By announcing their winners on December 13, the Boston Society of Film Critics opted not to include for consideration a slew of films that will be eligible for consideration at the upcoming 2021 Oscars. Among those titles scheduled to be released in January and February 2021 that look like leading contenders at the Academy Awards in April: “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie,” “Falling,” “French Exit,” “Joe Bell,” “The Little Things,” “The Mauritanian,” “Pieces of a Woman,” “Supernova,” “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” and “The White Tiger.”
While the Boston critics spread the wealth to many films, they saved the top two prizes for “Nomadland”: Best Film and Best Director (Chloe Zhao). That’s yet another victory for the film that has already won top prizes at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals, and it might be a good sign for the Oscars judging from Boston’s history.
Boston’s pick for the best film of the year has at least been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars in all but four years this century: “Almost Famous” (2000), “Mulholland Drive” (2001), “WALL-E” (2008) and “If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018). But in the case of 2008, the Boston critics still managed to pick a winner: “WALL-E” tied for Best Film with “Slumdog Millionaire,” the ultimate Oscar champ.
Boston has also been in sync with the motion picture academy by picking the ultimate winner seven times in the last 20 years. In addition to “Slumdog,” the two groups have agreed on “The Departed” (2006), “No Country for Old Men” (2007), “The Hurt Locker” (2009), “The Artist” (2011), “12 Years a Slave” (2013) and “Spotlight” (2015). Other films won Boston that were quite possibly close runners-up at the Oscars: “The Pianist” (2002), “Brokeback Mountain” (2005), “Boyhood” (2014) and “La La Land” (2016).
In a year with so many studio tentpoles delayed, this year’s Boston prizes were very kind to indie films overall. In addition to the victories for “Nomadland,” the acting prizes went to a set of intimate dramas: “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Best Actress for Sidney Flanigan), “The Father” (Best Actor for Anthony Hopkins), “Minari” (Best Supporting Actress for Youn Yuh-Jung) and “Sound of Metal” (Best Supporting Actor for Paul Raci). How many of these critics’ picks do you think will get a boost throughout this awards season?
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