12 Years a Slave Leads the Gotham Award Nominations, that Helps at Oscar but is Not a Slam Dunk
Last year's big winner at the Gotham Awards for Best Feature, was Moonrise Kingdom, the year before that was a tie between Beginners, and Tree of Life. In looking at the past winners/nominees in the last five years the only film to win at Gotham and the the Oscars was The Hurt Locker (2009). Many of the feature film winners have gone on to score nominations, Moonrise Kingdom received one for Best Original Screenplay. Beginners received a Supporting Actor nomination, and win for Christopher Plummer. The Tree of Life scored 3 nominations including Picture, Director, and Cinematography. Gotham was also one of the first launching points for nominations for Winter's Bone (4 nominations), and Frozen River (1 nomination). This year 12 Years a Slave has 3 nominations, more than any film. The problem/interesting fact about these awards is that the actual categories have changed over the years, and sometimes they pull out a surprise winner. I could see any of these five films winning this award. Before Midnight has a strong chance to upset.
With all that on the table the Gotham Awards are one of the first awards of the season, but they rarely impact anything. My hope is that they avoid being a rubber stamper for Oscar winners, especially in the new Best Actor, and Best Actress category. The "cool" thing to me about these awards is that the remind of the way the Independent Spirit Awards used to look, let's just hope they do not follow Alice down the rabbit hole, and try to become a rubber stamp for Oscar.
12 Years a Slave
Steve McQueen, director; Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Bill Pohlad, Steve McQueen, Arnon Milchan, Anthony Katagas, producers. (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
David Lowery, director; Tony Halbrooks, James M. Johnston, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Amy Kaufman, Cassian Elwes, producers (IFC Films)
Richard Linklater, director; Richard Linklater, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, Sara Woodhatch, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)
Inside Llewyn Davis
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, directors; Scott Rudin, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, producers (CBS Films)