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Arts & Culture

Awards Season Perspective, with Amy Nicholson of Box Office Magazine

David J. Dowling

As the holiday season winds down, another season important to movie lovers is shifting into high gear. Awards season has expanded from just the Oscar race to a dizzying parade of broadcasts and ceremonies, including the Golden Globes, the SAG Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Directors Guild Awards, and many other “kudocasts,” as the industry sometimes calls them.

In addition to those grand awards ceremonies, critics’ groups across the country are naming their own choices for the best work in film this year.  The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) recently named "The Social Network" as Best Picture.  Amy Nicholson, a former San Antonian, is a member of that group, and the editor of Box Office Magazine, a publication that traditionally caters to theater owners, but is now expanding to be more available to movie fans as well.

Nicholson has a broad-minded perspective on movies and the awards season, and true to her academic roots, looks at film history through a sociologist’s eye. “For Americans, films are our shared culture,” she says.  Films are unique, she says, because they show an “intersection point between history, and culture, and the national mood.”

The drive for studios to make money on movies doesn’t take away from that, she adds.  “If a studio’s going to spend $50 million on a film, they’re going to want to figure out what Americans are willing to spend $100 million worth of tickets to go see…that financial pressure makes film fascinating to me.”

In the above audio, Amy Nicholson talks about the 2010 awards season, her thoughts about film history, the expansion of Box Office Magazine, and growing up a movie fan in San Antonio.