Box office revenues may be slightly down from expectations in the US due, in part, to poorly performing superhero films, but the independent film industry has been thriving. The quality scripts and performances by actors are getting recognized by critics and professional guilds.
Nominees selected by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, which will present its Critics Choice Awards on January 12, have been selected from films such as The Artist, Beginners and We Need to Talk About Kevin. The group's selections have historically come close to the Oscar choices and thus indicate potential nominees (alphabetically listed):
George Clooney - The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio - J. Edgar
Jean Dujardin - The Artist
Michael Fassbender - Shame
Ryan Gosling - Drive
Brad Pitt - Moneyball
Viola Davis - The Help
Elizabeth Olsen - Martha Marcy May Marlene
Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton - We Need to Talk About Kevin
Charlize Theron - Young Adult
Michelle Williams - My Week With Marilyn
Affirming the selections, nominees picked by the Gold Derby website, a film blog formerly with the Los Angeles Times and which polls film journalist experts to predict Oscar winners, are in agreement with the critics.
For Best Actor, George Clooney (The Descendants), who also directed and acted in the political story The Ides of March, is the frontrunner to win, with Jean Dujardin from The Artist as runner-up.
In the Best Actress category, Meryl Streep is the frontrunner for her role in The Iron Lady, as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who could win again since her 1982 trophy for Sophie's Choice, with Viola Davis (The Help) as the favorite runner-up.
For Best Supporting Actor, veteran British actor Christopher Plummer, who plays a gay father coming out late in life in Beginners, is favored to win, with Albert Brooks (Drive) as the runner-up. Also of note, Andy Serkis, who portrays the ape Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, could be the first actor to be nominated for a motion-captured performance.
In the Best Supporting Actress category, Octavia Spencer (The Help) is the favorite to win with Bérénice Bejo (The Artist) as runner-up. Jessica Chastain could split her nominations between her roles in The Help and The Tree of Life.