With the New York Film Critics Circle slowing rolling out its annual award-winners today — Zero Dark Thirty just took best picture — we decided to take a look at who's piling up the early prizes already, and what it might tell us about the Oscar field.
So far — and, yes, it's barely even December — we've seen the Gotham Independent Film Awards hand out their honors, perhaps signaling more things to come for Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, which took home the top prize, as well as for the director of Beasts of the Southern Wild. Both of those pictures scored Independent Spirit Award nominations for best feature, along with Silver Linings Playbook. Meanwhile, The Master was shut out of that contest on a technicality — it was too expensive — and succumbed to Moonrise at the Gotham Awards, but it did top U.K. magazine Sight & Sound's critics poll.
With the independent lineup having materialized, enter the New York Film Critics Circle Awards to usher in some more of the big names to the winner's circle. In addition to best picture, Kathryn Bigelow took the directing prize for her work on Zero Dark Thirty. (EW's Anthony Breznican notes that the NYFCC has had a rocky track record predicting Oscar best picture winners.) In the acting categories, Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field both won NYFCC awards for Lincoln — in the best actor and best supporting actress categories, respectively. That said, best actress went to Rachel Weisz for The Deep Blue Sea, who wasn't on our Richard Lawson's list of possible Oscar nominees, and hasn't been mentioned in Vulture's Oscar Futures list. New York's David Edelstein said her performance was the best of the year. The NYFCC also shed love on Matthew McConaughey, who had a prolific and unexpected year of movies.
Let's try to make some sense of all this, shall we? Here's a running cataloguing of who's won the early awards. (So as not to overload, we've been a bit selective, eliminating really, really small films that don't look like they'll be in the really, really big contention for Oscars.) Note that it's still really, really early, and that certain Oscar bait like Les Misérables hasn't yet made it to screens in front of every critic or voter quite yet.