That great shot where we first see Lincoln's face.

That great shot where we first see Lincoln’s face.

My Top 20:

  1. Lincoln
  2. Argo
  3. Les Misérables
  4. Zero Dark Thirty
  5. Anna Karenina
  6. Moonrise Kingdom
  7. Django Unchained
  8. Amour
  9. The Dark Knight Rises
  10. Skyfall
  11. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  12. Brave
  13. Silver Linings Playbook
  14. Prometheus
  15. Life of Pi
  16. The Avengers
  17. Frankenweenie
  18. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  19. The Master
  20. The Secret World of Arietty

note:  There are still some films I haven’t seen.  I don’t anticipate any of them breaking into the Top 20 except maybe Rust and Bone (though I could be surprised).  They will be discussed under the Foreign Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress categories.

Consensus Awards:

  • Best Picture:  Zero Dark Thirty
  • Best Director:  Kathryn Bigelow  (Zero Dark Thirty)
  • Best Actor:  Daniel Day-Lewis  (Lincoln)
  • Best Actress:  Jessica Chastain  (Zero Dark Thirty)  /  Emmanuelle Riva  (Amour)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Philip Seymour Hoffman  (The Master)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Anne Hathaway  (Les Misérables)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Lincoln
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Django Unchained  /  Zero Dark Thirty
  • Best Cinematography:  Skyfall
  • Best Animated Film:  Frankenweenie
  • Best Foreign Film:  Amour

note:  For the first time since 1995 and only the second time since 1937, the Consensus winner for Best Director isn’t nominated at the Oscars.  For the first time since the Oscars added the category, the Best Animated Film winner isn’t the Consensus winner – but that shows the lack of consensus in the category – while the previous five winners all had at least 8 wins, this time no film won more than 3 awards.  With only 3 of the big 8 categories agreeing with the Oscars (or 2 1/2, really), it’s the lowest agreement since 1998.  With 8 wins, Amour is the most dominant Foreign Film since All About My Mother in 1999.

Academy Awards:

  • Best Picture:  Argo
  • Best Director:  Ang Lee  (Life of Pi)
  • Best Actor:  Daniel Day-Lewis  (Lincoln)
  • Best Actress:  Jennifer Lawrence  (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Christoph Waltz  (Django Unchained)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Anne Hathaway  (Les Misérables)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Argo
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Django Unchained
  • Best Cinematography:  Life of Pi
  • Best Animated Film:  Brave
  • Best Foreign Film:  Amour

Top 2 Films  (Top 1000)  –  incomplete (see note):

  1. Silver Linings Playbook  (#236)
  2. Django Unchained  (#237)

note:  Because the Top 1000 is doing a countdown reveal of their latest update to the 21st Century list, I can only list what is on the list so far – so anything above #181 (which would presumably, based on reviews, include at least Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln, Argo and Amour, though not necessarily in that order) isn’t listed yet.  Also, as with previous years, none of these films yet appear on the actual Top 1000, so these are ranks for the Top 250 for the 21st Century.

Top 10 Films  (Awards Points):

  1. Lincoln  –  2432
  2. Zero Dark Thirty  –  2043
  3. Argo  –  1765
  4. Life of Pi  –  1555
  5. Les Misérables  –  1378
  6. Silver Linings Playbook  –  1333
  7. The Master  –  1183
  8. Amour  –  1126
  9. Skyfall  –  873
  10. Django Unchained  –  858

Top 10 Films  (2012 Best Picture Awards):

  1. Zero Dark Thirty
  2. Argo
  3. Les Misérables
  4. Amour
  5. Life of Pi
  6. Lincoln
  7. Django Unchained
  8. Silver Linings Playbook
  9. Beasts of the Southern Wild
  10. Moonrise Kingdom

note:  Argo joins Gladiator as the only films to sweep the five awards groups (Oscar, BAFTA, PGA, Globe, BFCA) and fail to win a single critics award from the big 6 (NYFC, LAFC, NSFC, BSFC, CFC, NBR).

