It looks like the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. Awards have stepped up to fill the job of Oscar bellwether.
With the calendar shuffle precluding the usual Golden Globes influence on Oscar noms — due out Tuesday — one can look back to the BFCA Awards, handed out Jan. 10, which parallel the Globes in all the major categories.
Both BFCA and HFPA voted “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” best pic, along with director and composer trophies. The sequel also collected the BFCA’s acting ensemble award, a category missing from the Globes lineup. (That one could be a pointer for the Feb. 22 SAG Awards, however.)
“Mystic River’s” Tim Robbins and Sean Penn also were honored by both groups, while on the distaff side, Charlize Theron and Renee Zellweger have matching trophies.
One major difference: Sean Penn personally collected his trophy from the BFCA.