By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

2012 CHICAGO FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION NOMINEES

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BEST PICTURE
Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Lincoln
The Master
Zero Dark Thirty

BEST DIRECTOR
Ben Affleck, Argo
Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

BEST ACTOR
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Denis Lavant, Holy Motors
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

BEST ACTRESS
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts, The Impossible

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Jason Clarke, Zero Dark Thirty
Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
Dwight Henry, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, The Master
Emily Blunt, Looper
Judi Dench, Skyfall
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Django Unchained by Quentin Tarantino
Looper by Rian Johnson
The Master by Paul Thomas Anderson
Moonrise Kingdom by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty by Mark Boal

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Argo by Chris Terrio
Beasts of the Southern Wild by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
Lincoln by Tony Kushner
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Silver Linings Playbook by David O. Russell

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
Amour
Holy Motors
The Intouchables
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
Rust & Bone

BEST DOCUMENTARY
The Central Park Five
The Invisible War
The Queen of Versailles
Searching For Sugar Man
West of Memphis

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Brave
Frankenweenie
ParaNorman
The Secret World of Arrietty
Wreck-It Ralph

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi
Janusz Kaminski, Lincoln
Mihai Milaimare Jr., The Master
Roger Deakins, Skyfall
Greig Fraser, Zero Dark Thirty

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Alexandre Desplat, Argo
Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Jonny Greenwood, The Master
Alexandre Desplat, Moonrise Kingdom
Alexandre Desplat, Zero Dark Thirty

BEST ART DIRECTION
Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
Lincoln
The Master
Moonrise Kingdom

BEST EDITING
Willian Goldenberg, Argo
Alexander Berner & Claus Wehlisch, Cloud Atlas
Leslie Jones & Peter McNulty, The Master
Stuart Baird, Skyfall
William Goldenberg & Dylan Tichenor, Zero Dark Thirty

MOST PROMISING PERFORMER
Samantha Barks, Les Miserables
Kara Hayward, Moonrise Kingdom
Dwight Henry, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Tom Holland, The Impossible
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER
Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Drew Goddard, The Cabin in the Woods
Nicholas Jarecki, Arbitrage
Colin Trevorrow, Safety Not Guaranteed
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

10 nominations–The Master
9 nominations–Beasts of the Southern Wild
8 nominations–Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty
5 nominations–Argo
4 nominations–Moonrise Kingdom
3 nominations–Les Miserables, Skyfall
2 nominations–Amour, Django Unchained, Holy Motors, The Impossible, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Sessions, The Silver Linings Playbook, Looper
1 nomination–Anna Karenina, Arbitrage, Brave, The Cabin in the Woods, The Central Park Five, Cloud Atlas, Flight, Frankenweenie, The Intouchables, The Invisible War, The Life of Pi, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Paranorman, Queen of Versailles, Rust & Bone, Safety Not Guaranteed, Searching for Sugar Man, The Secret World of Arietty, West of Memphis, Wreck-It Ralph.

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“On behalf of all nominees, we would like to express our unanimous and emphatic disapproval of the climate of fanaticism and nationalism we see today in the U.S. and in so many other countries, in parts of the population and, most unfortunately of all, among leading politicians.

“The fear generated by dividing us into genders, colors, religions and sexualities as a means to justify violence destroys the things that we depend on – not only as artists but as humans: the diversity of cultures, the chance to be enriched by something seemingly ‘foreign’ and the belief that human encounters can change us for the better. These divisive walls prevent people from experiencing something simple but fundamental: from discovering that we are all not so different.

“So we’ve asked ourselves: What can cinema do? Although we don`t want to overestimate the power of movies, we do believe that no other medium can offer such deep insight into other people’s circumstances and transform feelings of unfamiliarity into curiosity, empathy and compassion – even for those we have been told are our enemies.

“Regardless of who wins the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday, we refuse to think in terms of borders. We believe there is no best country, best gender, best religion or best color. We want this award to stand as a symbol of the unity between nations and the freedom of the arts.

“Human rights are not something you have to apply for. They simply exist – for everybody. For this reason, we dedicate this award to all the people, artists, journalists and activists who are working to foster unity and understanding, and who uphold freedom of expression and human dignity – values whose protection is now more important than ever. By dedicating the Oscar to them, we wish to express to them our deep respect and solidarity.”

Martin Zandvliet – Land of Mine (Denmark)
Hannes Holm – A Man Called Ove (Sweden )
Asghar Farhadi – The Salesman (Iran)
Maren Ade – Toni Erdmann (Germany)
Martin Butler, Bentley Dean – Tanna (Australia)

“I don’t really believe in guilty pleasures. I like to subscribe to Susan Sontag’s thought of no highs and lows. I think dismissing popular culture and popular films can be really dangerous because they may seem innocuous, but some are works of art and even when they’re not they can say so much about the culture that they’re reflecting. This also gets into the idea of canon. What is good and isn’t good? Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about that. Specifically, who writes these canons? Mainly, straight white guys — which basically rigs the system. So, if you have a knowledge of female filmmakers, queer filmmakers, African or Asian filmmakers, some people won’t give them the same culture capital. They’ll say, “Oh, that’s nice niche knowledge.” No, it’s not. You’re just seeing it through the prism of something white and male. Like Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Scandal.’ I love that show, but is it a guilty pleasure because it’s a soap on TV? No. I think it has incredible writing, incredible thought and characters, so we should take it seriously. That’s a long-winded answer to say, “Yes, I love Titanic.” I was 10 years old when it came out and my mom took me to see it three times. I was so obsessed with it. A big thanks to my mom who’ll never get those nine hours of her life back.”
~ Toronto Int’l Programmer and Critic Kiva Reardon