Critics' Choice Movie Awards A & E

20th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards Nominations

Critics’ Choice Movie Awards Nominations

Birdman Movie Keaton NortonIt’s that time of year again for new movie news, and while the internet is always going to overload with articles of snubs and surprises, this is actually a year that wasn’t especially difficult to predict. It may be somewhat surprising that Birdman managed 13 nominations for the CCMAs, leading all films, but the CCMA nominations (and Golden Globe nominations) in general are largely as expected.

Rather than just supply the list of nominations, I’m going to compare the CCMAs with the Golden Globes, where possible, and also provide some commentary for each category, including my picks.

Don’t forget that the CCMAs will be January 15th at 9pm est on A&E, and will be hosted this year by Michael Strahan.

Also, the CCMAs will include three special awards this year. Kevin Costner will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, Ron Howard will receive the Louis XIII Critics’ Choice Genius Award, and Jessica Chastain will receive the inaugural Critics’ Choice MVP Award, which recognizes an extraordinary actor for their work in several standout movies in a single year. This year, Chastain was in Interstellar, Miss Julie, A Most Violent Year, and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.



The Imitation Game MovieCCMA nominations

  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Gone Girl
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Nightcrawler
  • Selma
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Unbroken
  • Whiplash


The CCMA nominations overlap the Globes here with Boyhood, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

One of the difficulties here is always the nonsensical split the Golden Globes use, which amounts to nothing meaningful, except that there are always movies which are neither musical, nor comedy, which are nevertheless nominated in that category. The differences here are the Globes offering up Foxcatcher, Into the Woods, St. Vincent, and Pride, while the CCMAs chose to opt for Gone Girl, Nightcrawler, Unbroken, and Whiplash.

If there’s any surprise here, it’s probably that A Most Violent Year didn’t manage to show up on a list of 14 films. Other than that, the list isn’t surprising. In any year without a clear favorite, it usually comes down to a three film race, and this year it’s Boyhood, Selma, and The Imitation Game, with Birdman making a massive final push with real possibilities. This one is tough to call, because while all of these films have serious award-bait claims, it’s difficult to predict which is going to be given the most weight. If you spend twelve years making a movie, you’re going to get nominated and be in serious contention. If you make a film that is practically all one shot, you’re going to get nominated. And, if you make a film about Martin Luther King Jr. and/or civil rights, you’re going to get nominated. This leaves The Imitation Game as the holdout in the “just generally a weighty drama,” category, which is also going to get you nominated.

I think the true, non-biased, non-politically-correctness-fueled race here is between Boyhood and The Imitation Game, with The Imitation Game being the slightly better film. The bet, however, is probably Selma vs. Boyhood.


Best Actor

  • The Imitation Game - Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
  • Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
  • Michael Keaton – Birdman
  • David Oyelowo – Selma
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

The Globes split of films makes for more choices, giving Steve Carell the nod for Foxcatcher, as well as Bill Murray for St. Vincent, Christoph Waltz for Big Eyes, and Joaquin Phoenix for Inherent Vice.

The snub here, as far as the CCMAs are concerned, is Joaquin Phoenix. I didn’t even love the film itself as much as many, and after the crazy year, I give Phoenix 25% less credit than he deserves, no matter what he does, but he was still pretty amazing in this one.

This is a slightly tricky year, mostly because you actually want several of these people to get attention. But, this is an award, and people have to vote. If I’m being as open and honest as I can, I really think Gyllenhaal gave the best performance, but he’s still lucky to get nominated. Can he win? It isn’t the way to bet. Fiennes, though he was good, isn’t in the kind of role that wins. I don’t know that Redmayne has enough momentum, no matter how good he was. That leaves Cumberbatch and Keaton up against Oyelowo, and with nothing else having a massive claim to the award, it’s going to be hard to beat, not Oyelowo, who only has a moderate claim, at best in the middle of the pack here, but Selma.


Best Actress

  • Two Days One Night Movie Marion CotillardJennifer Aniston – Cake
  • Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night
  • Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
  • Julianne Moore – Still Alice
  • Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
  • Reese Witherspoon – Wild

The double category here adds Amy Adams for Big Eyes, Emily Blunt for Into the Woods, Helen Mirren for The Hundred Foot Journey, and Quvenzhané Wallis for Annie.

