Presented by the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. (BFCA), the nominees for the 18th Annual Critics' Choice Awards will be unveiled tomorrow (Dec. 11), with winners to be revealed live on the CW on Thursday, Jan. 10, the same day Oscar nominations are unveiled.
Unlike the smaller, print-based critics' groups in New York and Los Angeles, the BFCA represents more than 250 TV, radio, and online journalists, who have become a fairly accurate barometer of the Academy's taste. Last year, all nine Oscar nominees for Best Picture were among the Critics' Choice contenders, as well as 13 of the 20 Oscar nominees for acting.
In the history of the awards, 10 of the 17 Critics' Choice winners for Best Picture have gone on to win the top Oscar, and the overlap has increased over time: Critics' Choice matched the Oscars four times in the last five years, with only their 2010 pick, "The Social Network," failing to win both. ("The King's Speech" won the Oscar.)
This year, our predictions yield field-leading 21 to 10 odds to both "Argo" and "Lincoln," followed by NY Film Critics Circle winner "Zero Dark Thirty," "Les Miserables," "Silver Linings Playbook," "The Master," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Life of Pi," "Moonrise Kingdom," and "Flight" to round out the Best Picture top ten.
"Argo" director Ben Affleck gets even odds to win Best Director, with Steven Spielberg ("Lincoln") and Kathryn Bigelow ("Zero Dark") close behind. The three other expected nominees are Tom Hooper ("Les Miserables"), David O. Russell ("Silver Linings"), and Ang Lee ("Life of Pi").
Over the years, 11 Critics' Choice winners for Best Actor have repeated at the Oscars, as have nine of their Best Actress winners. Will this year's nominees and winners give us a preview of the Oscars, or diverge once again?
The acting categories will also include six nominees, and in the Best Actor race, National Board of Review winner Bradley Cooper ("Silver Linings") is forecast to join Hugh Jackman ("Les Miserables"), Joaquin Phoenix ("The Master"), Denzel Washington ("Flight"), John Hawkes ("The Sessions"), and frontrunner Daniel Day-Lewis ("Lincoln"), who gets 4 to 11 odds. In a crowded field, it may be those six battling for the five Oscar slots.
Recent LA Film Critics Assn. champ Jennifer Lawrence ("Silver Linings") gets best odds (2 to 5) to win Best Actress, and her co-winner at LAFCA, Emmanuelle Riva ("Amour") is expected to join her among the nominees. Predicted to round out the top six are Jessica Chastain ("Zero Dark"), Marion Cotillard ("Rust and Bone"), Quvenzhane Wallis ("Beasts of the Southern Wild"), and Keira Knightley ("Anna Karenina").
Last year, six of the ten lead acting contenders at the Oscars had first been nominated by the BFCA. However, the two groups disagreed on the winners. Jean Dujardin ("The Artist") beat Critics' Choice winner George Clooney ("The Descendants") at the Oscars, while Meryl Streep ("The Iron Lady") ultimately prevailed against Critics' Choice champ Viola Davis ("The Help").