* I'll do reactions to NBR plus these awards after the NYFCC's selections have been announced. For the time being, I just want to get these predix out there...
LOS ANGELES FILM CRITICS' ASSOCIATION
Best Picture: The Departed [alt. Children of Men]
- I thought they'd go for Letters from Iwo Jima, but looking back, L.A.'s not too big on the Clint lately (then again, see below.)
Best Actor: Aaron Eckhart, Thank You For Smoking [alt. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Departed]
- It's a weak year for leading actors, and we're likely to see the same names pop up over and over again, so I expect it to be one of these four: Whitaker, Eckhart, DiCaprio or Gosling. I'll leave Eckhart from my NBR predix, because I expect him to find a mention somewhere this season.
Best Actress: Helen Mirren, The Queen [alt. Naomi Watts, The Painted Veil]
- Last year they went a little "huh" with Vera Farmiga, so I'm thinking they'll go back to the basics and let the Mirren steamroller will barrel onwards. They were certainly on the Staunton bandwagon two years ago.
Best Supporting Actor: Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children [alt. Michael Sheen, The Queen]
- Am I just holding on when all signs point to "no"? I can't believe he's finished just yet. No.
Best Supporting Actress: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Stranger than Fiction + World Trade Center + Trust the Man [alt. Jennifer, Hudson, Dreamgirls]
- These critics love giving prizes for multiple perfs, and they did so with Keener last year for ALL her 2005 films, including The Interpreter.
Best Director: Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima and Flags of Our Fathers [alt. Martin Scorsese, The Departed]
- He hasn't won an award from L.A. since Unforgiven, and was snubbed entirely for the last two Oscar-loved outings: Mystic River and M$B. But perhaps this will be the year they return with love, full of admiration for his back-to-back efforts?
Best Screenplay: Guillermo Arriaga, Babel [alt. Michael Ardnt, Little Miss Sunshine]
Best Cinematography: Tom Stern, Letters from Iwo Jima [alt. Rodrigo Prieto, Babel]
Best Music Score: Alexandre Desplat, The Painted Veil and The Queen [alt. Alberto Iglesias, Volver]
Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film: An Inconvenient Truth [alt. Deliver Us from Evil]
Best Foreign Language Film: Volver [alt. Pan's Labyrinth]
Best Animation: Monster House [alt. Cars]
Best Production Design: Children of Men [alt. Dreamgirls]
NEW YORK FILM CRITICS' CIRCLE
Best Picture: The Departed [alt. United 93]
- Feels appropriate for some reason. Initially, I didn't think both L.A. and N.Y. would go for the same thing, but now... seems the safest bet.
Best Actor: Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson [alt. Ken Watanabe, Letters from Iwo Jima]
- Seems like a very New York-y selection, and it's one of the best reviewed performances of the year in any category.
Best Actress: Penelope Cruz, Volver [alt. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Sherrybaby]
- New York has been known to avoid the obvious selection before; see 2002 when they fell big-time for Far From Heaven and yet gave this award to Diane Lane for Unfaithful.
Best Supporting Actor: Michael Sheen, The Queen [alt. Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children]
- Will he be the critical darling of this season? I can't see Murphy, Pitt or Nicholson grabbing all the prizes...
Best Supporting Actress: Adriana Barraza, Babel [alt. Carmen Maura, Volver]
- I would have placed Hudson here, except the NYCC hasn't really been on board with the recent musical revival.
Best Director: Martin Scorsese, The Departed [alt. Paul Greengrass, United 93]
- They gave Clint the award for Million Dollar Baby two years ago, so I'm thinking they bow down to Marty this year, who has surprisingly only won this award once - for Goodfellas. But this spot also feels right for Greengrass. I'm so torn.
Best Screenplay: Paul Greengrass, United 93 [alt. Pedro Almodóvar, Volver]
- We always said that he would get support from the critics; let's see if they're up for it.
Best Cinematographer: Emmanuel Lubezki, Children of Men [alt. Tom Stern, Letters from Iwo Jima]
Best Foreign Language Film: Volver [alt. The Lives of Others]
Best Animated Film: A Scanner Darkly [alt. Monster House]
Best Non-Fiction Film: Shut Up and Sing! [alt. An Inconvenient Truth]
Best First Film: Thank You For Smoking [alt. Little Miss Sunshine]