They've been around since 1935, and their current ranks include Rex Reed, Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly, Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal and Peter Travers of Rolling Stone. They're the New York Film Critics Circle, and they voted this morning on what they thought were the best films of 2006. These are their choices. There's one doozy among them - see if you can pick it out.
New York Film Critics Circle Awards (announced 12-11-06)
Best Picture: United 93
Best Actor, Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
Best Actress, Helen Mirren, The Queen
Best Supporting Actor, Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children
Yes, that Jackie Earle Haley, late of The Bad News Bears (the Walter Matthau version) and Breaking Away (the film and the resulting TV series). Turns out that after he grew up, he left the acting world but not entertainment, segueing into producing and directing television commercials. Only recently has he returned to acting; he played a sex offender opposite Kate Winslet and Jennifer Connelly in Little Children. What we call this, boys and girls, is a feel-good story - child actor returns to make good. The Academy eats that stuff up.)
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Best Director: Martin Scorsese, The Departed
Best Screenplay, Peter Morgan, The Queen
Best Foreign Film: Army of Shadows
Best Non-Fiction Film: Deliver Us from Evil
Best Animated Film: Happy Feet
Best Cinematography: Guillermo Navarro, Pan's Labyrinth
Best First Film: Ryan Fleck, Half Nelson
At this point, you may ask, is this Mirren/Whitaker juggernaut starting to get boring? To which I would respond, why don't you ask the two of them about that?