The Broadcast Film Critics Association (I am a member), the largest group of critics in the nation andCritics-Choice-Movie-Awards-logo-e1379366211768 traditionally a reliable bellwether for Oscar nominations, have announced their list of contenders for the 19th annual Critics Choice Movie  Awards in a whopping 28 categories offering 13 nominations each to Sony’s American Hustle and Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years A Slave, two films that have already figured heavily in the season’s early awards contests and look to be frontrunners now for some major Oscar love. Gravity, another strong contender favored to score big with the Academy, was right on their tail with 10 nominations. In fact the CCMA’s will be airing live on the evening of January 16th, the same day the Academy will be announcing its nominations. The same thing happened last year, and what started as a bummer at the Academy announcement in the morning for  Argo’s Ben Affleck — who was shockingly passed over for an Oscar nod as American-HustleBest Director — ended in triumph just a few hours later when he, and his movie, won BIG from the Broadcast Critics, beginning a strong end run for Affleck that ended with Argo’s Best Picture victory at the Oscars. Both 12 Years and Hustle owe many of their noms to their large cast of actors who cleaned up, with 12 Years’ Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael Fassbender and the ensemble scoring nods and Hustle’s Christian Bale (also named in the comedy category), Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams (in comedy) and its ensemble grabbing mentions. For Gravity it was mostly a technical triumph, but star Sandra Bullock is up for Best Actress and again for Best Actress in an action movie (she also has a comedy nom for The Heat).

Hustle appeared to be on a roll over the weekend by scoring the year’s best limited opening with an estimated $115,000 per screen boding well for its wide expansion next weekend. Meanwhile it also took a couple of awards from the San Francisco Film Critics for Lawrence and Original Screenplay. 12 Years took Best Picture, Actor and Adapted Screenplay while Gravity won for directing and several below the line honors. The majority of precursor awards and noms do seem to be lining up heavily behind these three films — so far at least.

In addition to those films the other 7 CCMA Best Picture nominees are Captain Phillips with 6 nods including lead actor Tom Hanks and supporting actor Barkhad Abdi (who now has SAG, Globe and CCMA nods for his first acting role — not bad); Dallas Buyers Club with 3 including Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto; Inside Llewyn Davis (4 noms); Nebraska gaining 6 nods including Bruce Dern and June Squibb (but sadly not its director Alexander Payne); Saving Mr. Banks getting a much needed Best Pic mention after only winning notice for Emma Thompson at12years the Globes and SAG (and here too along with a pair of technical nods); The Wolf Of Wall Street which screened very late and did not yet send DVD screeners to the membership but still managed an impressive 6 nominations,  although neither Leonardo DiCaprio or Jonah Hill made the top acting list (Leo did get a comedy actor mention); And Spike Jonze’s Her (6   noms overall) which also nabbed him directing and writing nods but no acting love for star Joaquin Phoenix.  However, Scarlett Johansson , who is only heard, not seen as the voice of his “operating system” did manage to break into the Supporting Actress club with a groundbreaking nomination for a voice over performance. She was ruled ineligible at the Globes but can compete at the Oscars.

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The Best Picture list strongly mirrors another strong Oscar bellwether , the AFI Top 10 which was released last Monday. In a wide open year a consensus could be building  as the two groups agree on 9 films (BFCA went with Dallas while AFI named Fruitvale Station – a film shut out of the CCMAs). Nominated for Best Director are Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips), Jonze, Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave), David O. Russell (American Hustle) and Martin Scorsese (The Wolf Of Wall Street).

The BFCA generally really spread the wealth around in this very competitive year and in most categories haveGravity-c six contenders. Also up for lead actor in addition to those already named was Robert Redford , responsible for the sole All Is Lost nod, while other lead actress nominees include Blue Jasmine’s Cate Blanchett, Philomena’s Judi Dench, Short Term 12’s Brie Larson and August: Osage County’s Meryl Streep.  The late James Gandolfini received a pair of posthumous nominations for Comedy Actor  and Supporting Actor for Enough Said with Rush’s  Globe and SAG nominee Daniel Bruhl rounding out the latter category. Julia Roberts from Osage and Oprah Winfrey of Lee Daniels’ The Butler complete the Supporting Actress category. For Oprah awards season has been a roller coaster ride with two SAG noms, a Globes snub and now two CCMA chances as both Butler and Osage are also up for their ensembles although both films failed to make the Best Picture list. In fact not a single Weinstein Company movie is among the top ten , the first time in a long time the awards savvy company has been left off that list.

The Critics Choice Movie Awards hosted by Aisha Tyler will air live for the second year on the CW network January 16th.  Additionally the BFCA and L.A.’s House Of Blues are teaming up to present a “Celebration Of Black Cinema” on January 7th .

