How NYFCC Balloting Went Down

A guy who was right in the thick of today’s New York Film Critics Circle balloting (which took almost five hours to complete) shares the following: “For four ballots the Best Picture vote was essentially a tie between American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave, and then Hustle finally won in a run-off vote against Slave. So it basically took five ballots. (N.Y. Post critic Lou Lumenick reports it actually took six ballots, although one of these was “disqualified on a technicality.”)

Inside Llewyn Davis was a contender all day long but it didn’t have the votes. At least it did better than The Wolf of Wall Street, which didn’t compete vigorously in any category.

“The Best Supporting Actress vote went on for three ballots, and was a very close match between Hustle‘s Jennifer Lawrence and 12 Years A Slave‘s Lupita N’yongo. Nebraska‘s June Squibb was in there but not very strongly.

“The Best Director voting went intially for Steve McQueen, David O’Russell, Alfonso Cuaron and the Coen brothers but McQueen and Russell were very close with the most support…and then McQueen took it on the fourth ballot.

“There was no strong challenge against Cate Blanchett for Best Actress although there was some support for Adele “whatsername” (i.e., Exarchopoulos) and Hustle‘s Amy Adams.

Robert Redford‘s Best Actor trophy was decided on a second ballot. The bulk of the first-ballot votes went to Redford and Slave‘s Chiweitel Ejiofor. A certain level of support was also there for Oscar Isaac, Bruce Dern and Matthew McConaughey.

Dallas Buyer’s Club‘s Jared Leto took Best Supporting Actor on the second ballot. His closest competitors were 12 Years A Slave‘s Michael Fassbender and Spring BreakersJames Franco. Jonah Hill got a couple of votes but nothing to shout about.

“After the Best Screenplay win for Eric Singer and David O. Russell’s American Hustle, the runner-up was Before Midnight followed by Spike Jonze‘s Her screenplay and the Coen brothers’Inside Llewyn Davis.

Sarah Polley‘s Stories We Tell was a third ballot win for Best Non-Fiction. The Act of Killing and 20 Feet From Stardom were the runners-up.

“There was no formidable competition for the Best Cinematography award won by Inside Llewyn Davis‘s Bruno Delbonnel. The strongest runners-up were for Gravity and Nebraska. The Wolf of Wall Street got one or two votes.

The Wolf of Wall Street was not a contender for Best Picture or in any other category,” he says.

“There never any debate or discussion about anything — people just come in and vote. The first ballot and then if there’s no winner it goes to a weighted second ballot (3, 2, 1). Then the proxies drop out on the third ballot. And the fourth ballot is a run-off between the top two.”

30 or 31 people actually showed up. The others voted by proxy.

  • Tucker Dimpy

    Pretty obvious the anti 12 Years faction would gang up on the film during the 2nd and 3rd ballots, costing it Film and Supporting Actress.

  • Deliox

    Jesus, I’ve been rooting for WoWS, but this makes me think it might be quite underwhelming. A Goodfellas/Departed-quality film would be utterly squashing this competition.

    • Awardsdaily

      Yes definitely judge how you view a movie by how film critics vote. That’s really the most reliable way to figure out what you think is best.

      • fahrenheit290

        I don’t think he was judging the film. He has a good point. Scorsese has performed decently in NY Film Critics history. And you would often expect critics to recognize his films when the Academy wouldn’t. Maybe this signifies a change in film criticism over the past few years, The Artist winning in NY and now American Hustle. They are becoming more mainstream and more difficult, visionary material isn’t being recognized as often. I’m still surprised they went with Zero Dark Thirty last year.

        • Steven Gaydos

          Some of us are still alive from the time when the NYFCC named foreign language films as “best of the year” without dumping them into foreign language ghetto.

          • bill weber

            Ah, take your head out of the clouds — it’s Jeff (3 Hyped Foreign Films a Year) Wells’ world now, we just rent the basement apartment.

        • bill weber

          Well, they like pro-war state propaganda sometimes too.

      • Deliox

        Oh, I’m not taking the judgment of NYFCC as gospel. Of their wins since 2000, I’d only agree with Traffic, Mulholland Dr., and No Country For Old Men. I’m just saying it’s difficult for me to understand how a great Scorsese film would receive less than a handful of votes (or whatever) when they’ve been quite consistently receptive to him in the past. I’m definitely looking forward to WoWS, and hope their motivations for snubbing it prove contemptible.

  • Christopher A. Otto

    Nice to see The Wind Rises won animated film. … It’s going to need some help for Miyazaki to get his fictionalized biopic on the maker of the Japanese Zero through the Academy.

    • I’m on pins and needles about this particular race.