Really, why would I use the poster with the group shot when I have this?

Really, why would I use the poster with the group shot when I have this?

Top 10 Films  (Domestic Box Office Gross):

  1. The Avengers  –  $623.35 mil
  2. The Dark Knight Rises  –  $448.13 mil
  3. The Hunger Games  –  $408.01 mil
  4. Skyfall  –  $304.16 mil
  5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey  –  $301.13 mil
  6. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2  –  $292.30 mil
  7. The Amazing Spider-Man  –  $262.03 mil
  8. Brave  –  $237.28 mil
  9. Ted  –  $218.81 mil
  10. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted  –  $216.39 mil

note:  I actually saw 5 of these films in the theaters, which is the most since 2005.  There are a ton of box office records broken, which are mentioned down below in Film History.  The top 7 are all franchise films.  Skyfall obliterates all James Bond box office records.

Top 10 Films  (Worldwide Box Office Gross):

  1. The Avengers  –  $1511.8 mil
  2. Skyfall  –  $1108.2 mil
  3. The Dark Knight Rises  –  $1081.0 mil
  4. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey  –  $1001.1 mil
  5. Ice Age: Continental Drift  –  $877.2 mil
  6. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2  –  $829.2 mil
  7. The Amazing Spider-Man  –  $752.2 mil
  8. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted  –  $742.1 mil
  9. The Hunger Games  –  $686.5 mil
  10. MIB 3  –  $624.0 mil

note:  By replacing Brave and Ted with Ice Age and MIB, it seems the rest of the world goes even more for franchises than Americans do.  Meanwhile, The Intouchables becomes the highest-grossing film of alltime to earn less than 5% of its gross in the U.S. (it makes $426.6 worldwide, but only $10.2 of that here).  But Ice Age (81.6%) and Life of Pi (80.3% of its $592.8 total) also make less than 1/5 of their total gross in the States.  In fact, Ice Age becomes the 9th highest grosser of alltime on the international market but only ranks 210 domestically.  Meanwhile, Hunger Games has the lowest worldwide gross of any film to make $400 million domestically.

Nighthawk Golden Globes:


  • Best Picture:  Lincoln
  • Best Director:  Steven Spielberg  (Lincoln)
  • Best Actor:  Daniel Day-Lewis  (Lincoln)
  • Best Actress:  Jessica Chastain  (Zero Dark Thirty)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Christoph Waltz  (Django Unchained)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Sally Field  (Lincoln)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Lincoln
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Django Unchained
Jennifer Lawrence gives a great (and sexy) performance in Silver Linings Playbook.

Jennifer Lawrence gives a great (and sexy) performance in Silver Linings Playbook.

Comedy / Musical:

  • Best Picture:  Les Misérables
  • Best Director:  Tom Hooper  (Les Misérables)
  • Best Actor:  Hugh Jackman  (Les Misérables)
  • Best Actress:  Jennifer Lawrence  (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Robert De Niro  (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Anne Hathaway  (Les Misérables)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Silver Linings Playbook
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Moonrise Kingdom
Jessica Chastain waits for the helicopter in Zero Dark Thirty.

Jessica Chastain waits for the helicopter in Zero Dark Thirty.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture:  Lincoln
  • Best Director:  Steven Spielberg  (Lincoln)
  • Best Actor:  Daniel Day-Lewis  (Lincoln)
  • Best Actress:  Jessica Chastain  (Zero Dark Thirty)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Christoph Waltz  (Django Unchained)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Anne Hathaway  (Les Misérables)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Lincoln
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Moonrise Kingdom
  • Best Editing:  Argo
  • Best Cinematography:  Lincoln
  • Best Original Score:  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Best Sound:  Les Misérables
  • Best Art Direction:  Anna Karenina
  • Best Visual Effects:  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Best Sound Editing:  Zero Dark Thirty
  • Best Costume Design:  Anna Karenina
  • Best Makeup:  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Best Original Song:  “Song of the Lonely Mountain”  (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)
  • Best Animated Film:  Brave
  • Best Foreign Film:  Amour

