The New York Film Critics Circle met today to vote on its year-end awards. With Mike D’Angelo no longer living in New York, I’m not sure if there’ll be anyone to feed the blogosphere tidbits about acrimonious critical schisms and Andrew Sarris’s bathroom breaks, so there’s nothing to report on except the awards themselves. Which are fairly ho-hum—The Hurt Locker and Kathryn Bigelow continue to be the film and director of choice; Mo’nique and Christoph Waltz your anointed out-of-nowhere Supporting perfs—and in keeping with the awards-season consensus, which is more highbrow than mainstream taste, but really only infinitesimally so. (Which isn’t to say that I’m unhappy to see the flawed, fascinating The Hurt Locker doing so well; critics groups often throw their lot in with far less meaty films.)
More heartening, New York being the homebase of most of our smartest and most adventurous critics—basically current and former Village Voice writers—are the awards given in the smaller categories…
This means: laurels for postmodern darling and sometime critic Olivier Assayas’s wonderful Summer Hours (Best Foreign Film), the rigorous politicized art installation Hunger (Best First Film for director Steve McQueen), and, surprisingly and marvelously, Terence Davies’s personal essay film Of Time and the City (Best Non-Fiction Film), which was overlooked and underrated during its brief run at Film Forum in January.
Incidentally, the L is for the first time putting together a year-end poll of our film critics, which is skewing a bit left of the older-mainstream-critical consensus, and a bit right of the online cinephile community, for reasons I’ll explore when it’s unveiled in our year-end issue next week.