’t screen for critics until the week of December 14 in advance of its December 18 release, so it wasn’t seen in time for voting for the Critics’ Choice Awards, which ended on December 11. The film was absent from the SAG Awards and Golden Globes for the same reason, but after critics saw the film and gave it rave reviews, the BFCA decided to hold a special referendum on Monday, December 21, and it was then that the group decided to award the film a late Best Picture nomination.

This ruling only applies to Best Picture, so the film is unable to compete for any other awards, including acting, writing, directing or any of the number of craft categories where we will likely see the film compete at the Oscars, including Best Visual Effects. “Star Wars” also remains absent from the special action-movie and sci-fi/horror categories at Critics’ Choice, where the lauded film might have taken home several trophies.

Only once in the past was a similar addition made to the Best Picture lineup. In 2000, voters had not yet seen “Cast Away” when drafting nominees, but decided to add it later, thus expanding the list of 10 nominees to 11. 

The Critics’ Choice are typically a solid predictor of the Oscars. Seven of last year’s eight Oscar nominees for Best Picture also contended at Critics’ Choice. Eight out of nine Oscar nominees matched Critics’ Choice in 2012 and 2013. And in 2011 all nine nominees at the Oscars were cited by Critics’ Choice.

So now that Critics’ Choice has 11 nominees for Best Picture, will they perfectly overlap with the academy’s eventual picks? This news comes just as “Star Wars” jumps into the top-10 of our Oscar Experts’ Best Picture picks, so the film certainly seems to be on the rise.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Oscar experts predict Best Picture nomination

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