Tonight, A&E hosts the Critics' Choice Awards
for both movies
. I've already written about three of the nominees for the movie awards, "The Big Short
," and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens
." Now it's time to look at the rest of the nominations, particularly in speculative fiction, which comprises science fiction
, and horror
It turns out that the most nominated movie is a work of science fiction, "Mad Max: Fury Road
." From the press release:
“Mad Max: Fury Road” leads this year with 13 nominations including Best Picture, Charlize Theron for both Best Actress and Best Actress In An Action Movie, Tom Hardy for Best Actor In An Action Movie, George Miller for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Hair and Makeup, Best Visual Effects, Best Action Movie, and Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie.
What a lovely day!
How about the rest of the speculative fiction films being honored (bolding
“Carol,” “The Martian,” and “The Revenant” impressed with nine nominations each, all in the running for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography, among others. “Spotlight” earned eight nominations, followed by “The Big Short” with seven, and “The Hateful Eight” with six. “Bridge of Spies,” “Brooklyn,” “The Danish Girl,” “Jurassic World,” and “Sicario” each garnered five nominations and “Room” earned four.
Jennifer Lawrence is up for three awards, for her work in both “Joy” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” while Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron are both nominated for two acting awards.
In addition to "Mad Max: Fury Road," "The Martian
," "Jurassic World
," and "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,
" "Ex Machina" has three nominations, while "It Follows" (the sole horror nominee), "Ant-Man," (the sole comic-book movie nominated), and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" each have one. That's not a bad showing for speculative fiction, especially science fiction, at a movie awards show.
Both "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "The Martian" might do well, but not exceptionally so, in the mainstream awards, especially for directing, cinematography, editing, production design, and make-up, where they are in stiff competition with mainstream dramas, but it's the categories for genre films where the action (pun fully intended) will be tonight. With no further ado, I present the nominees and my opinions of their chances, beginning with a mainstream category in which genre films predominate.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Mad Max: Fury Road
Four of the six nominees are science fiction films. Of these, I'd root for "Mad Max: Fury Road" except that the really spectacular visuals are the results of stunt work, cinematograpy, and editing, not special effects. For those, my pick right now is "Jurassic World." That written, I wouldn't be surprised by any of these films winning, especially "Ex Machina."
Speaking of special effects, it's the subject of an award that has already been decided.
The “Critics’ Choice Genius Award” will be given to ILM in recognition of its 40 years of revolutionary moviemaking that changed entertainment forever. Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams will be on hand to present the honor. For four decades, ILM has set the standard for visual effects, creating some of the most stunning images in the history of film. At the forefront of the digital revolution, ILM continues to break new ground in visual effects. ILM has been awarded 15 Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects, received 26 Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards, and was presented with the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States in 2004. Founded in 1975 by George Lucas, ILM is the leading effects facility in the world, serving the motion picture, commercial production and attraction industries. ILM has created visual effects for over 250 feature films, including all seven Star Wars episodes, the Jurassic Park Franchise, the Harry Potter series, the Indiana Jones films, the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, Iron Man, Transformers, and The Martian.
Well deserved and it will make up for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" not getting any awards (trust me, it won't win Best Movie and it didn't get nominated for any other categories).
BEST ACTION MOVIE
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
My favorite is "Mad Max: Fury Road" over "Jurassic World"--the former is both more clearly an action movie and a better film overall, but I would be disappointed if not surprised should the critics pick "Sicario," which is probably the best drama of the bunch. As for "Furious 7," it may be all action, but it's mindless action, unlike "Mad Max: Fury Road," where the violence has intelligence behind it. It should be happy with its People's Choice Award
BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE
Daniel Craig – Spectre
Tom Cruise – Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Tom Hardy – Mad Max: Fury Road
Chris Pratt – Jurassic World
Paul Rudd – Ant-Man
Normally, I'd be rooting for Daniel Craig, but "SPECTRE
" was a disappointment. Instead, I'm hoping that Chris Pratt wins. Tom Hardy is probably the better actor, but he wasn't even the star of his own movie; Charlize Theron was. Speaking of whom...
BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION MOVIE
Emily Blunt – Sicario
Rebecca Ferguson – Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Bryce Dallas Howard – Jurassic World
Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road
Charlize's only serious competition is likely to be Emily Blunt. Jennifer Lawrence is a great actress, but the material in "The Hunger Games
" series does not lend itself to outstanding performances. On the other hand, she might repeat her Golden Globes win for her performance in "Joy" as a comedic actress.
BEST SCI-FI/HORROR MOVIE
Mad Max: Fury Road
Of this lot, it's a tight competition between "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "The Martian," although "Ex Machina" might sneak on past. After all, it's the critics voting, not the movie-makers. As for the field, I'd substitute "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" for "It Follows." The latter is probably the best horror movie of the year, but it's not as good as the rest.
That completes my comments on the movies, but like the Golden Globes
, I've been neglecting the TV shows. Follow over the jump for those.