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On Monday December 1st-The New York Film Critics will confirm or deny some of the Oscar hopefuls when they announce their awards. Last year they chose American Hustle as Best Picture. At that time, it had yet to be seen or reviewed, but American Hustle immediately became part of the conversations. It went on to get a Best picture nomination. The year before they chose another film that had not yet been seen or reviewed, Zero Dark Thirty.  My guess is that the NYFCC will award Birdman as their Best Picture and confirm it as a serious Oscar contender. Unbroken is the only other contender that has not been seen or reviewed in the US. That all changes tonight with a screening in Los Angeles. Tomorrow night at this time we will know what movies the quirky New York Film critics chose as their best of the year and if Unbroken was able to live up to the hype.

Tuesday December 2nd-The National Board of Review will announce their awards. Last year they chose Her as Best Film. Her went on to get a Best Picture nom.

Sunday December 7th-The Los Angeles Fiml Critics will announce their choices for best of the year. Last year there was an unprecedented tie between Gravity and Her.

When HER was first screened, the reviews were mixed to say the least. Joaquin Phoenix was not part of any Best Actor discussions and we now know that Scarlett Johansson is not eligible because only her voice is heard. HER is starting to becoming more of a player and getting attention from Oscar voters. GRAVITY is maintaining its momentum with some wins already. Don’t count out 12 YEARS A SLAVE just yet. Many more precursor awards to come.

Full list of LA Film Critic winners:

Best Picture (TIE)
Gravity and Her

Best Director
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Runner-up: Spike Jonze, Her

Best Actor
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Runner-up: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

Best Actress (TIE)
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine and Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue Is the Warmest Color

Best Supporting Actor (TIE)
James Franco, Spring Breakers and Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Supporting Actress
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Runner-up: June Squibb, Nebraska

Best Screenplay
Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight
Runner-up: Spike Jonze, Her

Best Documentary/Nonfiction Film
Stories We Tell
Runner-up: The Act of Killing

Best Foreign Language Film
Blue Is the Warmest Color
Runner-up: The Great Beauty

Best Music/Score
T Bone Burnett, Inside Llewyn Davis
Runner-up: Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett, Her

Best Animation
Ernest & Célestine
Runner-up: The Wind Rises

Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
Runner-up: Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis

Best Editing
Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger, Gravity
Runner-up: Shane Carruth and David Lowery, Upstream Color

Best Production Design
K.K. Barrett, Her
Runner-up: Jess Gonchor, Inside Llewyn Davis

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December will provide us the results of numerous critic awards. Critic associations do not necessarily equate to Oscars since they announce so early, but they could push a contender into the race. They can also help to determine which screeners the Oscar voters will watch. Members of the Academy who aren’t currently working and plenty of free time, might able to watch the 200 or so eligible movies, but most will only watch what people are talking about.

Tuesday December 3rd: New York Film Critics

Wednesday December 4th: National Board of Review

Sunday December 8th: Los Angeles Film Critics

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According to their website, the LAFCA was Founded in 1975, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) is comprised of Los Angeles-based, professional film critics working in the Los Angeles print and electronic media.

Today they announced their picks for the best of 2012.

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: Christof 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)

New Generation Award: Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild