Will ‘Django’ be unchained in time for initial critics kudos?

DJangoI gather that I’m supposed to care about whether the National Board of Review announces its film awards before or after the New York Film Critics Circle, but they’re close enough together that I’m not sure about the need for all the hubbub, bub.

The NYFCC will announce Dec. 3 (a Monday), while the NBR will announce Dec. 5 — soon followed by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. on Dec. 9.  So no matter who goes first, we’ll have plenty to chew on after that week.

The bigger issue is whether the groups see all the requisite films before making their selections. A year ago, if you’ll recall, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” didn’t screen for anyone until very late in the year, while the timing for “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” actually affected the date of the NYFCC deliberations.

For the most part, the groups look to be in good shape for 2012. “Les Miserables” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” two of 2012’s final releases, are expected to be available to the critics before November ends. More of a mystery is Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” which is said to be farthest away from the finish line among this year’s contenders.

Of course, coming out last didn’t hurt and being effectively bypassed by the critics kudos didn’t hurt the Oscar prospects of “Extremely Loud” any. So again, maybe we just shouldn’t sweat it.

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