Foreign Films:  I can’t really write this piece yet.  Of the 10 films nominated or awarded Best Foreign Film from the 5 critics groups and 5 awards groups, I have only seen four of them.  One of them I thought was vastly over-rated (Holy Motors).  One of them I thought was good, but not good enough to be nominated (Headhunters).  One of them was very good and deserving of its Oscar nomination and I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t end up in my eventual Top 5 (War Witch).  And then, of course, there is Amour – one of the finest Foreign Films in years, a masterpiece that won almost every award (it didn’t win the LAFC and the NSFC didn’t give an award because they often don’t when a Foreign Film wins Best Picture, which Amour did).  So, this is incomplete until later.  But really, can anything even possibly approach Amour?

Right.  Because I'm gonna choose between the sexy Marvel character in black leather and the sexy DC character in black leather.

Right. Because I’m gonna choose between the sexy Marvel character in black leather and the sexy DC character in black leather.

Nighthawk Notables (SPOILERS):

  • Best Film to Watch Over and Over:  Skyfall
  • Best Line  (comedic):  “Target acquired.  Target engaged.”  The Hulk leaps at the plane.  “Target is angry!”  (Walter Perez in The Avengers)
  • Best Line  (dramatic):  “I need this! This amendment is that cure! We’ve stepped out upon the world stage now. Now! With the fate of human dignity in our hands. Blood’s been spilled to afford us this moment now! Now! Now!”  (Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln)
  • Best Opening:  Argo
  • Best Ending:  Les Misérables
  • Best Scene:  the opening scene of Argo
  • Best Death Scene:  Quentin Tarantino in Django Unchained
  • Best Use of a Song  (comedic):  “Flash” in Ted
  • Best Use of a Song  (dramatic):  “I Got a Name”  (Django Unchained)
  • Worst Use of a Song:  “Can’t Fight This Feeling”  (Rock of Ages) *
  • Best Ensemble:  Lincoln
  • Funniest Film:  Moonrise Kingdom  **
  • Most Over-rated Film:  Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Worst Film:  Rock of Ages
  • Worst Sequel (that I saw):  Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
  • Worst Film with a Good Performance:  The Paperboy
  • Performance to Fall in Love With:  Samantha Barks in Les Misérables
  • Sexiest Performance:  Scarlett Johansson in The Avengers  /  Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises
  • Highest Attractiveness / Acting Ability Ratio:  Kristen Stewart in Snow White and the Huntsman
  • Best Soundtrack:  Django Unchained
  • Read the Short Story, SKIP the Film:  Total Recall ***
  • Star of the Year:  Anne Hathaway  (Les Misérables / The Dark Knight Rises)
  • Coolest Performance:  Daniel Craig in Skyfall
  • Best Teaser:  Les Misérables
  • Best Trailer:  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey  ****
  • Best Tag-line:  “The movie was fake.  The mission was real.”  (Argo)
  • Best Cameo:  Liam Neeson in The Dark Knight Rises
  • Best Animated Character Performance:  Kelly MacDonald in Brave *****
  • *  –  I don’t oppose the use of the song as a gay duet in theory.  But in practice, as sung by Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand, it’s hideous.
  • **  –  Veronica argues that her choice for this is The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (which I didn’t see).
  • ***  –  Or, see the original film and skip this one.
  • ****  –  Other contenders are Argo, Moonrise Kingdom, The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers.
  • *****  –  Veronica votes for Jack McBrayer from Wreck-It-Ralph which I haven’t yet seen.

