From the city that once called in the bomb squad to defuse a prank from the creators of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie, their cinema critics have given back a little love to those that kept them safe from that little stunt.
With the exception of one category, the Boston Society of Film Critics have not exactly been dominant in forecasting locks in terms of Oscar nominations. But one film did dominate this year's selections and has, for the moment, overtaken Up In The Air (which was shut out in Beantown) for the most victories in total awards to date. Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker won five awards including Picture, Director, Actor, Cinematography and Editing. Taking WALL-E's share of the tie with Slumdog Millionaire out of the equation, Boston's last seven choices for Best Picture have gone onto an Oscar nomination and the last three have proved victorious.
Bigelow grabbed her second straight critic's victory after D.C. from a group that has watched seven of their previous ten choices for Director go on to a nomination. Only Roman Polanski (The Pianist), Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) and Martin Scorsese (The Departed) went on to triumph.
The performance many critics are crossing their fingers to be amongst Oscar's five nominees for Best Actor is Jeremy Renner for his tightly stirring work in The Hurt Locker. Maybe if they begin to follow Boston's suit, they can push him across the goal line. Eight of their last twelve winners have made the top five and six of those eight have won the Oscar, including last year's Sean Penn whom Boston tied with Mickey Rourke. No longer just another "Breakthrough" actor as labeled by both a victory and nomination from the National Board of Review and the D.C. critics, respectively, (Renner was nominated for Best Debut Performance from the Independent Spirits for 2002's Dahmer), hopefully the Los Angeles Critics can follow suit this evening and back up Boston's choice.
Meryl Streep gets the first of what should be many accolades of the season for her uncanny performances as Julia Child in Julie & Julia. Better than their 60% record over the last ten years suggest, Boston had a four-year streak of calling the Oscar winner from 2004-07. Last year's Sally Hawkins was not nominated.
Precious' mom from hell and performance from the land of Oscarclipia, Mo'Nique, won her second straight award for Supporting Actress. Boston is hitting just over 50% the last decade here (6-of-11) but for someone who reportedly is asking for speaking fees to promote the film, may not have to worry about demanding an advance from the Academy on her Oscar speech. Only their choice of Penelope Cruz from last year went on to Oscar glory.
Christoph Waltz also grabbed his second straight win for Inglourious Basterds as Boston agreed with the Washington D.C. critics in their supporting categories. Boston puts his chances a little better than Mo'Nique Dearest with six of their last ten since 1999 getting a nomination, but still only two in that time winning the Oscar. Good news for Waltz is that Boston is on a bit of a winning streak with Heath Ledger and Javier Bardem winning the last two years.
It was 1996 the last time the Boston critics chose a screenplay that did not go on to an Oscar nomination, which bodes well for the Coen Bros.' A Serious Man, following up on their NBR victory last week. Only four times since 1999 has that choice won the Oscar, but three of the last five years have been successful, including last year's Milk.
Up continues to dominate as the choice for this year's Best Animated Feature, collecting its third award after the National Board of Review and the Washington D.C. critics. Other victories went to The Cove for Best Documentary and Neill Blomkamp as the Best New Filmmaker for District 9. While Jeff Bridges continues to wait for his first victory or nomination as boozing country singer Bad Blake in Crazy Heart, Boston said the film had the Best Use of Music in any film from 2009.
Precious and Star Trek shared the award for Best Ensemble.