Here’s the complete list of today’s nominees:

BEST PICTURE
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
Saving Mr. Banks
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST ACTOR
Christian Bale – American Hustle
Bruce Dern – Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks – Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford – All Is Lost

BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock – Gravity
Judi Dench – Philomena
Brie Larson – Short Term 12
Meryl Streep – August: Osage County
Emma Thompson – Saving Mr. Banks

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl – Rush
Bradley Cooper – American Hustle
Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave
James Gandolfini – Enough Said
Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Scarlett Johansson – Her
Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts – August: Osage County
June Squibb – Nebraska
Oprah Winfrey – Lee Daniels’ The Butler

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
Asa Butterfield – Ender’s Game
Adele Exarchopoulos – Blue Is the Warmest Color
Liam James – The Way Way Back
Sophie Nelisse – The Book Thief
Tye Sheridan – Mud

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
American Hustle
August: Osage County
Lee Daniels’ The Butler
Nebraska
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST DIRECTOR
Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity
Paul Greengrass – Captain Phillips
Spike Jonze – Her
Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell – American Hustle
Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Eric Singer and David O. Russell – American Hustle
Woody Allen – Blue Jasmine
Spike Jonze – Her
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen – Inside Llewyn Davis
Bob Nelson – Nebraska

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Tracy Letts – August: Osage County
Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke – Before Midnight
Billy Ray – Captain Phillips
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope – Philomena
John Ridley – 12 Years a Slave
Terence Winter – The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Emmanuel Lubezki – Gravity
Bruno Delbonnel – Inside Llewyn Davis
Phedon Papamichael – Nebraska
Roger Deakins – Prisoners
Sean Bobbitt – 12 Years a Slave

BEST ART DIRECTION
Andy Nicholson (Production Designer), Rosie Goodwin (Set Decorator) – Gravity
Catherine Martin (Production Designer), Beverley Dunn (Set Decorator) – The Great Gatsby
K.K. Barrett (Production Designer), Gene Serdena (Set Decorator) – Her
Dan Hennah (Production Designer), Ra Vincent (Set Decorator) – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Adam Stockhausen (Production Designer), Alice Baker (Set Decorator) – 12 Years a Slave

BEST EDITING
Alan Baumgarten, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers – American Hustle
Christopher Rouse – Captain Phillips
Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger – Gravity
Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill – Rush
Joe Walker – 12 Years a Slave
Thelma Schoonmaker – The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Michael Wilkinson – American Hustle
Catherine Martin – The Great Gatsby
Bob Buck, Lesley Burkes-Harding, Ann Maskrey, Richard Taylor – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Daniel Orlandi – Saving Mr. Banks
Patricia Norris – 12 Years a Slave

BEST MAKEUP
American Hustle
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lee Daniels’ The Butler
Rush
12 Years a Slave

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
Pacific Rim
Star Trek into Darkness

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Frozen
Monsters University
The Wind Rises

BEST ACTION MOVIE
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Iron Man 3
Lone Survivor
Rush
Star Trek into Darkness

BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE
Henry Cavill – Man of Steel
Robert Downey Jr. – Iron Man 3
Brad Pitt – World War Z
Mark Wahlberg – Lone Survivor

BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION MOVIE
Sandra Bullock – Gravity
Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Evangeline Lilly – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Gwyneth Paltrow – Iron Man 3

BEST COMEDY
American Hustle
Enough Said
The Heat
This Is the End
The Way Way Back
The World’s End

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Christian Bale – American Hustle
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
James Gandolfini – Enough Said
Simon Pegg – The World’s End
Sam Rockwell – The Way Way Back

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Amy Adams – American Hustle
Sandra Bullock – The Heat
Greta Gerwig – Frances Ha
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Enough Said
Melissa McCarthy – The Heat

BEST SCI-FI/HORROR MOVIE
The Conjuring
Gravity
Star Trek into Darkness
World War Z

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Blue Is the Warmest Color
The Great Beauty
The Hunt
The Past
Wadjda

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
The Act of Killing
Blackfish
Stories We Tell
Tim’s Vermeer
20 Feet from Stardom

BEST SONG
Atlas – Coldplay – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Happy – Pharrell Williams – Despicable Me 2
Let It Go – Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez – Frozen
Ordinary Love – U2 – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Please Mr. Kennedy – Justin Timberlake/Oscar Isaac/Adam Driver – Inside Llewyn Davis
Young and Beautiful – Lana Del Rey – The Great Gatsby

BEST SCORE
Steven Price – Gravity
Arcade Fire – Her
Thomas Newman – Saving Mr. Banks
Hans Zimmer – 12 Years a Slave