Critics Choice nominations announcement this morning may hold many clues as to what may happen later on in the awards season. Here are the five things that most surprised me about their respectable, yet somewhat predictable lists.Every year I look to the Broadcast Film Critics Association as the group that most accurately predicts the eventual Oscar nominees. So the BFCA’s
1. Black Swan leads with 12 nominations The film with the most BFCA nods wasn’t The Social Network, The King’s Speech, or Inception, but Darren Aronofsky’s polarizing noir thriller. It’s important to remember that one of last year’s top BFCA nominees was Nine, and that movie didn’t exactly score with the Academy. But 12 Critics Choice nods means that Black Swan could have a sizable and ardent fan base throughout the awards season.
2. No Best Picture nod for The Kids Are All Right It failed to snag a spot on the National Board of Review Top 10. And now The Kids Are All Right missed the cut here as well. It should get a nice bump at tomorrow’s Golden Globes announcement, but the indie comedy is now officially on the bubble for a Best Picture nod.
3. Noomi Rapace scores a Best Actress slot The star of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo earned a spot alongside powerhouses like Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman, and Natalie Portman, squeezing out Another Year’s Lesley Manville. This doesn’t mean she’s a sure thing for a SAG or Oscar nod, but in a very competitive year she’s now squarely in the running.
4. Mila Kunis for Best Supporting Actress I had the Black Swan costar at No. 10 on my supporting-actress rankings last week. Getting in there over Rabbit Hole’s Dianne Wiest and Get Low’s Sissy Spacek (not to mention her own Swan costar Barbara Hershey) means she’s a viable candidate.
5. Nothing for Michael Douglas Even though he’s not one of my top overall contenders in either race, I thought the BFCA might acknowledge him with a supporting actor nomination for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps or, more likely, in the lead category for Solitary Man. If he couldn’t capitalize on the BFCA’s sixth slot in the acting races, he’ll have an even tougher time with the more exclusive Oscars.