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The New York Film Critics Circle announced their picks of the year.  CAROL continues its reign as a strong Oscar contender.

Best Picture: Carol
Best Director: Todd Haynes, Carol
Best Actress: Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Best Actor: Michael Keaton, Spotlight
Best Supporting Actress: Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria
Best Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Best Screenplay: Phyllis Nagy, Carol
Best Cinematography: Edward Lachman, Carol
Best Nonfiction Film: In Jackson Heights
Best Animated Film: Inside Out, Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
Best First Film: Son of Saul
Best Foreign Film: Timbuktu

Next up: Los Angeles Film Critics on Sunday December 6th.

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Just when 12 YEARS A SLAVE was the film to beat for Best Picture, along comes the New York Film Critics who think that AMERICAN HUSTLE is the Best Picture of the year.  The NYFCC may not directly influence the Oscar race, but they do stir things up. Last year at this time most were sure that LINCOLN was a sure thing, much like this year with 12 YEARS A SLAVE. Then they chose ZERO DARK THIRTY as there Best Picture. Many began to reconsider their picks. Then of course the torture backlash hurt any chances ZDT had at a win. That is the risk of being the front-runner so early. Everyone is looking for a way to bring it down and believe me people are going to trash AMERICAN HUSTLE. There is no way to tell if AMERICAN HUSTLE will win Best Picture, but this win guarantees that it will be part of the race.

All of the New York Film Critics Winners:

Best Picture: American Hustle

Best Actor: Robert Redford, All Is Lost

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Best Director: Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Best Foreign Language Film: Blue Is the Warmest Color

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Animated Film: The Wind Rises

Best Screenplay: American Hustle

Best Cinematography: Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis

Best First Film: Fruitvale Station

Best Documentary: Stories We Tell

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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