Film History:  The Avengers crushes all opening weekend box office records, grossing a massive $207 million.  It would have become the second biggest film ever if not for the 3-D release of Titanic, so it has to settle for being the third film ever to gross $600 million.  It is also one of a record four films to break $1 billion worldwide, along with The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  Dark Knight Rises becomes the highest grossing film in history not to win the box office year.  It is the first year with 3 $400 million films and the first with 5 $300 million films.  The total domestic box office for the Top 10 is a record-breaking $3.311 billion.  Also, 3-D releases push Titanic past $2 billion worldwide and Phantom Menace past $1 billion.  Amour becomes the second straight film to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes and then earn a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars.  Pietà wins the Golden Lion in Venice.  Beasts of the Southern Wild wins the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.  Silver Linings Playbook wins Picture, Actress, Director and Screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards and wins Picture, Actor, Actress and Director at the Satellite Awards.  The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 earns 11 Razzie nominations and wins 7 awards, including Worst Picture, Actress (astoundingly, the first time Kristen Stewart has won) and Director but loses Actor and Screenplay to That’s My Boy (making Adam Sandler only the third back-to-back Worst Actor winner after Sylvester Stallone and Pauley Shore).  Ernest Borgnine and Celeste Holm both die in July at age 95 (57 and 65 years after winning their Oscars).  Richard D. Zanuck dies in July, Herbert Lom in September (also 95) and Charles Durning in December.

Academy Awards:  For the first time since 1995 neither Screenplay winner is nominated for Best Director; it’s the only time that both Screenplay winners are nominated for Picture but not Director; because of this, while for the only 5th time (1941, 1964, 2005, 2008) there are five films nominated for Picture, Director and Screenplay, four of the films don’t win any of those four awards.  Sally Field becomes the first female nominated for a performance in a Spielberg film since 1985 while Daniel Day-Lewis becomes the first actor to win an Oscar for a Spielberg film.  With 12 nominations for Lincoln, Spielberg’s total draw moves up to 124 nominations – 2 short of William Wyler’s record.  Also with the 12 nominations, Spielberg breaks away from David Lean, Martin Scorsese and William Wyler to become the first person to direct 4 different films with 10 or more nominations.  It is also Spielberg’s 23rd film to received a feature film nomination – tying him for second with Michael Curtiz behind George Cukor.  The Best Foreign Film award returns to Western Europe for the first time in 5 years – the longest gap in Oscar history.  Even though this is the 16th time that at least 8 films have been nominated for Best Picture, it ties 1937 for the most Best Picture nominees that actually win an Oscar (8) – with all of the Best Picture nominees winning an Oscar except Beasts of the Southern Wild, it has the highest percentage of nominees that become Oscar winners for any Best Picture year with more than 5 nominees (in 17 of the 68 years with 5 nominees all 5 won an Oscar).  For a variety of other Oscar trivia that I pointed out on the morning of the nominations, go here.

They get it mostly right.  You can see that with my note about Worst Oscar.  Personally, I would have given more love to Lincoln, but none of the actual winners are worth complaining about.  Every single one of the Oscar winners is one of my nominees – I can’t remember that happening before.  As for the nominations?  Well, most of them were fairly good, even when I would have inserted one or two different films.  Except for Director, of course, where they were just complete idiots.  Spielberg and Lee belonged there.  And so did Affleck and Bigelow, without a doubt.  And my fifth choice is Joe Wright, but I would have been good with Tarantino.  Haneke is just outside.  Russell is a bit of a stretch.  Zeitlin is just a ridiculous choice.  The only nominations that make me really shake my head are those for Zeitlin and for the screenplay for Flight.  As for Best Original Song – well clearly I have different tastes than the Academy.  The Shirley Bassey rendition of “Goldfinger” was appropriate since three of the nominated songs were in that vein but they are not to my taste.  I thought “Song of the Lonely Mountain” was a magnificent song (as clearly indicated by its number of plays on my ITunes) and I would have gone with “Touch the Sky” from Brave (or even “Learn Me Right”) and “Who Did That To You” from Django to go with “Skyfall” and “Suddenly”.  I definitely would have ditched the song from Ted.