This is a very odd year for this category, and the CCMA snub of Helen Mirren is as surprising as the fact that the noms aren’t populated by the same old names. You didn’t expect Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, and aren’t overly familiar with the rest of the names, except Julianne Moore, the only real holdout for the “nominated because she made a movie this year” category.

This one is always tricky to predict, because you never know what is going to pull people in this category, and it rarely has much to do with the performances. On the other hand, it usually has a lot to do with the names involved, and those names aren’t options. Aniston has a lot of support, Witherspoon is really nominated only because she’s in a film with only one real character, and Felicity Jones gives a solid performance in a film that people want to nominate wherever they can.

The best performance of the year is really Marion Cotillard’s other performance, which ought to translate into a lot of votes for this performance. On the other hand, this could go anywhere, and even Rosamund Pike could easily get a lot of votes.


Best Supporting Actor

  • Whiplash Movie J.K. SimmonsJosh Brolin – Inherent Vice
  • Robert Duvall – The Judge
  • Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
  • Edward Norton – Birdman
  • Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
  • J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

The nominations here are exactly the same, except that the Golden Globes only have five and left out Josh Brolin. That’s more interesting than your usual snub, because just after the Globes were announced, the internet took off with people mentioning that particular snub. You don’t always get that sort of attention for a supporting acting oversight.

This is another one with no clear standout. Duvall was good, but I’m not sure it is a role that especially deserves the attention, though people may vote for him just because it’s him. Ruffalo and Norton are in the same boat as far as the roles are concerned. I’m a fan of both of them, and they certainly gave good efforts, but I don’t know that the roles open themselves up for truly deserving the nod. Brolin is awfully good, and in a very odd role. Hawke is going to get a lot of votes, and he’s impressive, and again, in a movie people want to vote for. The pretty easy “should win” here is Simmons.


Best Supporting Actress

  • A Most Violent Year MoviePatricia Arquette – Boyhood
  • Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
  • Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
  • Emma Stone – Birdman
  • Meryl Streep – Into the Woods
  • Tilda Swinton – Snowpiercer

Again, it’s all the same, except that the CCMAs have an extra slot, and it goes to Tilda Swinton. You can right this off to Tilda Swinton having been in a film. She’s pretty good, and in a movie that everyone wants to talk about, but it’s a fairly nonsensical nomination if you ask me. Of the rest, Meryl Streep isn’t even actually that good in the role, and Keira Knightley and Emma Stone are both being oversold because the films themselves are so good, and on everyone’s lips. If the movie is X good, everyone involved must be X good.

That leaves Patricia Arquette and Jessica Chastain, and this is a tough call. I think Chastain is better, and should win among these nominations, but A Most Violent Year clearly didn’t win everyone over in other respects, so it could easily go to Arquette.

Best Young Actor/Actress

  • Boyhood MovieEllar Coltrane – Boyhood
  • Ansel Elgort – The Fault in Our Stars
  • Mackenzie Foy – Interstellar
  • Jaeden Lieberher – St. Vincent
  • Tony Revolori – The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Quvenzhane Wallis – Annie
  • Noah Wiseman – The Babadook

This is one of the CCMA‘s quirky categories that no one else has, and I generally love the idea of featuring younger stars. It can make for some nominations that are a bit annoying, because there are only so many options some years. This year has some solid contenders, several of which gave great performances, but I think it’s going to be hard to keep this one from Ellar Coltrane.


Best Acting Ensemble

  • Birdman Movie Keaton NortonBirdman
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Into the Woods
  • Selma

This is one that is also normally tough to predict. There are good arguments for a few of these films when looking strictly at the merits of the ensemble performances, but there are good reasons to predict how voting may be moved for other reasons. The Grand Budapest Hotel may have come out too early in the year to be fresh in people’s minds, but ought to be one of the major players here. Birdman has the degree of difficulty bonus points going for it, as does, in a sense, Boyhood. Into the Woods has the fun factor, and some big names, but probably isn’t serious enough to get enough votes. The Imitation Game, much as it is deserving, may not have enough names sprinkled throughout the entire ensemble. The same might be said of Selma, though it has the PC vote to offset that.

I think the winner here will, and probably should be, Birdman. It’s almost designed for this award, because it is such a delicate dance.


