By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

2012 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards

“Zero Dark Thirty,” the drama chronicling the long ten-year hunt for Osama bin Laden in the wake of 9/11 hit its mark, according to the Chicago Film Critics Association. In voting for their annual awards, the film led with five awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Kathryn Bigelow, Best Original Screenplay for Mark Boal, Best Actress for Jessica Chastain and Best Editing for William Goldenberg & Dylan Tichenor. Interestingly, both Bigelow and Boal won in the same categories three years earlier with 2009’s “The Hurt Locker,” which the group also named Best Picture. As for Chastain, this marks the second year in a row where she has been cited by the CFCA, having won their Best Supporting Actress prize last year for “The Tree of Life.”

In second place with four awards was “The Master,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s complex drama about an aimless young man in post-war America who falls under the spell of a charismatic leader of a mysterious new movement. For his performance as that leader, Philip Seymour Hoffman was named Best Supporting Actor and as his equally determined wife, Amy Adams was named Best Supporting Actress. In addition, Mihai Milaimare Jr. won the award for Best Cinematography while Jonny Greenwood took the prize for Best Original Score.

Tying for third with two awards each were “Lincoln,” Steven Spielberg’s drama following the efforts of the 16th president to pass an amendment abolishing slavery in the face of enormous odds, and “Beast of the Southern Wild,” the visionary low-budget drama about a resourceful six-year-old girl living in a remote Louisiana floodplain who sets off on a journey to find her long-lost mother when her father becomes seriously ill. The former won awards for Daniel Day-Lewis for Best Actor and Tony Kushner for Adapted Screenplay while the latter took home the Most Promising Filmmaker prize for Benh Zeitlin, who received four individual nominations for his work on the film, and Most Promising Performer for young Quvenzhane Wallis for her extraordinary work in the central role.

Among the other films cited by the group, “Amour,” the heart-wrenching drama by Michael Haneke chronicling the physical and emotional horrors that befall an aging couple when one is beset by a cruel and debilitating illness, received the prize for Best Foreign-Language Film. Gerald Sullivan and Adam Stockhausen won the newly established Art Direction/Production Design award for their contributions to the whimsical pre-teen romantic comedy “Moonrise Kingdom.” “The Invisible War,” the eye-opening film focusing on rape in the military was named Best Documentary and “Paranorman,” the delightful stop-motion fantasy about an odd young boy with the ability to see and communicate with the dead, won for Best Animated Film.

Now in its 23rd year, the CFCA will be presenting their awards at a ceremony to be held on February 9, 2013.

Awards Tally
5–Zero Dark Thirty
4–The Master
2–Beasts of the Southern Wild
Lincoln
1- Amour
The Invisible War
Moonrise Kingdom
Paranorman

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“I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many recappers, while clearly over their heads, are baseline sympathetic to finding themselves routinely unmoored, even if that means repeating over and over that this is closer to “avant-garde art” than  normal TV to meet the word count. My feed was busy connecting the dots to Peter Tscherkassky (gas station), Tony Conrad (the giant staring at feedback of what we’ve just seen), Pat O’Neill (bombs away) et al., and this is all apposite — visual and conceptual thinking along possibly inadvertent parallel lines. If recappers can’t find those exact reference points to latch onto, that speaks less to willful ignorance than to how unfortunately severed experimental film is from nearly all mainstream discussions of film because it’s generally hard to see outside of privileged contexts (fests, academia, the secret knowledge of a self-preserving circle working with a very finite set of resources and publicity access to the larger world); resources/capital/access/etc. So I won’t assign demerits for willful incuriosity, even if some recappers are reduced, in some unpleasantly condescending/bluffing cases, to dismissing this as a “student film” — because presumably experimentation is something the seasoned artist gets out of their system in maturity, following the George Lucas Model of graduating from Bruce Conner visuals to Lawrence Kasdan’s screenwriting.”
~ Vadim Rizov Goes For It, A Bit

“On the first ‘Twin Peaks,’ doing TV was like going from a mansion to a hut. But the arthouses are gone now, so cable television is a godsend — they’re the new art houses. You’ve got tons of freedom to do the work you want to do on TV, but there is a restriction in terms of picture and sound. The range of television is restricted. It’s hard for the power and the glory to come through. In other words, you can have things in a theater much louder and also much quieter. With TV, the quieter things have to be louder and the louder things have to be quieter, so you have less dynamics. The picture quality — it’s fine if you have a giant television with a good speaker system, but a lot of people will watch this on their laptops or whatever, so the picture and the sound are going to suffer big time. Optimally, people should be watching TV in a dark room with no disturbances and with as big and good a picture as possible and with as great sound as possible.”
~ David Lynch