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2012 New York Film Critics Circle Winners: Zero Dark Thirty Wins Best Picture

With no mentions going to Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master or David O. Russell’s The Silver Linings Playbook, this year’s voting at the New York Film Critics Circle turned out to be a Zero Dark Thirty vs. Lincoln showdown – with Kathryn Bigelow thriller (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography) tying it up with Spielberg’s historical drama (Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay). The potential tie-breaking win tally could have come in the Best Actress category, but the surprising, much deserved win went to Rachel Weisz’s perf in The Deep Blue Sea impressive since it premiered all the way back at TIFF 2011, and saw its theatrical release in March of this year, but it managed to stay afloat – as witnessed earlier in the day via filmmaker John Waters’ top list of 2012. The NYFCC’s most unique year-end kudo is the Best First Feature category – with a win going to a non-fiction item in David France and his Sundance preemed How To Survive a Plague – which is worth mentioning here: will likely go onto an Oscar nom as it has won the Gotham award for Best Doc and was also nominated at the Indie Spirits. Here’s the complete list of winners:

Best Picture
Zero Dark Thirty, directed by Kathryn Bigelow

Best Director
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty 

Best Screenplay
Lincoln, written by Tony Kushner

Best Actor
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Best Actress
Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea

Best Supporting Actor
Matthew McConaughey, Bernie and Magic Mike

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Field, Lincoln

Best Foreign Language Film
Amour, directed by Michael Haneke

Best Animated Film
Frankenweenie, directed by Tim Burton

Best Cinematography
Greig Fraser, Zero Dark Thirty

Best Nonfiction Film
Central Park Five, directed by Ken Burns, David McMahon and Sarah Burns

Best First Feature
How To Survive a Plague, directed by David France

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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