Critics Choice nominations: 5 biggest surprises

Girl-with-the-Dragon-TattooImage Credit: Knut KoivistoEvery year I look to the Broadcast Film Critics Association as the group that most accurately predicts the eventual Oscar nominees. So the BFCA’s Critics Choice nominations announcement this morning may hold many clues as to what may happen later on in the awards season. Here are the five things that most surprised me about their respectable, yet somewhat predictable lists.

1. Black Swan leads with 12 nominations The film with the most BFCA nods wasn’t The Social Network, The King’s Speech, or Inception, but Darren Aronofsky’s polarizing noir thriller. It’s important to remember that one of last year’s top BFCA nominees was Nine, and that movie didn’t exactly score with the Academy. But 12 Critics Choice nods means that Black Swan could have a sizable and ardent fan base throughout the awards season.

2. No Best Picture nod for The Kids Are All Right It failed to snag a spot on the National Board of Review Top 10. And now The Kids Are All Right missed the cut here as well. It should get a nice bump at tomorrow’s Golden Globes announcement, but the indie comedy is now officially on the bubble for a Best Picture nod.

3. Noomi Rapace scores a Best Actress slot The star of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo earned a spot alongside powerhouses like Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman, and Natalie Portman, squeezing out Another Year‘s Lesley Manville. This doesn’t mean she’s a sure thing for a SAG or Oscar nod, but in a very competitive year she’s now squarely in the running.

4. Mila Kunis for Best Supporting Actress I had the Black Swan costar at No. 10 on my supporting-actress rankings last week. Getting in there over Rabbit Hole’s Dianne Wiest and Get Low‘s Sissy Spacek (not to mention her own Swan costar Barbara Hershey) means she’s a viable candidate.

5. Nothing for Michael Douglas Even though he’s not one of my top overall contenders in either race, I thought the BFCA might acknowledge him with a supporting actor nomination for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps or, more likely, in the lead category for Solitary Man. If he couldn’t capitalize on the BFCA’s sixth slot in the acting races, he’ll have an even tougher time with the more exclusive Oscars.

Comments (81 total) Add your comment
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  • Joseph

    Way to go, Black Swan!

    • tracy bluth

      I wish both Barbara and Mila had been nominated, but I’m happy for Mila. She was fantastic!!!!!

      • AK

        Mila Kunis was solid in a fairly simple part. I think Barbara Hershey had a much more interesting performance.

    • gerritv

      Enter the Young!!!

      I happy to hope that maybe this will be the year for the young actors and actresses and nominations will be made based on the performance and not how long one’s been hanging on the vine.

      Good choices all. . .

  • tracy bluth

    As someone who honestly wasn’t a big fan of The Kids Are All Right (it had so much potential, and then SPOILER ALERT they ruined it with that dumb affair) I’m not too devastated.

    • Excelda

      Yeah, I didn’t love it. Did it make gay families more relatable? Yeah, but not in a good way. Annette Benning was a huge jerk for most of the movie, and Julianne Moore was sort of pathetic. On top of that, it was also rather boring.

      • Erin

        Oh, Sweet Jesus. I thought it was just me. Kept hearing how amazing it was and blah, blah blah. SO boring.

    • NC

      Totally agree. The Kids Are All Right definitely failed to live up to it’s potential (and hype) and failed on so many levels it was genuine disappointment.

    • Alyssa

      YES! exactly. it was a good movie, a very good movie, but that affair in the movie did ruin it for me and overshadowed the rest of it. If they were going to have it they could have at least identified her as bisexual.

      • FromChicago

        Well don’t a lot of lesbian affairs fail or change just like in the movies? I think about Ellen Degeneres and Ann Hecht, who turned out to be (gasp!) heterosexual; Melissa Etheridge is on her 2nd or 3rd marriage, I forget. so a lot of lesbian affairs, if you follow entertainment, do end up with one of the women going to a man or divorcing and breaking up.

        One thing I’m beginning to notice about lesb. relationships — why do women wait until they’re like 40 or 60 to decide they’re lesbian? I don’t get that. Why didn’t they know when they were 20?

      • Ruby


        Maybe the women just get so sick of men that by the time they reach, say 40, they give them up altogether ;)

      • Dav

        FromChicago…have you payed attention to the divorce rate among hetro couples lately? Lesbian’s do not have the market cornered on failed relationships. Straight people are just as messed up in the marriage department as anyone else. I think 40 and 60 year old women are coming out now because they finally feel it is safe to. For years they hid it because they were afraid. Can you imagine admiting you were gay back in the 50’s and 60’s…um, no.

