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N.Y. film critics are in the Coens' camp

East Coasters also pick Daniel Day-Lewis and Julie Christie as their favorite leading stars.

December 11, 2007|Susan King | Times Staff Writer

Joel and Ethan Coen's "No Country for Old Men" received best picture honors Monday from the New York Film Critics Circle.

The gritty film noir based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy dominated the critics' picks, winning a total of four awards. Besides best film, "No Country" won best director and screenplay honors for the Coen brothers, and Javier Bardem picked up best supporting actor for his role as a coldblooded hit man with neatly coiffed hair.

Last week, "No Country for Old Men" was named best of the year by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures. The film, though, was shut out by the Los Angeles Film Critics' Assn. on Sunday. That group gave the highest number of awards to "There Will Be Blood."

But both critics' groups did agree on best actor honors: Daniel Day-Lewis for his role as a greedy oil prospector in "There Will Be Blood."

Julie Christie was named best actress for her performance as a married woman suffering from Alzheimer's in "Away From Her." Last week, the National Board of Review also selected the veteran actress. "Away From Her" was also chosen by New York for best first film honors for its writer-director, Sarah Polley.

Amy Ryan picked up her third best supporting actress honor of the week for "Gone Baby Gone." Both the NBR and the L.A. critics also selected the New York theater actress for her performance as a less-than-sympathetic mother of a kidnapped girl.

Best documentary went to the Iraq war film "No End in Sight," and France's "Persepolis" was named best animated film. Both movies were also selected by the Los Angeles' critics on Sunday, with "Persepolis" tying with "Ratatouille."

Foreign film honors went to Germany's "The Lives of Others," which won the Oscar earlier this year. Robert Elswit received best cinematography for "There Will Be Blood."

Thirty of the 33 members of the venerable New York group, whose origins date back to 1935, voted on Monday. Over the years, 43% of the best pictures selected by the New York Critics Circle have gone on to win the Oscar for best picture. Several of last year's winners, including best actor (Forest Whitaker), actress (Helen Mirren), director (Martin Scorsese), supporting actress (Jennifer Hudson) and animated film ("Happy Feet"), received Academy Awards.

The 2007 winners will receive their awards in a ceremony in New York on Jan. 6. The Broadcast Film Critics announce their movie and TV nominees this morning.

susan.king@latimes.com

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