Best Director

  • Boyhood Movie 2Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Ava DuVernay – Selma
  • David Fincher – Gone Girl
  • Alejandro G. Inarritu – Birdman
  • Angelina Jolie – Unbroken
  • Richard Linklater – Boyhood

We again have the exact same nominees, except that the CCMAs ridiculously add Angelina Jolie to the mix. This one is always tricky, because whether it’s critics or the Academy voting, it isn’t that often that this award can be said to go, strictly speaking, to the film that best showcases directing talent. As often as not this is just another award for Best Picture.

Linklater is guaranteed a nom because of his name, and the general idea of the film. Fincher made a movie, thus is nominated. The same is more or less true for Anderson. Birdman is odd enough to get nominated for most possibilities, but you’ve got to think about that here.

There is some wiggle room here, depending on perspective when it comes to directing, but it is going to be a massively uphill battle to get this away from Linklater.


Best Original Screenplay

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel MovieBirdman – Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo
  • Boyhood – Richard Linklater
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness
  • Nightcrawler – Dan Gilroy
  • Whiplash – Damien Chazelle

As the Globes don’t divide screenplay, their nominees that show up here are The Grand Budapest Hotel, Birdman, and Boyhood.

This one can just depend on how people are voting, and is sometimes similar to directing insofar as it just becomes another Best Picture vote. If it’s the best movie, it must have the best screenplay… right?

I like Nightcrawler and Whiplash getting nominated here, but I don’t think they have any chance of winning. The question probably comes down to if Birdman or Boyhood has more momentum. I like The Grand Budapest Hotel though. This can be a category that is hard to make a case for, and I like both Birdman and Boyhood better as films, but GBH is more impressive as a screenplay.


Best Adapted Screenplay

  • The Imitation Game MovieGone Girl – Gillian Flynn
  • The Imitation Game – Graham Moore
  • Inherent Vice – Paul Thomas Anderson
  • The Theory of Everything – Anthony McCarten
  • Unbroken – Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese, William Nicholson
  • Wild – Nick Hornby

The Globes remaining nominees are covered here with Gone Girl, and The Imitation Game. That makes for an interesting competition for that award, which could be tough to call between The Imitation Game and Boyhood, with Birdman and GBH possibles.

This one could go anywhere, and there is a chance that votes may settle on a kind of “consolation prize” vote. You can’t quite bring yourself to vote for it for Best Picture, so…

That opens the door for things like The Theory of Everything, Inherent Vice, and even Gone Girl. This one should go to The Imitation Game, and it probably shouldn’t be a very close call.


Best Cinematography

  • Interstellar MovieBirdman – Emmanuel Lubezki
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel – Robert Yeoman
  • Interstellar – Hoyte Van Hoytema
  • Mr. Turner – Dick Pope
  • Unbroken – Roger Deakins

We’re outside the scope of the Globes now, and into the territory of predicting the Academy Awards. This is a strange category this year, though a lot of people probably think that’s true every year (or couldn’t care less). Deakins, though I don’t have anything negative to say about how Unbroken was cinematographed… gets nominated for everything he does, and is a name that people know, which is rare enough in this category. I love seeing Mr. Turner nominated, and it deserves it, but it has little hope of winning. This is hopefully a three-horse race, and they are all deserving in their own way. It’s an interesting set of movies (the three), just because it shows off the incredible differences in what these people do. Much as I didn’t love Interstellar, I think it deserves the win here.


Best Art Direction

  • Grand Budapest Hotel MovieBirdman – Kevin Thompson/Production Designer, George DeTitta Jr./Set Decorator
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen/Production Designer, Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator
  • Inherent Vice – David Crank/Production Designer, Amy Wells/Set Decorator
  • Interstellar – Nathan Crowley/Production Designer, Gary Fettis/Set Decorator
  • Into the Woods – Dennis Gassner/Production Designer, Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator
  • Snowpiercer – Ondrej Nekvasil/Production Designer, Beatrice Brentnerova/Set Decorator

You’d love to see a fantastic upset here, and watch Snowpiercer take home this prize. It doesn’t actually deserve it, although the nomination isn’t completely without justification. GBH ought to get this one, but it is likely to go to Interstellar or Into the Woods. Both of those are deserving of the attention, and Into the Woods is just the sort of thing that make people want to vote for it here, but GBH is really the more impressive effort.