  • Worst Oscar:  Best Director for Ang Lee for Life of Pi  *
  • Worst Oscar Nomination:  Best Director for Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Worst Oscar Omission:  Best Director for Ben Affleck for Argo
  • Worst Oscar-Nominated Film:  Mirror Mirror
  • Best Eligible Film with No Oscar Nominations:  The Dark Knight Rises
  • Worst Oscar Category:  Best Original Song
  • Best Oscar Category:  Best Supporting Actor
  • Oscar / Nighthawk Award Agreements:  Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Editing, Sound, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Animated Film, Foreign Film
  • *  –  In a year where the Oscar went to either my 1st or 2nd choice in almost every category, I didn’t have a lot to complain about.  The only Oscars that went to anything lower were Song (4th), Score (4th) and Director (5th).  So we have Director here, even though it was a very good choice and the second best of the nominees.

Golden Globes:  Argo wins Picture and Director (the first to win both but lose Screenplay since 1998) though Les Misérables ends up with the most wins (Picture – Comedy / Musical, Actor – Comedy / Musical, Supporting Actress).  Lincoln matches the performance of The King’s Speech from two years before exactly – winning Actor – Drama but losing Picture – Drama, Director, Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress and Score.  The wins are spread out, with awards also going to Silver Linings Playbook (Actress – Comedy / Musical), Zero Dark Thirty (Actress – Drama), Django Unchained (Screenplay, Supporting Actor) and Life of Pi (Score).  With Amour winning Foreign Film, the only eventual Oscar nominee not to win a Globe is Beasts of the Southern Wild which fails to earn a single nomination (aside from True Grit, the first Oscar nominee to do this since 1998).

Awards:  Lincoln would be a big winner with the critics, but they would be smaller victories.  It would earn 669 points – good for 37th all-time.  However, 36 of the 37 films above it either won at least one Best Picture award (34) or multiple Best Director awards (The Piano and Lost in Translation).  Lincoln, like The Queen, would settle only for acting (4 awards for Daniel Day-Lewis, 2 for Sally Field) and writing (4 awards).  The Best Picture awards would go to Zero Dark Thirty (by far the biggest winner of the year and 12th all-time with 1002 points) and Amour.  ZDT would take Picture and Director from New York, Boston, Chicago and the National Board of Review while Amour would win Picture and Actress in LA, Picture, Director and Actress from the National Society of Film Critics and Foreign Film from the other four groups.  In fourth place would be The Master, which wouldn’t manage any Best Picture awards and only one Best Director award (LA), but would win a wide array of other awards: Actor (LA), Supporting Actor (Chicago), Supporting Actress (LA, Chicago, NSFC), Cinematography (Boston, Chicago, NSFC), Score (Chicago) and Art Direction (LA).

Only two directors nominated for the DGA would be nominated by the Oscars – the lowest total in DGA history.  Argo would be the big winner, sweeping the major guilds (PGA, SAG Ensemble, DGA, WGA, ACE) – the first film since 2008 to do so and only the second film ever.  But Life of Pi is the film with the most noms (15) and the most wins (7), though all but 1 of the wins was for Sound Editing or Visual Effects.  While Life of Pi would have PGA, DGA and WGA noms, as would Zero Dark Thirty and Les Misérables would have SAG, PGA and DGA noms, only Lincoln would join Argo with nominations from PGA, SAG, DGA and the WGA.  But of Lincoln’s 14 nominations, it would only win Actor and Supporting Actor.  For the first time since 2007 two films earn 3 individual acting noms at SAG (Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook), yet they both lose the Ensemble Award to Argo, which only had 1 individual nom (the first film since 2008 to win with less than 2 individual noms).  Of the SAG nominees, only 3 for Best Actress would earn Oscar noms (the lowest since 2003) and only 3 would for Supporting Actress would earn noms (the lowest since 2001).  The overall match of 14 of the 20 nominees from SAG to Oscar would be the lowest since 2001.  With only 1 nomination (for Sound Editing), Amour would have the worst showing among the guilds for an Oscar Best Picture nominee since 1985.

