The Critics Choice Awards offer hope for Drive and Andy Serkis

The Critics Choice Awards offer hope for Drive and Andy Serkis

While the past few weeks have seen end-of-year film accolades handed out by numerous critical bodies—and one oiled, glistening critical hardbody—typically the first and most accurate bellwether of how the Oscars will pan out is the Critics Choice Movie Awards. As it’s done for coffee, low-calorie frozen dinners, and dog food before it, the word “Choice” conveys that these awards offer nothing but the finest, juiciest cuts of critical consensus, which is why year after year the Best Picture picks of the Broadcast Film Critics Association most closely align with those of the Academy.

Of course, with the new Oscar system that determines Best Picture nominees according to the Fibonacci sequence or whatever, that may not be the case, but the likely list definitely seems to be solidifying now. And you can tell because, next to all the repeat contenders like The Artist, The Descendants, Hugo, and The Tree Of Life, The Help is finally on there, and you know there’s no way the Oscars aren’t going to at least nominate The Help for Best Picture. They want people to watch their little show, after all, and besides, they would get so many angry letters from people who still write actual letters! Ditto Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, the omission of which would mean that we will simply never heal the wounds of 9/11.

The Critics Choice Awards also bring good news for a couple of underdogs who have been teetering on the edge of being forgotten—in particular Drive, the critically praised film that has always seemed like it might be just a little too cool for the Oscars. (Or, y’know, brutally violent.) Apparently, it is not. Not too cool at all. Also cracking the list after months and months of Internet support: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes star Andy Serkis, who managed to score a Best Supporting Actor nod in what could be a precursor to some real, pioneering recognition of motion-capture performance, provided Young Adult’s eerily accurate Patton Oswalt simulacrum doesn’t get there first. Anyway, here’s the complete list of nominees (with a hat-tip to Movieline). The awards will be broadcast on January 12 on VH1, with Human Giant cohorts Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer co-hosting.

BEST PICTURE
The Artist
The Descendants
Drive
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Hugo
Midnight in Paris
Moneyball
The Tree of Life
War Horse

BEST ACTOR
George Clooney - The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio - J. Edgar
Jean Dujardin - The Artist
Michael Fassbender - Shame
Ryan Gosling - Drive
Brad Pitt - Moneyball

BEST ACTRESS
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

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Kenneth Branagh - My Week With Marilyn
Albert Brooks - Drive
Nick Nolte - Warrior
Patton Oswalt - Young Adult
Christopher Plummer - Beginners
Andrew Serkis - Rise of the Planet of the Apes

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Berenice Bejo - The Artist
Jessica Chastain - The Help
Melissa McCarthy - Bridesmaids
Carey Mulligan - Shame
Octavia Spencer - The Help
Shailene Woodley - The Descendants

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
Asa Butterfield - Hugo
Elle Fanning - Super 8
Thomas Horn - Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Ezra Miller - We Need to Talk About Kevin
Saoirse Ronan - Hanna
Shailene Woodley - The Descendants

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
The Artist
Bridesmaids
The Descendants
The Help
The Ides of March

BEST DIRECTOR
Stephen Daldry - Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist
Alexander Payne - The Descendants
Nicolas Winding Refn - Drive
Martin Scorsese - Hugo
Steven Spielberg - War Horse

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Artist - Michel Hazanavicius
50/50 - Will Reiser
Midnight in Paris - Woody Allen
Win Win - Screenplay by Tom McCarthy, Story by Tom McCarthy & Joe Tiboni
Young Adult - Diablo Cody

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Descendants - Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - Eric Roth
The Help - Tate Taylor
Hugo - John Logan
Moneyball - Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Story by Stan Chervin

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
The Artist - Guillaume Schiffman
Drive - Newton Thomas Sigel
Hugo - Robert Richardson
The Tree of Life - Emmanuel Lubezki
War Horse - Janusz Kaminski

BEST ART DIRECTION
The Artist - Production Designer: Laurence Bennett, Art Director: Gregory S. Hooper
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - Production Designer: Stuart Craig, Set Decorator: Stephenie McMillan
Hugo - Production Designer: Dante Ferretti, Set Decorator: Francesca Lo Schiavo
The Tree of Life - Production Designer: Jack Fisk, Art Director: David Crank
War Horse - Production Designer: Rick Carter, Set Decorator: Lee Sandales

BEST EDITING
The Artist - Michel Hazanavicius and Anne-Sophie Bion
Drive - Matthew Newman
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
Hugo - Thelma Schoonmaker
War Horse - Michael Kahn

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
The Artist - Mark Bridges
The Help - Sharen Davis
Hugo - Sandy Powell
Jane Eyre - Michael O’Connor
My Week With Marilyn - Jill Taylor

BEST MAKEUP
Albert Nobbs
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Iron Lady
J. Edgar
My Week With Marilyn

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Hugo
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Super 8
The Tree of Life

BEST SOUND
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Hugo
Super 8
The Tree of Life
War Horse

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The Adventures of Tintin
Arthur Christmas
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Rango

BEST ACTION MOVIE
Drive
Fast Five
Hanna
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Super 8

BEST COMEDY
Bridesmaids
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Horrible Bosses
Midnight in Paris
The Muppets

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
In Darkness
Le Havre
A Separation
The Skin I Live In
Where Do We Go Now

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Buck
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Page One: Inside the New York Times
Project Nim
Undefeated

BEST SCORE
The Artist - Ludovic Bource
Drive - Cliff Martinez
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
Hugo - Howard Shore
War Horse - John Williams

BEST SONG
“Hello Hello” - performed by Elton John and Lady Gaga/written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin - Gnomeo & Juliet
“Life’s a Happy Song” - performed by Jason Segel, Amy Adams and Walter/written by Bret McKenzie - The Muppets
“The Living Proof” - performed by Mary J. Blige/written by Mary J. Blige, Thomas Newman and Harvey Mason, Jr. - The Help
“Man or Muppet” - performed by Jason Segel and Walter/written by Bret McKenzie - The Muppets
“Pictures in My Head” - performed by Kermit and the Muppets/written by Jeannie Lurie, Aris Archontis and Chen Neeman - The Muppets