Best Editing

  • Whiplash Movie Birdman – Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione
  • Boyhood – Sandra Adair
  • Gone Girl – Kirk Baxter
  • Interstellar – Lee Smith
  • Whiplash – Tom Cross

The favorite category of people who think there are too many categories, Editing is always a tough sell to the general public. It’s the part of filmmaking that goes almost entirely unnoticed, because that’s the way it’s supposed to be. If you notice the editing in a film, it can only be because it’s bad. Just based on the history of how this award is usually given, both in the CCMAs and the Academy Awards, Interstellar is your likely winner. There’s a chance that Boyhood will take it, but there are no similar films to compare history to. Birdman is a nomination to make you think, but I don’t think it can win. I actually really like Boyhood and Whiplash here, but you have to bet on Interstellar.
Best Costume Design

  • Into the Woods MovieThe Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero
  • Inherent Vice – Mark Bridges
  • Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood
  • Maleficent – Anna B. Sheppard
  • Mr. Turner – Jacqueline Durran

This is often a category that is only discussed for what doesn’t get nominated, or what gets nominated by default. Into the Woods and Maleficent have to get nominated. Inherent Vice is an interesting surprise, as is Mr. Turner. I like GBH here, and thinks it deserves the win, but this is most likely going to Into the Woods.


Best Hair & Makeup

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Blu-Ray ReviewFoxcatcher
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Into the Woods
  • Maleficent

Stick a nose on Carell and you get a nomination? Whatever. This is another category with a host of “have to” nominations, and like costume, we don’t even have the benefit of a couple of big, period productions that would make things more interesting. There is room for argument with a couple of these, but I think you have to give this to Guardians of the Galaxy. It isn’t the sort of film that is allowed to win a lot of awards when it comes time for the Oscars, but the CCMA might not have a problem with it. The next best guess is Into the Woods.


Best Visual Effects

  • Guardians of the Galaxy StarlordDawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Interstellar

This one ought to be a closer call than it probably is, and that’s mostly because no one wants to think about Edge of Tomorrow. That was a surprising film, and one that should have met with serious approval by critics. Beyond that, I think people are fairly over The Hobbit by now, which makes for a tight race between the other three. All are pretty deserving frankly, but it is likely to go to Interstellar. Guardians of the Galaxy has the benefit of fully CGI characters, and Apes has a similar claim, but Interstellar is more “serious.” Again, the CCMA may not be bothered by such things, but the Academy Awards may want to give Interstellar nods where it can, and this is a perfect opportunity.

I’d give it to Guardians of the Galaxy.


Best Animated Feature

  • lego-movie-feature-3Big Hero 6
  • The Book of Life
  • The Boxtrolls
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • The Lego Movie

Briefly back in the realm of things that the Globes cover, the nominations are exactly the same. This is a category that is getting a little weird as time goes on. Animated movies are getting cranked out, and with big budgets, and you have to wonder if it isn’t just because you know you’ll get a nomination. It isn’t that all of these movies don’t deserve the nomination, because they do, but there are other films that are also deserving, and they don’t stand a chance, just because they aren’t coming to you by way of giant marketing pushes. Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart leaps to mind.

Be that as it may, there is a great diversity here, and some solid films. Dragon stood out to me as a surprisingly solid sequel, and the rest were great efforts. But, I have to imagine that The Lego Movie has this one sewn up.


Best Action Movie

  • Edge of Tomorrow Review Tom Cruise and Emily BluntAmerican Sniper
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Fury
  • Guardians of the Galaxy

Now we more seriously break into the CCMA-only categories. Much as people sometimes scoff, I’m a fan of showing off these categories. This is usually a pretty easy category to predict, but things are trickier this year. There’s a sense in which we’re forced to wonder exactly what the category is after, and how we are supposed to look at which of them is “Best.”

Without a lot of fear of serious argument to the contrary, American Sniper is the best movie on this list, but does that mean what it needs to mean? I don’t know that I would get any real argument over the fact that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the worst movie on this list either, but I’m not even close to convinced that it isn’t the best action movie on the list. What do you do with that?

Trying to blend those concepts into something that works, I think I have to give this one to Edge of Tomorrow. Lots of good action, and a really good movie. I don’t hold anything against anyone who thinks Guardians of the Galaxy is the choice here though, and it is very likely to win.


Best Actor in an Action Movie

  • American Sniper MovieBradley Cooper – American Sniper
  • Tom Cruise – Edge of Tomorrow
  • Chris Evans – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Brad Pitt – Fury
  • Chris Pratt – Guardians of the Galaxy

Once again, what can we do with this concept? It’s going to be tricky to get away from Bradley Cooper here, and while the nominations are nice for Pratt and Evans, I hope they aren’t serious contenders. I don’t think Pitt has much of a chance, and though Cruise is deserving, I don’t think he’s in a position to get many votes with this film.