Like at the Globes, Argo wins Picture and Director but not Screenplay at the BAFTA’s (the first film to do so since 2002).  Also like at the Globes, Lincoln has the most nominations (10) but only manages to win Best Actor (Spielberg himself fails to earn a nomination).  And, again like the Globes, the film with the most wins in Les Misérables (Supporting Actress, Sound, Art Direction, Makeup).  For the second time in four years, Quentin Tarantino is nominated for Best Director but his film is not nominated for Best Picture.  With 8 nominations, Skyfall doesn’t equal the record for a James Bond film set by Casino Royale, but it one-ups its predecessor by winning Best British Film.

Lincoln ties Black Swan for most nominations all-time at the Broadcast Film Critics Awards (12) and even though it only wins 3 awards, sets a new record for points (450) – the third straight year the record has been set.  Silver Linings Playbook becomes only the second film to be nominated for the big 5 awards (Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Actress), joining The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  Daniel Day-Lewis joins Russell Crowe with 3 BFCA wins for Best Actor.  Steven Spielberg becomes the first director to earn 5 BFCA nominations and the first with back-to-back nominations since Clint Eastwood in 03-04.

Best Director:  A very odd year.  The Academy doesn’t nominate either the #1 or #2.  The last time they didn’t nominate the Consensus winner was in 1995, when, ironically, the Consensus winner was Ang Lee.  And there had only been a handful of times when they didn’t nominate the #2.  They had never failed to nominate both directors.  But here, the Consensus Award goes to Kathryn Bigelow (NYFC, BSFC, CFC, NBR wins, LAFC and NSFC placements, DGA, BAFTA, Globe, BFCA, Satellite noms) while second place goes to Ben Affleck (DGA, BAFTA, Globe, BFCA wins, Satellite nom, NYFC and CFC placements).  Then comes Oscar winner Ang Lee, who also earned DGA, BAFTA, Globe and BFCA noms, followed by Paul Thomas Anderson for The Master (LAFC win, NYFC, NSFC, BSFC, CFC placements, Best Director at Venice) and Steven Spielberg for Lincoln (DGA, Oscar, BAFTA, Globe, BFCA noms, CFC placement).  My own top 5 are very close – Spielberg followed by Affleck, Bigelow, Joe Wright for Anna Karenina and Lee.  My 6 through 10 are Quentin Tarantino (BAFTA, Globe noms), Tom Hooper for Les Misérables (DGA, BFCA noms), Christopher Nolan for Dark Knight Rises, Sam Mendes for Skyfall and Peter Jackson for The Hobbit.

Best Adapted Screenplay:  There is a pretty solid Consensus for Best Adapted Screenplay.  Lincoln is the winner (BFCA, NYFC, BSFC, CFC wins, Oscar, WGA, Globe, BAFTA noms), followed by Argo (Oscar, WGA, LAFC wins, Globe, BAFTA, BFCA noms), Silver Linings Playbook (BAFTA, NBR wins, Oscar, WGA, Globe, BFCA noms), Life of Pi (Oscar, WGA, BAFTA, BFCA noms) and Beasts of the Southern Wild (Oscar, BAFTA noms).  The only other film to get a nomination is Perks of Being a Wallflower (WGA, BFCA noms).  But my list?  Well, mine isn’t quite the same.  Lincoln is indeed my winner, followed by Argo.  But then I go with Anna Karenina and its daring way of doing the film, followed by Skyfall before I get to Silver Linings.  And then comes my 6 through 10, which clearly aren’t going to be on the awards radar: The Dark Knight Rises, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Les Misérables and Prometheus.  And before you ask, yes, I have seen Perks.

