New York, Washington Critics Honor 'United 93'

ReviewsCelebritiesHelen MirrenMartin ScorseseForest WhitakerJennifer HudsonDjimon Hounsou

The Oscar hopes for Paul Greengrass' harrowing "United 93" have received a significant boost from a trio of major critics groups.

On Monday (Dec. 11), the New York Film Critics Circle gave their best picture prize to "United 93," following a similar choice over the weekend by the Washington D.C. Critics. "United 93" also finished second with the Boston Society of Critics, an organization that opted to pick local favorite "The Departed" instead.

The New York, Washington and Boston critics all agreed that Martin Scorsese, helmer of "The Departed," was worthy of the year's best director prize.

In addition, all three assemblages of critics made the same selections for best actor and actress, adding to the already prohibitive seasonal hauls for Forest Whitaker of "The Last King of Scotland" and Helen Mirren for "The Queen."

Thankfully -- lest awards season become even more excruciatingly boring than it already has been thus far -- the three groups had somewhat different opinions when it came to supporting performances. While both Washington and New York critics liked "Dreamgirls" star Jennifer Hudson for best supporting actress, Washington's pick for supporting actor was Djimon Hounsou of "Blood Diamond," with New York opting for Jackie Earle Haley of "Little Children." The Boston critics were entirely contrarian, going with Shareeka Epps of "Half Nelson" for supporting actress and native son Mark Wahlberg of "The Departed" for supporting actor.

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