New York film critics move up their awards date
The New York Film Critics Circle announced Wednesday that it will hand out its annual awards, including its selection for the best film of the year, on Nov. 28, two full weeks ahead of the usual date, in an effort to garner more attention for its choices. The move preempts the selections by the National Board of Review and the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., bodies that usually make their picks ahead of the New York group.
In a news release, John Anderson, chairman of the New York critics group, said, "As the nations pre-eminent critic’s group, we are excited about kicking off the annual end-of-year discussion with our new early voting date. On the basis of the films we have seen thus far, we are looking forward to another passionate debate amongst our members."
Typically by this point in the awards season cycle, several front-runners have emerged, but the field to date remains relatively wide open. DreamWorks has not yet screened Steven Spielberg's highly anticipated World War I drama, "War Horse," for U.S. critics, nor have Paramount's Stephen Daldry 9/11 drama, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," or the Weinstein Co.'s Margaret Thatcher film, "The Iron Lady," been unveiled for early viewing. All three movies are set for release in December.
The National Board of Review, which has historically been the first to reveal its top picks of the year, will make its selection public Dec. 1, three days after the New York Film Critics Circle announces its choices. The Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. will announce its picks on Dec. 11 or 12.
Whether this move prompts the other organizations to move up their dates remains to be seen, but with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences signaling that it will ultimately move up the Oscars ceremony, pushing the critics' lists to earlier in the season maybe isn't such a bad idea.
-- Nicole Sperling
Photo: Andrew Cooper in Steven Spielberg's upcoming drama, "War Horse" Credit: DreamWorks