The National Society of Film Critics are the last of the big precursor awards before we get into the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
At this point, it’s really tough to pin down any of the frontrunners in the categories. It’s been a really tough year; All of the awards have been pretty spread out between Carol, Mad Max: Fury Road and Spotlight. A lot of the higher profile contenders (Joy, The Revenant, The Danish Girl) not dominating in the way we previously expected. They could still resonate with the Academy, however, because as well all know, the critics do not vote on the Oscars.
In any event, the NSFC adds a nice little boost to some contenders that really needed it, especially Michael B. Jordan. Creed is a bit of question mark in the Oscar race. It has the critical love and the box office, but the only member of the film that’s received any attention at all is Sylvester Stallone. Again, that’s not to say the Academy won’t embrace the film, but it’s nice to see Jordan get a shout out here over Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp.
Check out the full list of winners below.
Best Picture: Spotlight (23 votes)
Runners-up: Carol (17 votes) and Mad Max: Fury Road (13 votes)
Based on the list of incredible films we have in contention this year, I think it’s a little sad this is the film everyone is suggesting could be our winner. Carol and Mad Max were in 2nd and 3rd behind Spotlight; Based on all of the critics awards thus far, it would seem that these 3 are the top dogs in the race.
Best Director: Todd Haynes, Carol (21 votes)
Runners-up: Tom McCarthy, Spotlight (21 votes) and George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road (20 votes)
Brilliant choice here. Though I’m trying not to get my hopes up, I think Haynes might finally receive his first ever Best Director nomination from the Academy. Carol is truly a director’s vision, so the win here is extremely appropriate.
Interestingly, McCarthy had just as many votes as Haynes did, but did not appear on as many ballots, thus leading the way for Haynes to win. Also interesting, Miller was 1 vote off from tying with Haynes and McCarthy.
Best Actor: Michael B. Jordan, Creed (29 votes)
Runners-up: Geza Rohrig, Son of Saul (18 votes) and Tom Courtney, 45 Years (15 votes)
This is probably the weakest category in terms of contenders this year, but Jordan’s performance in the wonderful Creed would make this category a hell of a lot more exciting. I don’t think he has what it takes to wrestle that trophy away from DiCaprio, but I do think he’s got a better shot at being one of the 5 than people are giving him.
Jordan won by a pretty large margin too; None of the runner ups are considered in contention for the Oscar, which is interesting; This category doesn’t have to be so weak this year.. hopefully the Academy shakes things up a bit.
Best Actress: Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years (57 votes)
Runners-up: Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn (30 votes) and Nina Hoss, Phoenix (22 votes)
Rampling’s work is undeniable, and I think she could be this year’s Marion Cotillard, who surprised by scoring an Oscar nomination with no support from the Globes or SAG. A win here is a nice shout out, coupled with her win with the LA Film Critics, not to mention she is sure to be nominated by the BAFTAs. Many are predicting Jennifer Lawrence for that fifth slot in Best Actress, but I think Rampling has a better shot.
Best Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Runners-up: Michael Shannon, 99 Homes (16 votes) and Sylvester Stallone (14 votes)
He’s won the most critics awards and has been nominated at ever major precursor. This category could go any number of ways in terms of nominees, but I think Rylance’s fate as the frontrunner is sealed.
Best Supporting Actress: Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria (53 votes)
Runners-up: Alicia Vikander, Ex-Machina (23 votes) and Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs (17 votes)
Stewart has not only won the most critics awards, but she’s the favorite in this category that curiously has the smallest shot at a nomination. Category frauds Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) and Rooney Mara (Carol) are hogging most of the conversation, while Trumbo‘s Helen Mirren somehow elbowed her way in. She’s already won the French Oscar, and I think if the critics can get anyone in, it’s her. This is really a hell of a performance, one that could surprise and charm a lot of voters despite a lack of a campaign on Stewart’s behalf.
Interesting re: voting process
Best Screenplay: Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, Spotlight (21 votes)
Runners-up: Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa (15 votes) and Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, The Big Short (15 votes)
Best Cinematography: Ed Lachman, Carol (25 votes)
Runners-up: Mark Lee Ping-bin, The Assassin (22 votes) and John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road (15 votes)
There’s a lot to love in Carol, but I think this is the thing people love the most. This might just be the film’s best shot at a win in a major category.
Best Nonfiction Film: Amy (23 votes)
Runners-up: In Jackson Heights (18 votes) and Seymour: An Introduction (15 votes)
Not just the best documentary of the year, but one of the best films by a country mile.
Best Foreign Language Film: Timbuktu (22 votes)
Runners-up: Phoenix (20 votes) and The Assassin (16 votes)