Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New York Films Critics Value Yelling "FIRST" More than Actually Seeing the Movies

A few weeks ago, the New York Film Critics Circle announced they were moving up their vote, typically done about a week and half into December, to November 28th. The move, despite what members of the organization said, was clearly made so that they could beat the National Board of Review to the punch, and be the first to declare their winners this awards season. I commented on the move (you read that post here: I at the time, saying it was stupid, and a group with as long of a history as the New York Film Critics Circle has, does not need to do this. And if they insisted on keeping that date, and ended up missing movies because of it, then they would become little more than the Golden Satellites of the Critics awards.

Well, obviously they disagree with me. They did agree to move their date back one day in order to see David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo next Monday. They pretty much had to - Fincher's last film, 2010's The Social Network, won the group's top prize. To not give his next film a chance would have been idiotic in the extreme.

But then another film announced they wouldn't meet the New York Critics deadline - Stephen Daldry's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, about 9/11. They said their film wouldn't be ready to be screened until December 2nd. And the New York Critics decided they didn't care - they were voting anyway.

This is an idiotic move by the New York Critics. Now, I don't think Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close had much of a shot with the group - Daldry's previous films Billy Elliot, The Hours and The Reader all found Oscar success (the later two winning the Best Actress Oscar for Nicole Kidman and Kate Winslet respectively), yet didn't get any love from the New York Critics. And that's fine - the Critics are supposed to give out awards to the films and performance they like most, not try and predict the Oscars. But to not even bother to see one of the films campaigning for major awards this year, because they won't show it to you until December 2 (a full 29 days BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR), is ridicilous.

The worst case scenario for the critics is that the film goes onto be a major player in the awards this year - a Best Picture Oscar nominee or winner, or perhaps an Oscar win for someone like the legendary Max von Sydow, who is rumored to be great. If that happens, the New York Film Critics look like complete idiots. And if the New York Critics gang up en mass against the film when they do review it, they'll look like petty assholes - no matter if their reviews are accurate or not.

It seems to me that the New York Film Critics are chasing irrevelvancy. They set a ridicilously early date, and are now pissed that one film has decided not to play along. But, hey, they'll still get to yell FIRST like that obnoxious asshole on blogposts across the internet. I guess that's what's important to them.

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