The Broadcast Film Critics Association has updated their latest movie rankings to account for recent and upcoming theatrical releases. Five films scored high enough to earn a 4-star ranking and four of those have been designated “Critics Choice” picks. Unsurprisingly the top score goes to David Fincher’s The Social Network which opens this Friday to a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The BFCA gives The Social Network a 92, one of the highest scores they’ve given any film this year which further adds to the mountain of buzz surrounding the Oscar favorite.
Ben Affleck’s The Town has the second highest rank, scoring an 87 and the documentaries Waiting for Superman and Inside Job both tie with a score of 86 (although Inside Job was not designated “Critic’s Choice”). The next film on the list, however, comes as somewhat of a surprise. Disney’s Secretariat earned a score of 85 from the BFCA and has been officially designated a “Critic’s Choice.” The film has not received many reviews because of an embargo by Disney, but it has been making the rounds with sneak previews and the word from online critics seems to be mostly skeptical. I saw the film about a month and a half ago and I wrote up an initial reaction after the screening (which is totally not a review by the way). I spoke about how I didn’t care for the movie and that my gut told me it would not be an Oscar contender. However, I was sure to point out that the crowd’s reaction was quite different with most audience members acting more enthusiastic about the film.
If a large critics group is going to champion the film than I may have found myself underestimating it. My prediction was that it would only connect with heartland audiences and it probably wouldn’t be a hit with the coastal-inhabiting Academy. However, I may have underestimated the power of its inspirational story and the power this type of movie has over mainstream audiences and some mainstream critics. I’m still sticking by my guns that this film will not compete in any Oscar categories, but after this news this horse may have a shot.
NOTE: A story also broke recently on The Hollywood Reporter that Disney will be intentionally targeting Christians and trying to play off of The Blind Side‘s success.