Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 Denver Film Critics Society Awards Nominations – “Argo,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Django Unchained,” “The Master,” and more!

As a member of the Denver Film Critics Society, I had the chance to participate in something very exciting this year: Voting in our third annual DFCS Awards. Earlier this week, members were asked to send in ballots in each of the 12 categories, providing five ranked nominations for each. Today, the official nominations for the DFCS Awards have been released, and I am proud to provide them here, with a bit of my own commentary as well as my official vote for each.

The winners will be announced next week, on January 8th, and I will publish another article then. For now, take a look at our nominations. I think they are a pretty healthy set of nominees, and I am surprised to see how many of my own picks got nods.

Read more after the jump…

Best Film

Silver Linings Playbook
Django Unchained

I honestly did not think Django Unchained would show up here, but as it is my favorite film of the year, I am overjoyed it made the cut. Also very happy to have Silver Linings Playbook, a movie I like more and more each time I watch it. I do not like Argo nearly as much as my colleagues, but it is a good film, and I have no major objections to its presence. I just hope one of the other nominees is the eventual winner.

My vote: Django Unchained

Best Achievement in Directing

Ben Affleck, Argo
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master

None of these directors were on my personal ballot, but I had a tough time leaving Kathryn Bigelow’s marvelous work on Zero Dark Thirty off, so I am perfectly happy to see her here. I feel both Argo and The Master are vastly overrated movies, but both are very well directed, so I have no major objections to this category, even if it would have been nice to see David O. Russell or Quentin Tarantino make the cut. 

Best Lead Performance by an Actor, Male

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Denzel Washington, Flight

The only person here who was not on my ballot is John Hawkes, but I have no qualms with his inclusion. His work in The Sessions is phenomenal, and absolutely stands as one of the best performances of the year. Day-Lewis was probably a given, but I am glad to see Denzel Washington represented for his career-best work in Flight.

My vote: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Best Lead Performance by an Actor, Female

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

A great category, and I am not just saying that because all three of these leading ladies were on my personal ballot. All three are prospective Oscar nominees, and justifiably so. These are three tremendous performances, and whoever we ultimately give our award to will be completely deserving.

My vote: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Best Supporting Performance by an Actor, Male

Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook

Another strong field, and another where two of my favorites – De Niro and Jones – made the cut. I did not personally vote for Hoffman, but he is certainly a worthy inclusion, whatever my reservations about The Master may be.

My vote: Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook

Best Supporting Performance by an Actor, Female

Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln

I am one of the very few who felt a bit underwhelmed by Sally Field’s work in Lincoln – I found her to be a bit too over-the-top in contrast to her more subtle fellow performers – but Adams and Hathaway were at the top of my ballot, and I like this category a lot overall.

My vote: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Best Animated Feature

Wreck-It Ralph

All three were on my ballot, and each are very good to great movies in their own right. All would be deserving winners, but I would like to see Wreck-It Ralph get the win. It is one of Disney’s very best films.

My vote: Wreck-It Ralph

Best Original Screenplay

Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom

A field of three genuine auteurs. I am very glad that my personal favorite, Django Unchained, has a shot at the win, and though I did not vote for it, Moonrise Kingdom is a wonderful screenplay worthy of recognition. I would argue with the inclusion of The Master – the screenplay is the source of all the film’s problems – but the other two scripts would make great winners.

My vote: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Best Adapted Screenplay

David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Chris Terrio, Argo
Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I am surprised and happy to see The Perks of Being a Wallflower here, a tremendous script that has been overlooked by other groups. I would love for either it or Silver Linings Playbook to win, though I personally favor the latte a tad more. I know I am in the minority in being underwhelmed by Argo, so I will not quibble with its inclusion. It is a well-written film as well, though I do not believe it stacks up to the other two choices.

My vote: David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

Best Documentary Feature

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

This category is a pleasant surprise, as these were my exact top three picks on my nomination ballot. All are worthy of a win, but I like Jiro Dreams of Sushi the most, as it is the most unique, creative, and thematically resonant of the lot.

My vote: Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Best Original Song

“Skyfall” from Skyfall
“Suddenly” from Les Miserables
“When Can I See You Again?” from Wreck-It Ralph

The inclusion of the decidedly mediocre “When Can I See You Again?” at the cost of any of the original songs from Django Unchained is a real head-scratcher, but I cannot argue with the other two picks. “Skyfall” made by ballot with ease, and “Suddenly” missed by just a hair. I would love to see Adele win this one.

My vote: “Skyfall” from Skyfall

Best Original Score

Hans Zimmer, The Dark Knight Rises
John Williams, Lincoln
Alexandre Desplat, Argo

There are some conspicuous omissions here – Howard Shore and The Hobbit should have been an obvious choice – but Williams, Desplat, and Zimmer are all perfectly deserving, even if Argo was probably only Desplat’s fourth or fifth best score of the year (Moonrise Kingdom and Zero Dark Thirty were better Desplat scores, just to name a few). I give Zimmer the edge here.

My vote: Hans Zimmer, The Dark Knight Rises

Best Non-English Language Feature

The Intouchables
Holy Motors

This is a category I am, I regret to say, less than qualified to vote in, as I was unable to see many foreign films this year. The Intouchables slipped under my radar over the summer, and I never had the chance to see Amour, so the only title here I watched is Holy Motors. I still give it my vote, though, as it is a truly singular, brilliant motion picture deserving of recognition. In any case, from what I know about Amour and The Intouchables, this is a strong category with three more than viable winners. 

My vote: Holy Motors 

Winners for the 2013 Denver Film Critics Society Awards will be announced January 8th, and I will have an article with those winners published both here and at We Got This Covered.

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