The New York Film Critics Association kicked off the award season, for the first time in many years (it's typically the National Board of Review) by announcing their winners via twitter. I hate twitter but watched as this group tweeted the victors. Usually critics awards solidly focus one or two films but New York went with a different pattern this year. The group honored 9 different films (not including documentary and foreign language film).
This could be the first year for Brad Pitt to be an Oscar winner. Pitt could even be a double nominee as he is campaigning lead for his film Moneyball, and Supporting for Tree of Life. Both of these films earned honors in other categories as well. Moneyball took home best screenplay. Tree of Life was honored for its beautiful cinematography, and in the Supporting Actress category for Jessica Chastain. Chastain was also recognized for her work in The Help and Take Shelter.
Meryl is at it again; she is the most honored actress at the New York Film Critics awards. Streep won Best Actress for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. The New York Film critics use a ballot system where they typically take around three round rounds of balloting to declare a winner. While I was not in the room it is said that Streep won on the first ballot, which is incredibly rare. I am excited to see this performance.
In the Supporting Actor category the went for a villain again with Albert Brooks in Drive. I am going to start calling the supporting actor category the Best Villain award. Awards never typically honor a lead character who is a villain, but honoring a supporting player as a villain is much more typical, especially in this category.
The big winner of Best Picture and Best was the silent film The Artist which was directed by Michel Hazanavicous. This film has pushed out of the gate with an early lead and will likely win other other critics awards, but I do not think it has the stamina to win at the Academy Awards. Look for Moneyball to be a a film that sneaks into this race and stirs things up.