The New York Film Critics have announced their winners for the best in cinema for 2012.  The East Coast group that awarded Best Picture to Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist last year chose the brilliant Zero Dark Thirty directed by Kathryn Bigelow.  The film won a total of three awards from the coveted group including Cinematography for Greig Fraser and Director for Bigelow.  The film has put itself in a prime position for the Oscars.

In a surprising mention, Rachel Weisz won Best Actress for her portrayal in Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea.  Buzz for Weisz’s performance and film had been dead for months and with her highly praised work, she has regained some momentum for an Academy Award nomination.  After winning for The Constant Gardener (2005), Weisz has not been on critics’ radar.  Her film performed minimally at the box office and had a very early release date.  Is this mention to be taken seriously for a nomination?  Let’s see if she shows up in more places for the season.  She wasn’t the only surprise however; Matthew McConaughey beat out Philip Seymour Hoffman and Tommy Lee Jones to be named Best Supporting Actor for his works in Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike and Richard Linklater’s Bernie.  Has a spot just freed up for the character actor in this year’s Oscar race?

Besides Zero Dark Thirty, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln was also a big winner nabbing three awards for Daniel Day-Lewis in Best Actor, Sally Field in Supporting Actress, and Screenplay for Tony Kushner.

The big omissions from the awards were Ben Affleck’s Argo and Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables that failed to capture any awards.  Michael Haneke’s Amour won Foreign Language Film, while The Central Park Five won Non-Fiction Film.  How to Survive Your Plague won Best First Feature.

The National Board of Review will name their winners on Wednesday with the Los Angeles Film Critics announcing Friday.

Full Winners:

Best Picture – Zero Dark Thirty
Best Director – Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty
Best Screenplay – Tony Kushner for Lincoln
Best Actor – Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln
Best Actress – Rachel Weisz for The Deep Blue Sea
Best Foreign Language Film – Amour
Best Animated Feature – Frankenweenie
Best Supporting Actor – Matthew McConaughey for Magic Mike and Bernie
Best Supporting Actress – Sally Field for Lincoln
Best Cinematography – Greig Fraser for Zero Dark Thirty
Best Non-Fiction Film – The Central Park Five
Best First Feature – How to Survive a Plague

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