David O. Russell’s Abscam-inspired con story, “American Hustle,” was named best film of 2013 on Tuesday by the New York Film Critics Circle. The film, which opens Dec. 13, also won awards for supporting actress Jennifer Lawrence and screenplay writers Russell and Eric Singer.
The unflinching historical drama “12 Years a Slave,” which was considered a favorite, received one award: best director for Steve McQueen.
Robert Redford was named best actor for his role as a man adrift on a disabled boat in “All Is Lost,” and Cate Blanchett was selected best actress for her performance as a mentally unbalanced widow in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine.”
Jared Leto received supporting actor honors for “Dallas Buyers Club” as a transsexual suffering from AIDS.
Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Wind Rises” was selected as best animated film.
France’s “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, was named best foreign film.
Ryan Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station” was named best first film. The Sundance Film Festival favorite also was a big winner Monday evening at the Gotham Awards, earning the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award for Coogler and the Breakthrough Actor honor for Michael B. Jordan.
Also at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, Sarah Polley’s “Stories We Tell” was named best nonfiction film and Bruno Delbonnel received best cinematographer for “Inside Llewyn Davis.”
Documentarian Frederick Wiseman (“High School,” “Ballet”) was the recipient of a special award.
Founded in 1935, the New York Film Critics Circle is made up of critics from daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and qualifying online sites.
The critics and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences generally don’t agree on its picks. In fact, the NYFCC state on its website that the organization’s awards are “a principled alternative to the Oscars honoring aesthetic merit in a forum that is immune to commercial and political pressures.”
Last year, the critics chose “Zero Dark Thirty” as best film. “Zero Dark Thirty” also won for director (Kathryn Bigelow) and cinematography. The academy selected “Argo” as best film and Ang Lee as best director for “Life of Pi.”
The NYFCC awards will be handed out Jan. 6 at the Edison Room.
The Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. is scheduled to announce its selections Sunday.