Best Original Screenplay:  There is a tie winner for the Consensus Award between Django Unchained (Oscar, Globe, BAFTA, BFCA wins) and Zero Dark Thirty (WGA, CFC wins, Oscar, Globe, BAFTA, BFCA noms), though it only happens because Tarantino isn’t eligible for the WGA.  But he avenges himself at the Oscars and BAFTA where he had lost to ZDT writer Mark Boal in 2009.  The rest of the list is Moonrise Kingdom (Oscar, WGA, BAFTA, BFCA noms), Looper (WGA, BFCA noms, NBR win) and a tie for 5th between The Master (WGA, BAFTA, BFCA noms) and Flight (Oscar, WGA, BFCA noms).  My winner is Moonrise Kingdom, followed by Amour, Django, ZDT and Brave.  Because I haven’t seen Looper yet, the only other scripts I feel worth mentioning are The Master (which was actually the weakest part of the film, a surprising development given Anderson’s previous films) and ParaNorman.  I actually thought the script for Flight was by far the weakest part of the film.  It just wasn’t that great a year for original scripts beyond the top five, especially when compared to the plethora of strong adapted ones.

Best Actor:  Daniel Day-Lewis easily pulls off his record fourth Consensus Award for Best Actor, sweeping the five awards and winning 4 of the 6 critics, only missing in LA and the NBR (eerily similar to 2007 except then he won in LA instead of in Boston).  He’s followed by Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook, who earns nominations from all 5 groups and wins the NBR.  The rest of the Consensus nominees are Joaquin Phoenix for The Master (Oscar, BAFTA, Globe, BFCA noms and wins the LAFC), Hugh Jackman for Les Misérables (wins the Globe – Comedy / Musical, earns noms from the other 4 awards groups) and Denzel Washington for Flight (SAG, Oscar, Globe, BFCA noms).  My own top 5 are almost the same – Day-Lewis, followed by Phoenix, Washington and Jackman.  But my #5 is Jean-Louis Trintignant, whose performance in Amour was overlooked in favor of Riva.  My 6 through 10 are Cooper, John Hawkes for The Sessions (SAG, Globe, BFCA noms), Daniel Craig for Skyfall, Ben Affleck for Argo (BAFTA nom) and Anthony Hopkins in Hitchcock.  (note:  Haven’t seen Hyde Park on the Hudson)

Best Actress:  Not since 1984 has there been a race for Best Actress in the Consensus Awards like this, with two actresses actually tying for first and a third actress just barely behind (which is exactly what happened in 84, though then the 3rd place finisher didn’t even earn an Oscar nomination and here she won the Oscar).  So, in a tie we have Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty (CFC, NBR, Globe – Drama, BFCA wins, SAG, Oscar, BAFTA noms) and Emmanuelle Riva for Amour (LAFC, NSFC, BSFC, BAFTA wins, Oscar, BFCA noms).  Then, just behind we have Jennifer Lawrence from Silver Linings Playbook (LAFC tie with Riva, SAG, Oscar, Globe – Comedy wins, BAFTA, BFCA noms).  In the final two spots, tied, are Marion Cotillard for Rust and Bone (SAG, BAFTA, Globe, BFCA noms) and Naomi Watts for The Impossible (SAG, Oscar, Globe, BFCA noms).  And that’s where my list gets complicated, because I haven’t seen either of those two films.  So, I have Chastain as my winner, followed very closely by Riva, then by Lawrence, Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild (Oscar, BFCA noms) and Keira Knightley for Anna Karenina.  My 6 through 10 is kind of weak because of not seeing the two earlier mentioned films (or Quartet) and because of the eligible films I have seen from 2012 (War Witch isn’t eligible) a lot of them don’t even have a lead female performance and many of the others don’t have a good one.  So what I have are Rachel Weisz for The Deep Blue Sea (NYFC win, Globe nom), Judi Dench for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Globe – Comedy nom), Helen Mirren in Hitchcock (SAG, BAFTA, Globe noms), Emily Blunt in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (Globe – Comedy nom) and Kara Hayward in Moonrise Kingdom.

