Good afternoon and apologies for a slightly late (and abbreviated) Monday brief - a combo of internet failures and trying to stay on top of the Top 25 Film Festival list (as well as my real job(s)).
As the midday sun hits Los Angeles, the orgy of film critics prizes is in full effect and it's pretty clear that the early favorite for crix nods will be Louie Psihoyos' THE COVE. Just this weekend, it picked up prizes from the Los Angeles Film Critics (which split the award between COVE and Agnes Varda's THE BEACHES OF AGNES), the Boston Film Critics, the New York Film Critics Online and even the Alliance of Women Film Journalists (which also gave two awards to Varda - the Lifetime Achievement and Perseverance Award). 11 days ago, THE COVE picked up the Best Documentary laurel from the National Board of Review.
Only today did some critics groups start to break away from THE COVE, as the New York Film Critics gave their doc prize to OF TIME AND THE CITY and the Southeast Film Critics awarded FOOD, INC. (which previously picked up the DC Film Critics award), with THE COVE as runner-up.
This is setting up and interesting dynamic heading forward, with THE COVE seemingly the critics choice and FOOD, INC. sweeping the major pre-Oscar documentary awards (winning at the Gothams, nominated for the IDA, the Spirits and Cinema Eye), where THE COVE was mostly shut out (it leads Cinema Eye nominations with 7 but was bypassed by the other awards).
Also today, the Broadcast Film Critics named their 5 nominees. In addition to front-running COVE and FOOD, they nommed ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL, CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY and MICHAEL JACKSON'S THIS IS IT.