Award Season Shaping: NBR edition

Lainey Posted by Lainey at December 2, 2011 15:54:30 December 2, 2011 15:54:30

In the last couple of years, the National Board of Review Awards haven't been the most accurate prognosticators of what and who will go on to actually WIN Oscars. (These days, I feel like the NBR has become more like the AFI. Just me?) Their selections however are still strong indicators of what and who will go on to be NOMINATED for Academy Awards. And this is useful in a year with so many worthy contenders; no category has a locked down list, especially where the actors are concerned. Many of the 4 and 5 spots are still being heavily debated.

Tilda Swinton's NBR win for We Need To Talk About Kevin then solidly repositions her among Best Actresses. At this point, there's no question about Meryl. And Viola Davis, recognised this week by the Santa Barbara Film Festival, seems pretty secure too. The Academy obviously loves Michelle Williams and now with Tilda surging again, and Charlize Theron kicking up her campaign strategy, there's even less room for Elizabeth Olsen, whose chances at a nomination took a huge hit this week. But what about that “New Young Actress” in the vein of Carey Mulligan and Jennifer Lawrence spot that’s a requirement every year?

Well, the NBR was so hard for The Descendants, they gave Best Supporting Actress to Shailene Woodley. Woodley could very well wear the New Young Actress crown over Olsen. And she has a lot more financial and studio support behind her, not to mention George Clooney, the NBR’s Best Actor many times has it been now? They worship him. In other words, he’s totally taking Stacy Keibler to the Oscars.

But can he take down Brad Pitt? They’re going head to head.

Sarah made her prediction for Gary Oldman yesterday - click here to read her position - and while I’m not quite ready yet to issue my official declaration, I have to say, I’m really feeling Brad right now. Not because I think he gave a better performance than everyone else but because he has been working it so hard and SO WELL. Did you hear about how he spoke to that suicidal actor during the press conference the other day? Click here for those details. Like, COME ON. And while you may be rolling your eyes, along with me, he has critics and industry players f-cking drooling over his sh-t right now. Can he carry this momentum?

Well, Moneyball is rolling again. And NBR’s affection for The Descendants could just mean it’s this years Up In The Air. The NBR picked Hugo as their best film of the year (because they’re obsessed with Scorsese) but for the Oscars, it’s actually wide open right now. By this point in 2010, it was either The Social Network or The King’s Speech. That’s not the case in 2011. I wonder then if Moneyball can succeed where The Social Network couldn’t. TSN could not close. It peaked too early. Moneyball feels like it’s building at the perfect time.

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