Best Supporting Actor:  There wasn’t much of a consensus on what the best Supporting Actor performances of the year were.  Five different actors won critics awards and no two of the awards groups agreed completely.  Three actors were nominated by all five awards groups (and two of those didn’t win any critics awards), but three of those awards went to the actor who wasn’t nominated at the other two.  And I have gone through several different choices before I finally settled on a winner.  There was no singular performance that stood above the rest like Christopher Plummer in 2011 or Christian Bale in 2010, and certainly nothing on the scale of Christoph Waltz in 2009 or Heath Ledger in 2008.  So, here is the Consensus, as far as it goes:  Philip Seymour Hoffman wins for The Master, winning in Chicago and at the BFCA and earning Oscar, SAG, Globe and BAFTA noms.  Then there is a tie between Christoph Waltz, who wins the Oscar, BAFTA and Globe but earns no other nominations and Tommy Lee Jones, who only wins at SAG but earns nominations from all 5 awards groups.  Then there is another tie – this one between Alan Arkin, who earns nominations from all five groups for Argo and Matthew McConaughy, who wins critics awards from the NYFC and NSFC for Magic Mike and Bernie (although neither mentions his performance in Killer Joe) and earns a BFCA nomination for Magic Mike.  And then there is my list – Waltz as the winner, followed by Hoffman, Leonardo DiCaprio (NBR winner), Javier Bardem for Skyfall (SAG, BAFTA, BFCA noms) and Jones, though I almost switch Jones with my #6 – David Straitharn, whose performance in Lincoln was overlooked in favor of Jones but might have been better.  My 7 through 10 are James Spader for Lincoln, Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook (SAG, Oscar, BFCA noms) and William H. Macy for The Sessions.  But there are a number of other performances that are about the same level – Dwight Henry in Beasts of the Southern Wild (LAFC winner), Arkin, John Goodman in Argo, Matthew MacFadyen and Jude Law in Anna Karenina, Bruce Willis in Moonrise Kingdom; it was a great year for very good performances, but not one for truly great performances.

Best Supporting Actress:  Anne Hathaway barely eeks out a Consensus Award win over Amy Adams.  Hathaway sweeps the five awards groups but while Adams earns 4 awards noms (all but SAG) she also wins three critics awards (LAFC, NSFC, CFC).  In a not-so-distant third is Sally Field for Lincoln (all five awards noms, NYFC, BSFC wins).  Then comes Helen Hunt for The Sessions (all 5 noms) and, very distantly, Anna Dowd for Compliance (NBR win, BFCA nom).  My own winner is Hathaway, followed closely by Field and Adams.  Then I go with Judi Dench for Skyfall (BAFTA, BFCA noms) and Maggie Smith for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (SAG nom).  My 6 through 10 are Samantha Barks for Les Misérables, Hathaway again, for The Dark Knight Rises, Hunt, Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook (Oscar nom) and Dowd.

Under-appreciated Film of 2012:  There is no under-appreciated film for 2012 as of yet.  Dark Knight Rises was under-appreciated by the awards groups but it made over $1 billion worldwide.  Ditto for The Hobbit.  Anna Karenina was under-appreciated for the major awards, for which it was blanked, but I just wrote a review of it for the Top 100 novels post here.  I thought that Brave was under-appreciated, only getting awards attention for Best Animated Film and only winning three of those, when the music was fantastic and the script was one of the best of a weak year, but it still made good money and won the Oscar.  Moonrise Kingdom was my #6 film of the year but it was in play for Best Picture until the nominations.  I almost wrote about Prometheus but then decided not to (and it did get some awards attention and made over $100 million).  And I might have written about The Woman in Black had I not reviewed it for my For Love of Film: Hammer Horror post back in October.  And The Secret World of Arietty wasn’t actually eligible for the Oscars because of the weird issue with original release dates.  The Amazing Spider-Man was very good and got almost no awards attention but wasn’t as good as Spider-Man 2 so it’s hard to think of it as under-appreciated.  Maybe I’ll find something later on that belongs here that even I am over-looking right now.  But I don’t know what that could possibly be at this point.