Once Spencer won BFCA, though, and then GG, we knew she'd steamroll. There wasn't a super clear frontrunner going into the televised awards, so I think the thinking was that Chastain would/could win for her body of work, more so than her performance in The Help on its own. Guess voters didn't think that way.
The voters were wrong! Chastain really deserved to sweep last year!
You can do it, Naomi! You're...
ONLY 10 EASY STEPS AWAY FROM OSCAR!
1.) Bankrupt small, independent distributor via massive Oscar campaign. Failing that, proceed to...
2.) Cash in King Kong residual checks to pay for FYC advertisements from Kinko's.
3.) To avoid getting sent straight to VOD, attach entire film as a "trailer" to another film people actually want to see. And then...
4.) Try to do it Lahti-style and win Academy Award for Best Short Film.
5.) Avoid telling a story that everyone already knows by adding exciting details and/or gratuitous editing.
6. Carefully and patiently weather the wrath of film critics/the royal family/the tabloids/Diana-maniacs for trying to add said details. (Good luck!)
7. Find all of the boxes with "August: Osage County" screeners and slip in self-made cam bootleg from premiere screening at Lowes...the hardware store.
(Not Loews, the movie theater -- too expensive!)
8. Trick octogenarian Oscar voters into thinking that you are, in fact, a real princess. (Hey, it worked on Eva Marie Saint!)
9. On Oscar night, have camera crews come to Nicole's house, Joan Crawford-style, so you can win and keep your day job.
People are writing off The Master already but I think that it could be The Tree of Life for this year. Where in if there were only five nominees it could get the lone director slot (still not sold on a Tom Hooper nomination) but with the expanded field it will get in even if it's weak on the precursors.
I've said it before: The Master is an abrasive film that even makes many of its fans uncomfortable. It's not the same kind of rapturous experience that sent Tree Of Life's champions out on such a high. And I say this as someone who will likely be ranking it in my Top 5 for this year.
I honestly won't be surprised if it only receives a few nominations and doesn't make the BP or BD cut.
T E A M R I V E T T E
The Tree of Life/Master comparison has never worked for me seeing as how The Tree of Life, like all of Malick's films, was a highly emotional experience in which a lot of people became deeply invested and that resulted in genuine passion.
The Master, like all of PTA's films, is cold and, as laz said, abrasive.
That said, I'm still predicting The Master to get BP and BD nominations (only just barely), but these goddamn comparisons, for all the contenders in any given category, need to stop. Seriously.
Really happy for Chastain and her win here!
I just think that PTA makes so much sense as a lone director nominee in a field of five. Like if we still had only five Best Picture nominees I'm sure the consensus would be: Argo, Les Mis, Lincoln, SLP and ZDT with PTA replacing Russell in the Director lineup. But with the expanded field and the current voting system, The Master makes it into Best Picture as well. I also don't like this comparison, but this is essentially what happened with The Tree of Life last year. The Master is exactly the type of film that won't do well with precursors (outside of acting), but can still make it in at the Oscars.
The Master needs to win something big with critics though. At this point of the race last year The Tree of Life was already in the NBR top 10 and Pitt, Chastain and Emanuel Lubezki had all won NYFCC.
The thing that surprises me most about these awards is Zero Dark Thirty. I didn't expect any movie to sweep through the circuit this year. It's been so strong of a year, but Zero Dark Thirty looks poised to do just that in the critics awards. Also, I think is a huge get for Dicaprio, who could ultimately win in a category with a lot of veterans and no clear frontrunner.