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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“Any time a movie causes a country to threaten nuclear retaliation, the higher-ups wanna get in a room with you… In terms of getting the word out about the movie, it’s not bad. If they actually make good on it, it would be bad for the world—but luckily that doesn’t seem like their style… We’ll make a movie that maybe for two seconds will make some 18-year-old think about North Korea in a way he never would have otherwise. Or who knows? We were told one of the reasons they’re so against the movie is that they’re afraid it’ll actually get into North Korea. They do have bootlegs and stuff. Maybe the tapes will make their way to North Korea and cause a fucking revolution. At best, it will cause a country to be free, and at worst, it will cause a nuclear war. Big margin with this movie.”
~ Seth Rogen In Rolling Stone 1224

“Yes, good movies sprout up, inevitably, in the cracks and seams between the tectonic plates on which all of these franchises stay balanced, and we are reassured of their hardiness. But we don’t see what we don’t see; we don’t see the effort, or the cost of the effort, or the movies of which we’re deprived because of the cost of the effort. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice may have come from a studio, but it still required a substantial chunk of outside financing, and at $35 million, it’s not even that expensive. No studio could find the $8.5 million it cost Dan Gilroy to make Nightcrawler. Birdman cost a mere $18 million and still had to scrape that together at the last minute. Imagine American movie culture for the last few years without Her or Foxcatcher or American Hustle or The Master or Zero Dark Thirty and it suddenly looks markedly more frail—and those movies exist only because of the fairy godmothership of independent producer Megan Ellison. The grace of billionaires is not a great business model on which to hang the hopes of an art form.”
~ Mark Harris On The State Of The Movies