    • T

      I felt the same way. I just watched it recently though so I thought maybe it just didn’t live up to all the hype that I had heard about. Even though Annette Bening and J. Moore did a good job, there wasn’t a time that I wasn’t aware that they were acting. I like Mark Ruffalo much better in his role. I didn’t think Bening’s character was likeable at all so she began to annoy me pretty quickly.

    • Liz

      Yea I think that The Kids Are All Right is only hyped because it’s about a lesbian couple and not because it’s actually a good movie.

  • Matt

    So excited about Noomi! Man, she just kicked ass in that movie. Good for her!

    • Maserda

      Is the nomination for Dragon Tattoo or Played With Fire?

      • Maserda

        Nevermind: Saw it was for Dragon Tattoo.

    • PK

      I totally agree. She was awesome in that role. I’ve been living under a rock and am reading the second book now. Can’t wait to finish it so I can see the second film. Good luck Noomi.

    • debi

      ms.rapace should win…i have never seen an actress BECOME the character the way she did!

      • craig barron

        I agree she was mesmerizing in the role you couldn’t take your eyes off her.

      • dm

        agreed. The original movie is great. I see no reason at all to make an English language version of this movie. Are we so lazy that we can’t be bothered with subtitles? I guess so. Too sad. The English language version will no doubt be a pale imitation.

    • aleksa

      YES. So pleased for her. My question is, can she be nominated for an Oscar? I thought the film was released in 2008 in Sweden.

      • aleksa

        Actually, it appears it was 2009. But that would still make her ineligible, as I understand their rules.

      • Woot

        No she is eligible because the film was released in 2010. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is ineligible from Best Foreign language film however due to your reasoning.

  • Mr. Holloway

    Still waiting for “Black Swan” and “The Fighter” (both should be in my neck of the woods on Friday), as well as “127 Hours.”

  • meme

    The Kids Are All Right was good but overrated. Don’t think it deserves a best pic nod. I don’t understand why you would be surprised about Noomi Rapace – she is brilliant as Lisbeth.

  • Annie

    Way to go Noomi!!!! Congratulations on your nomination!

  • Tully

    Noomi Rapace is unbelievable in that role and she well deserves a nomination but I totally dislike the movie.

    • Stacie


    • Danny

      Agree. Loved her but the movie was dull and unemotional.

    • Alan Smithee

      You are my new best friend. When I tell my friends I didn’t like this movie, they looked at me like I live in a trailer, eat pork rinds and watch Cops to see the episode where I was on. That is so unfair. I don’t like pork rinds.

      • I’m with Alan Smithee

        Love it!

      • Amber

        I liked the movie, but I like your comment almost as much as the movie itself.

      • aleksa

        I liked the movie, but your comment still made my giggle.

      • aleksa


  • Ana

    I hope Black Swan wins! Natalie Portman was brilliant!!

  • Jethro

    Mila was brilliant in the film, she is why Natalie was so good. The film is pure gold and should take many noms in GGs and Oscar races.

    The Kids…felt too much like a Lifetime movie, but Ruffalo was better than Annette and Julianne and better not be overlooked.

  • Sarah

    Glad Noomi got some love.

  • mary q contrary

    I’m just really happy Andrew Garfield snagged a nom for The Social Network. He completely blew me away, especially in the final half hour or so. It also inspired me to finally seek out and watch Boy A. Jesus. I see GREAT things in this guy’s future. And if you haven’t seen Boy A, get on it. He’s incredible.

  • shocked

    Where is Jennifer Lawrence for Winter’s Bone?

  • shocked

    just saw it now – teaches me to post before my morning coffee!

  • RajibDavid

    I’m so glad Burlesque got nominated!

  • Sam L

    Black Swan was the worst movie I saw this year–and I sat through Prince of Persia. Not only was it bad, it was unpleasant, unoriginal and ripped off better movies like “Repulsion”, “Dressed to Kill”, and the ending of “The Red Shoes”.

    This was the pits–why anyone thinks it’s award-worthy is beyond me.

    • Colleen

      I agree — I saw it last weekend and the audience laughed a lot — and the movie is definitely not a comedy.

      • Sam

        Its called comic relief scenes

    • Mephysto

      The EW comment monitor censored my valid brief comment on this post yesterday on Aronfsky’s movie, and would not post it. This badly reflects on EW, and it in one respect reveals the envy and power politics that underlie awards season in Hollywood. So it isn’t about artistic merit or integrity and honoring good work anymore. You don’t understand bad actions, dishonorable motives lead to bad outcomes. You’re cynical and dissatisfied, and if you’re always accomplishing less in life than you know you could — this is the reason, these type of small actions of ill will and dishonesty. It all adds up. – This was my comment yesterday to the post: “In regard to your response to Aronofsky’s movie, human nature can misunderstand what is different, call it ugly, when it is really creative and unique.”

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