And now we get to the critics awards, and occasionally draining and often repetitive exercise usually. This season, it seems to serve more to get some sense of proper footing amidst an uncertain slate of features. If you were following us on twitter, which I advise you do in the immediate future, it was quite an ordeal. Taking up more than three hours of our lives, the New York Film Critics Circle made clear their drawn out method of debating which films would win, rather than something easier like the ever trustworthy secret ballot. It did mean a surprise or two, but it also made things unusual throughout.
Examples? "The Tree of Life" castmates Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain managed to win for wide berth of work for this year. Pitt was obviously less deserving for "Moneyball", which was the only one of his two performances that was lead. Chastain had three films in her batch, which made it somewhat unfair for the rest. "Margin Call" inexplicably and despairingly won best first feature, which should have gone to "Martha Marcy May Marlene". "The Artist" topped the Best Picture and Director race, which wasn't at all surprising. The strongest win, without any complaint, was Albert Brooks for "Drive". I think he may be the only one who has smooth sailing ahead of him.
Best Picture: "The Artist"
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius ("The Artist")
Best Screenplay: Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin ("Moneyball")
Best Actor: Brad Pitt ("Moneyball", "The Tree of Life")
Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks ("Drive")
Best Actress: Meryl Streep ("The Iron Lady")
Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain ("The Tree of Life", "The Help", "Take Shelter")
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki ("The Tree of Life")
Best Foreign Language Film: "A Separation"
Best First Feature: "Margin Call"
Best Non-Fictional Film: "Cave of Forgotten Dreams"
Special Award: Raul Ruiz