Best Actress in an Action Movie

  • Edge of Tomorrow movie Tom Cruise and Emily BluntEmily Blunt – Edge of Tomorrow
  • Scarlett Johansson – Lucy
  • Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
  • Zoe Saldana – Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Shailene Woodley – Divergent

Here’s the category which rather famously led to Sandra Bullock giving a snarky response to winning for Gravity, which, by way of a certain sense of fair play, isn’t an action movie, nor should she have won.

The nominees this year are at least all action films, and I think I can say that all are worthy of the nod. Woodley and Saldana aren’t serious contenders, and Scarlett Johansson may have been directed out of her chance to win. Lawrence is the absolute favorite, because people won’t stop loving The Hunger Games and/or Lawrence, but I’d give this one to Emily Blunt.


Best Comedy

  • Top Five MovieBirdman
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • St. Vincent
  • Top Five
  • 22 Jump Street

This always seems odd to people, mainly because the Globes split things up between drama and comedy, but the CCMAs mean something more serious by comedy. Hence, 22 Jump Street being nominated, which, if nothing else, most people presume was attempting to be funny.

It leaves the door open for head-scratching when you have things nominated for this and Best Picture, but we at least pretend that what we mean is “movies that are comedies,” as opposed to, “movies that weren’t nominated in the drama category.”

Like the action category, it presents its own problems. Birdman or The Grand Budapest Hotel are the only serious contenders for the best movie on this list, but are they funny? Really? On the other side of that coin, 22 Jump Street is on my list of the worst movies of the year, but some people probably laughed.

I might have to give this to Top Five, especially if I’m trying to be serious about what is the best comedy, as opposed to what is the best movie on this list of comedies.


Best Actor in a Comedy

  • Top Five MovieJon Favreau – Chef
  • Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Michael Keaton – Birdman
  • Bill Murray – St. Vincent
  • Chris Rock – Top Five
  • Channing Tatum – 22 Jump Street

We find the same problems here, although Tatum’s nomination here just makes for a sad day. It’s a depressingly stupid movie, and he’s nominated by accident of the technicality that he is actually the guy in the stupid movie that happens to be a comedy.

There are several movies on this list which could be argued aren’t comedies, which makes us sadly close to the Globes in our thinking on the category. Beyond that, there are at least a couple of these actors who aren’t doing anything that can have “funny” pinned on them without a lot of explaining. That said, Chris Rock should probably pick this one up. It’s funny. He’s funny. He’s trying to be funny.

Still, I like Favreau getting the nomination here. He’s good, and so is the film, but it isn’t exactly massively funny. I don’t think he’ll win, but it’s nice that he got nominated. The win probably goes to Keaton or Murray, but you’re going to be waiting a long time for something funny to happen in either of those movies.
Best Actress in a Comedy

  • Obvious Child movieRose Byrne – Neighbors
  • Rosario Dawson – Top Five
  • Melissa McCarthy – St. Vincent
  • Jenny Slate – Obvious Child
  • Kristen Wiig – The Skeleton Twins

Neighbors was the only movie worse than 22 Jump Street, so congrats on the nom there. If the winner could win things when it comes to such awards Slate would have this in the bag, but McCarthy has a much better shot of winning and she did nothing funny in the non-comedy. If you had to have your next choice, I’d like Wiig to get it, if only because it would get the indie film some attention.

The race could well be between McCarthy and Dawson, but only because, even with the nomination, you can never trust how such things will go.


Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review
    Photo credit: WETA TM and © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

    The Babadook

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Interstellar
  • Snowpiercer
  • Under the Skin

This is always a weird category. As if we didn’t have enough problems with Action and Comedy, now we have to figure out how Under the Skin compares to Snowpiercer. This one is as up for grabs as anything could be, because who can guess what criteria people are going to use when voting. For me, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes stands out as the most satisfying film, but that doesn’t mean much.


Best Foreign Language Film

  • Force Majeure MovieForce Majeure
  • Ida
  • Leviathan
  • Two Days, One Night
  • Wild Tales

The Golden Globes also nominated Ida, Force Majeure, and Leviathan, mainly because they are the three that have to be nominated, but they rounded out their list with Tangerines and Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem.

