Critics Groups Pick Zero Dark Thirty, Amour And The Master As The Year's Best

By Katey Rich 2012-12-09 16:59:02discussion comments
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We are officially in the onslaught part of the awards season, where every critic's group from New York and Los Angeles to Tulsa gathers together, picks their favorites, and announces their winners for the world to decide whether or not they're important. All these (occasionally) highbrow notices will be followed up by Thursday's Golden Globes nominations, which will also be parsed for their significance to the ongoing Oscar race, but will also inevitably nominate someone ridiculous like Seth MacFarlane as Best Supporting Actor for Ted.

But today we've got a lot of awards from three critic's groups who demand a certain level of respect: The Boston Society of Film Critics, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and the New York Film Critics Online. I belong to the latter group and watched what I imagine was a similar situation in several other groups: there was a lot of support for a wide variety of films, but Zero Dark Thirty was liked by the most people, so it won out in the end. Kathryn Bigelow's CIA drama was named Best Picture by both NYFCO and the Boston group, while the Los Angeles critics went their own way, giving Michael Haneke's Amour their top prize. That film's star Emmanuelle Riva tied Jennifer Lawrence for Best Actress with that group, while winning Best Actress outright from both NYFCO and the BSFC.

It's always hard to know how to parse critic's groups in terms of general awards momentum-- there are so many groups, and so often contradicting each other-- but there's a clear narrative emerging that Zero Dark Thirty is the critical favorite, but also that underdogs like Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master (which won Best Actor, Director, Supporting Actress and production design from the LA critics) and Beasts of the Southern Wild are flaring back to life. But don't read too much into films that seem "snubbed"-- at least some of them. While Argo won just a single prize from NYFCO, for Best Ensemble, it had fierce support in several other categories, and was runner-up for Best Picture. To think that Argo's hopes are dashed based on its disappointing showing with critics so far is premature. Same for Lincoln, which has no Best Picture win to its name yet, but is strong enough in other categories to stay alive.

Below is the full rundown of all three groups' winners, with runners-up included for LAFCA and BSFC because, well, that's how they play it. We'll have more on these awards and their impact on the awards race as a whole in Tuesday's Oscar Eye column.

Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Best Film: Amour
(runner-up: The Master )

Best Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
(runner-up: Kathryn Bigelow)

Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
(runner-up: Emmanuelle Riva)

Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
(runner-up: Denis Lavant, Holy Motors

Best Supporting Actor: Dwight Henry, Beasts of the Southern Wild
(runner-up: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained)

Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, The Master
(runner-up: Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight Rises and Les Miserables)

Best Editing: Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg, Zero Dark Thirty
(runner-up: William Goldenberg, Argo)

Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins, Skyfall
(runner-up: Mihai Malaimare Jr., The Master)

Best Score: Benh Zeitlin & Dan Romer, Beasts of the Southern Wild
(runner-up: Jonny Greenwood, The Master)

Best Screenplay: Chris Terrio, Argo
(runner-up: David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook)

Best Production Design: Jack Fisk, The Master
(runner-up: Adam Stockhausen, Moonrise Kingdom)

Best Animated Film: Frankenweenie>
(runner-up: It’s Such a Beautiful Day)

Best Documentary: The Gatekeepers
(runner-up: Searching for Sugar Man)

Best Foreign Language Film: Holy Motors
(runner-up: Footnote)

Boston Society of Film Critics

Best Film: Zero Dark Thirty
(runners-up: Moonrise Kingdom and Amour)

Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
(runner-up: Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master)

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
(runner-up: Denis Lavant, Holy Motors)

Best Actress: Emmanuelle Riva , Amour
(runner-up: Deanie Yip, A Simple Life)

Best Supporting Actress: Sally Field, Lincoln
(runner-up: Emma Watson, Perks of Being a Wallflower)

Best Supporting Actor: Ezra Miller, Perks of Being a Wallflower
(runner-up: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained)

Best Screenplay: Tony Kushner,Lincoln
(runner-up: Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom)

Best Cinematography: Mihai Malaimare Jr, The Master
(tied for runner-up: Moonrise Kingdon, Life of Pi)

Best Editing: William Goldenberg, Dylan Tichenor, Zero Dark Thirty
(runner-up: Argo)

Best Use of Music: Moonrise Kingdom
(runner-up: Django Unchained)

Best New Filmmaker: David France, How to Survive a Plague
(runner-up: Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Best Documentary: How to Survive a Plague
(runner-up: Queen of Versailles)

Best Animated: Frankenweenie
(runner-up: ParaNorman)

Best Foreign Language Film: Amour
(runner-up: Holy Motors)

New York Film Critics Online

Best Picture: Zero Dark Thirty
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow – Zero Dark Thirty
Best Debut Director: Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Best Actress: Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
Best Ensemble Cast: Argo
Best Supporting Actor:Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
Best Cinematography: Life of Pi – Claudio Miranda
Best Screenplay: Zero Dark Thirty – Mark Boal
Best Use of Music: Django Unchained – Mary Ramos
Breakthrough Performance: Quvenzhane Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
Best Animated Feature: Chico and Rita
Best Documentary: The Central Park Five
Best Foreign Language Film: Amour
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