Slave Needs Help From LAFCA, Boston

The Los Angeles Film Critics will vote today (i.e., Sunday). Steve McQueen‘s masterful 12 Years A Slave, a seeming shoo-in for several critics-group awards after ecstatic receptions at Telluride and Toronto, is now on the ropes due to industry hesitance and recent no-wins with the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review. To maintain vitality in the Best Picture race, Slave needs a LAFCA Best Picture win. And another, for good measure, from the Boston Film Critics, who will also vote today.

If LAFCA and Boston don’t step up to the plate and do the right thing by Slave, the Fox Searchlight release will face at least a somewhat steeper hill as far as potential industry support is concerned. But if LAFCA and Boston don’t “friend” Slave, they should do the other good thing, and that’s give their respective Best Picture prizes to Martin Scorsese‘s wild and mouth-frothy The Wolf of Wall Street — a madly brilliant slash across the canvas by our greatest filmmaker.

After today the next big definer will be the Screen Actors Guild nominations on 12.11, followed by the Golden Globe nominations, which will be announced on Thursday, 12.12.

  • Little Jake

    Jeff, you might not want to think about the European Film Awards, since The Great Beauty swept them yesterday. Best European Film of the year, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Editing.

    I gather – from the writings of Guy Lodge – that Kechiche’s Blue, which obviously should have won, was never a serious contender in the two categories it was nominated in.

    And yet, the most important European film of 2013 hasn’t even been released yet. Clearly, I’m talking about Nymphomaniac.

    • lazarus

      I just saw The Great Beauty yesterday, and while Blue is an impressive achievement, I think they picked the right winner for Picture and Director here.

      Can’t get the film out of my head and I want to slip back into Sorrentino’s Rome again soon.

      • JoeS

        BLUE is a fine film, but, THE GREAT BEAUTY is one for the ages. It will be remembered long after many of the nominees for the Oscars will be mostly forgotten.

  • DougW

    And the SAG nominations on Wednesday 12.11.

  • yndprod

    The LAFCA has given Best Picture to Alexander Payne’s last THREE films, as well as Director/Screenplay/Supp Actor/Supp Actress to SIDEWAYS and Actor/Screenplay to ABOUT SCHMIDT. If NEBRASKA’s gonna win anywhere, it’s here.

  • FrankieJ

    “If LAFCA and Boston don’t step up to the plate and do the right thing by Slave, the Fox Searchlight release will face at least a somewhat steeper hill as far as potential industry support is concerned.”

    Really, Jeff? Because what critics organizations say matter so much in terms of swaying Oscar voters??? I think not. Look at ZD30 last year sweeping the early crix prizes and TSN in 2010 (both of which I agree were the best of their respective years). How much did that love transfer into Oscar wins for those films?

    No, I think the Guilds will give us a clearer picture–as usual. So then maybe it’s a good thing that the major crix orgs. so far have not crowned 12 YEARS A SLAVE (the best film of 2013 IMHO–but I haven’t seen WOLF).

  • Adam Lapish

    Jeff, if no big critics group give 12 Years anything, will it cause you revisit your opinion of the film? Maybe it’s just not as good as you thought it was. I thought it well made as far as it went, but it was less a coherent movie as much as it was a series of vignettes all too reliant on famous faces and celebrity cameos to come together as a cohesive film. Some powerful, brilliant scenes yes, but a flawless masterpiece? Not even remotely close.

  • Joe Leydon

    It’ll be your fault if both groups ignore both films, Jeff. I am certain all the members of both organizations read your post, and thought: “Who the hell is this guy, trying to tell us how to vote? We’ll show him.”

    • Bob Strauss

      Yes, that’s exactly what happened.

      • Joe Leydon

        I knew it! I knew it!

  • SmaugAlert

    Why is Jeff not a member of LAFCA? Is it because he isn’t a film critic just a film provocateur?

  • thatpj

    Boston must have read this post