It’s exciting to see where this category is going, with Ida and Force Majeure getting serious play, lots of attention beyond just being in this category, and even mentions on best of the year lists. Plus, when your best actress nominees are coming out of foreign language nominees, something cool is going on.

That said, this is often a tricky category, even when it is only because you may find yourself comparing films of wildly different genres, and having a lot of great movies as nominees doesn’t make things easier. These are all strong movies, and when we get to the Oscars, we may see Tangerines bumping something from the CCMA list, but the real competition is between Force Majeure and Ida. I have to admit that I go back and forth here. At the moment I lean toward Force Majeure.


Best Documentary Feature

  • The Overnighters MovieCitizenfour
  • Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
  • Jodorowsky’s Dune
  • Last Days in Vietnam
  • Life Itself
  • The Overnighters

If you think you can figure out how critics, or any other group, will vote on this bizarre mix, good luck to you. It would be tricky to make your own group of films, subjects, and styles that made for a more difficult decision. Citizenfour is a politically-charged spin on a politically-charged spectacle revolving around a politically-polarizing… well, the whole guy, I suppose. Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me is fantastically interesting for people who were already fantastically interested in Glen Campbell.

Life Itself is a wildly popular film about a film critic, which could interest film critics. Jodorowsky’s Dune is the story of a failed attempt to film an unfilmable movie by essentially a nut, who, at best, doesn’t seem to have understood the book in the first place, or was at least pretty high when he read it. That sounds bad, I’m sure, but that’s almost as good as being a film about a film critic.

The best actual film is The Overnighters, which is as uniquely brilliant as Boyhood, delivering a story that is impossibly watchable and moving, and so real that you can hardly believe it isn’t fake.


Best Song

  • lego-movie-feature-3Big Eyes – Lana Del Rey – Big Eyes
  • Everything Is Awesome – Jo Li and the Lonely Island – The Lego Movie
  • Glory – Common/John Legend – Selma
  • Lost Stars – Keira Knightley – Begin Again
  • Yellow Flicker Beat – Lorde – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

I don’t pretend to be an expert here, especially when aiming at not only what is the best song, but what film critics will say is the best song. The Globes have three of the five options the same, replacing The Lego Movie with “Mercy Is” from Noah, and Begin Again with “Opportunity” from Annie.

As I said, I’m no expert here, but I find these replacements largely irrelevant. There are certainly some good songs here, and Lorde probably has some momentum, but I really have to go with The Lego Movie… the one the Globes snubbed. I’m sorry, but that’s an awesome song.


Best Score

  • Gone Girl Movie AffleckAlexandre Desplat – The Imitation Game
  • Johann Johannsson – The Theory of Everything
  • Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Gone Girl
  • Antonio Sanchez – Birdman
  • Hans Zimmer – Interstellar

The Golden Globe nominations are exactly the same here, and for once I think that’s actually because these are the best options. This is obviously tricky to predict, though Hans Zimmer is a safe-ish bet. I have to go with Gone Girl, because that is one awesome score, but all of these are actually in the running in a pretty serious way.


Critics’ Choice Movie Awards Press Releases


“Birdman” leads this year with thirteen nominations including Best Picture, Michael Keaton for Best Actor and Best Actor in a Comedy, Edward Norton for Best Supporting Actor, Emma Stone for Best Supporting Actress, Best Acting Ensemble, Alejandro G. Inarritu for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Editing, Best Comedy, and Best Score.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” also impressed with eleven nominations, which include Best Picture, Ralph Fiennes for Best Actor and Best Actor in a Comedy, Tony Revolori for Best Young Actor/Actress, Best Acting Ensemble, Wes Anderson for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design and Best Comedy.

“Boyhood” was nominated for eight awards including Best Picture, Ethan Hawke for Best Supporting Actor, Patricia Arquette for Best Supporting Actress, Ellar Coltrane for Best Young Actor/Actress, Best Acting Ensemble, Richard Linklater for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, and Best Editing.

“Interstellar” earned seven nominations, followed by “Gone Girl” and “The Imitation Game” each with six. “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Into The Woods,” “Selma,” and “The Theory of Everything” were each nominated for five awards, while “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Inherent Vice,” “St. Vincent,” “Unbroken” and “Whiplash” are each in the running for four.