      • Correcting Jeff

        Rich, coming from the guy who spends all day prognosticating Oscars.

        • Glenn Kenny


      • lazarus

        You’re unreal, Jeff. An animated Japanese film that has nothing to do with swordplay or the fantasy elements you dislike, and yet you still manage to dismiss it sarcastically.

        Pathetic.I would have hoped to see praise from you that there’s actually an adult film about a real-life subject in the animation race, but apparently that’s not enough to get over your cultural bias.

      • Ray Quick

        GOD WELLS.

  • Matt24

    So the racists *COUGH* anti 12 Years a Slave folks cockblocked it from winning anything aside from Director. I for one am *STUNNED* that a group of old white guys would do such a thing.

    • Tucker Dimpy

      Matt24, they even tried to cock block it from Director! Took McQueen 4 ballots and perhaps he won simply due to there being too many alternative for the anti 12 Years brigade to rally behind.

  • Steven Gaydos

    Remember the year that “The King’s Speech” won zilch from all the critics’ orgs? We’ll see shape of race in two weeks and whether or not there’s a pic unloved by crix but big consensus winner among people who actually make movies. PS Prediction: LAFCA is going for pic not annointed by NYFCC.

  • Michael Gebert

    I love this idea that there’s an anti-12 Years a Slave faction, like there’s a bunch of white supremacists in the NYFCC (I’ve always suspected Jim Hoberman, personally– did you see what he said about that Ousmane Sembene film?)

    The fact is, it’s a fine, serious film, but it’s not great filmmaking. It’s a Defiant Ones for our time. And there’s nothing racist about liking something else more.

    • Eloi Wrath

      You could also say this seems to be a year where traditional awards-bait is finding less favor with critics than in previous years. A lot of the names cropping up on Best Of lists are stuff like Spring Breakers, Mud, Place Beyond the Pines, Gravity, American Hustle and now Wolf of Wall Street – films that are not really “about” anything as much as they are genre romps or primarily visual tour-de-forces.

    • VicLaz2

      How the fuck is it The Defiant Ones of our generation?

      • Michael Gebert

        You kiss your mother with that mouth?

  • Joburg man

    The Act of Killing is one of the three best documentaries of the year, according to the NY Film Critics. Time for you to check it out, Mr. Wells.

  • Peek

    No shock DOR won at NYFCC, he’s the local favorite. Though surprised at the lack of love for Scorsese. Either way none of this will have much play with AMPAS voters. There’s still a boatload of critics and guild awards to come first.

  • fahrenheit290

    It seems like the NY critics like to push who they would like to see win an Oscar. They went for Meryl for Julie and Julia and The Iron Lady—this year, she’s off the map, nowhere. Once Russell wins an Oscar, he’ll probably need a serious masterwork to win here again.

  • Andrea

    Horrible choices from NYFCC, 12 years a slave and blue jasmine should win, and Sally Hawkins.

  • Eric

    Is this even real?

  • maude_findlay

    Am I the only one horrified that James Franco was being considered for his performance in Spring Breakers? Or was that supposed to be a joke?

    • Peek

      No no you’re not the only one. A serviceable actor, certainly, and I’ve heard good things about him in SB – he carries the film apparently, but then look what he was working with – but a total twit who spends more time lately selling his “artistic” and academic pretensions. Does anyone think AMPAS would really award him anything after the hatchet job he did hosting the show a couple years ago? Please.

      • Eloi Wrath

        Great, write off his genuinely excellent performance in Spring Breakers – sight unseen! – because of his extra-curricular activities and a failed gig hosting a crappy awards show. Are you a regular commenter on by chance?

        • Peek

          No not on Deadline, not lately. Franco’s performance in SB may have been one for the ages – like I said I heard good things – my point is even if so he’s NOT getting an Oscar nod for it. AMPAS isn’t going to honor him so soon after the hosting debacle; that’s not an arbitrary opinion but one based on knowledge of how cliquey, political and difficult that voting bloc is.

    • Deliox

      I’m with you. Would Gary Oldman have received so many votes for his brilliant far, far superior Drexl Spivey? They’re a bunch of hipsters.

  • GigglesForGigli

    It’s interesting how Wells pulled out of the American Hustle camp right before it scored a major victory.

  • Morpheos

    12 Years A Slave – Directed by Steven Spielberg would not have lost. From what I have seen and heard American Hustle isn’t even in the same league as 12 Years A Slave. Yet here we are. The even more outragous thing is the win for Lawrence over Lupita. Perhaps one should throw Lupita this advice; Show some sideboobs in the slavedress and crack some jokes about Massa next time.