N.Y. Film Critics Circle names ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ best film of 2012

“Zero Dark Thirty,” director Kathryn Bigelow’s chronicle of the decade-long search for Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, was named best film of the year Monday by the New York Film Critics Circle.

Bigelow also won best director for the picture, her first film since the 2009 Iraq war drama, “The Hurt Locker,” while Greig Fraser won for cinematography. Both “The Hurt Locker” and Bigelow took top honors from the organization three years ago.

“Zero Dark Thirty” is set to open in theaters on Dec. 19

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Daniel Day-Lewis was named best actor for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s epic “Lincoln,” and Sally Field was named supporting actress as the 16th’s president’s wife, Mary Todd Lincoln.

The “Lincoln” win marks Day-Lewis’ fifth award from the critics organization. The last time he won was five years ago for “There Will Be Blood.” Field won best actress from the NYFCC 33 years ago for “Norma Rae.”

Tony Kushner also won for his screenplay for “Lincoln.”

Rachel Weisz won best actress for “The Deep Blue Sea,” as a married woman who has an affair with a dashing RAF pilot.

Supporting actor honors went to Matthew McConaughey for his roles as a local district attorney in “Bernie” and as the owner of a male strip club in “Magic Mike.”

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“Amour,” director Michael Hanke’s drama about an elderly couple, was named best foreign film.

The best animated film honors went to Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie.” On Monday morning, “Frankenweenie” earned an Annie Award nomination for best animated feature.

David France’s “How to Survive a Plague” won the award for best first film, while “Central Park Five,” directed by Ken Burns, his daughter Sarah Burns and David McMahon, won for best documentary.

The New York Film Critics Circle, which was founded in 1935, is made up of critics from daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and qualifying online sites.

The critics and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences generally have not seen eye to eye on their best-picture choices. In fact, the NYFCC states on its site that the organization’s awards are viewed “as a principled alternative to the Oscars, honoring esthetic merit in a forum that is immune to commercial and political pressures.”

However, last year’s NYFCC’s top choice, “The Artist,” went on to win best film and four other Academy Awards in February.

The awards are to be presented Jan. 7 at Crimson, a club in New York.


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