“It’s been a great year for movies,” said BFCA President Joey Berlin. “Filmmakers have demonstrated that riveting, magical and provocative stories can be told in an incredible range of styles and techniques. The members of the BFCA and our new partners at A&E are proud to salute wonderful films and performances in the traditional categories and a wide variety of popular genres including Comedy, Action and Sci-Fi/Horror. Audiences love all kinds of movies – and so do we.”

“The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards” are bestowed annually by the BFCA to honor the finest in cinematic achievement. The BFCA is the largest film critics’ organization in the United States and Canada, representing almost 300 television, radio and online critics. BFCA members are the primary source of information for today’s film-going public. Historically, the “Critics’ Choice Movie Awards” are the most accurate predictor of the Academy Award nominations.

The “The 20th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards” are produced by Bob Bain Productions and Berlin Entertainment.

Kevin Costner, Ron Howard and Jessica Chastain will receive special honors at the “20th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards” on January 15th, it was announced today by Joey Berlin, President of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA). Celebration of the achievements of these incredible talents will be showcased during the two-hour live broadcast, hosted by Michael Strahan from the Hollywood Palladium on January 15th at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT on A&E.

Kevin Costner, winner of two Academy Awards® and a Primetime Emmy® Award, will be honored with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” celebrating more than three decades of incredible work in film. He is currently being acclaimed for his starring role in writer-director Mike Binder’s terrific new drama, Black or White. Costner’s remarkable career has spanned comedy, action and drama with unforgettable roles in The Untouchables, Field of Dreams, JFK, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and The Bodyguard. Costner’s exceptional filmmaking abilities were showcased in Dances with Wolves, which he produced, directed and starred in. The film was honored with seven Academy Awards®, including ‘Best Picture’ and ‘Best Director.’ Costner was previously nominated in 2006 for a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Upside of Anger and in 2012 for a Critics’ Choice Television Award for his role in History’s “Hatfields & McCoys.” Previous recipients of the Critics’ Choice Lifetime Achievement Award include Clint Eastwood, Robert Wise and Lauren Bacall.

The LOUIS XIII Critics’ Choice Genius Award is established by LOUIS XIII Cognac, considered as the king of Cognac since 1874. The award honors icons who have demonstrated unprecedented excellence in the cinematic arts and will be presented to multiple award-winning director, producer and actor Ron Howard. His exciting new film In the Heart of the Sea, starring Chris Hemsworth, will be released on March 13, 2015. Howard has seamlessly transitioned from acting in the beloved television series “Happy Days” and “The Andy Griffith Show” to becoming the director of such unforgettable films as Splash, Cocoon, Parenthood, A Beautiful Mind, Frost/Nixon, The Da Vinci Code and Apollo 13. Throughout his career he has been honored with multiple honors, including two Academy Awards® and two Primetime Emmy® Awards. Howard has been nominated for three Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, winning one for Best Director for A Beautiful Mind. Previous winners of the LOUIS XIII Genius Award include Judd Apatow and Richard Linklater.

The inaugural “Critics’ Choice MVP Award,” celebrating one extraordinary actor for her work in several standout movies throughout a single year, will go to Academy Award® nominee Jessica Chastain. She is being saluted for starring in the films Interstellar, Miss Julie, A Most Violent Year and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. A graduate of the esteemed Juilliard School, Chastain has taken the big screen by storm. Her many distinguished performances include the critically acclaimed drama The Help as well as a breakout role in the award-winning film, Zero Dark Thirty. In 2012, Time magazine featured her as one of the ‘100 Most Influential People in the World.’ Chastain has been nominated for three Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, winning two, for Best Acting Ensemble in 2011 for The Help and Best Actress in 2013 for Zero Dark Thirty.

Nominees for the 20th annual “Critics’ Choice Movie Awards”¬¬ will be announced on Monday, December 15th.

A&E Network has partnered with the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) to become the exclusive broadcaster of the “The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards” and “The Critics’ Choice Television Awards.”

“The Critics’ Choice Awards” are bestowed annually by the BFCA and BTJA to honor the finest in cinematic and television achievement. The BFCA is the largest film critics’ organization in the United States and Canada, representing almost 300 television, radio and online critics. BFCA members are the primary source of information for today’s film-going public. BTJA is the collective voice of almost 100 journalists who regularly cover television for TV viewers, radio listeners and online audiences. Historically, the “Critics’ Choice Movie Awards” are the most accurate predictor of the Academy Award nominations.



Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.