I belong to something called the Denver Film Critics Society, and we'll be doling out our awards early this week in a posh, black-tie event at ... um .... oh, looks like someone forgot to book the Motel 6 ballroom again. So we'll probably just send out a press release.
Just as well. I don't own a tux.
But I do have to vote--today--on what I think were the most impressive achievements in film this year (based on the nominations we all made a week ago). It's a fun exercise, especially for a faith-based critic for me: A chance to really evaluate something without counting swear words.
With that in mind, let me unveil a partial list of nominees and give you my personal thoughts on each. And, when the rest of the votes are tallied, we'll see what films, actors and other worthy recipients rule the roost in the Centennial State (that'd be Colorado).
Denver Film Critics Society Nominations
Django is certainly nothing we'd ever give a thumbs up to in my other gig, and I wish that Lincoln and Life of Pi might've made the cut. (An aside: I'm hoping Skyfall squeaks into the Academy Awards Best Picture category, too. The best James Bond movie ever deserves a little Oscar love, if you ask me.) But all these films are undeniably well crafted, and my own top choice made the short list: Argo almost feels like a throwback to Alfred Hitchcock: a gripping, thrilling film that's also an impressive bit of cinematic art.
Paul's vote: Argo
Best Achievement in Directing: Ben Affleck (Argo), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master)
Paul's vote: Bigelow
Best Lead Performance by an Actor, Male: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln); John Hawkes (The Sessions); Denzel Washington (Flight)
Paul's vote: Day-Lewis
Best Lead Performance by an Actor, Female: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook); Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty); Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Paul's vote: Chastain
Best Supporting Performance by an Actor, Male: Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master); Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln); Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
Paul's vote: Jones
Best Supporting Performance by an Actor, Female: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables); Amy Adams (The Master); Sally Field (Lincoln)
Paul's Vote: Hathaway
So there you have it: I'll be voting in other categories, too, but if you want to know who I think deserves to win Best Adapted Screenplay or Best Non-English Language Feature, you'll just have to wait for a few days.