The New York Film Critics Circle wlll announce the winners of their 79th annual kudos on Tuesday (Dec. 3). These Gotham-based reviewers will once again be the first critics group to weigh in with their picks for the top pic with the National Board of Review announcing the next day and the LA critics chiming in on Dec. 8.
“12 Years a Slave” is widely expected to win Best Picture. Three of our four Experts, six of our seven Editors, 20 of our Top 24 Users from last year and 80% of All Users are predicting it to prevail. That gives it overwhelming odds of 3 to 10, far ahead of “Gravity,” which has the backing of one Expert, two of the Top 24 and 10% of All Users.
However, “Gravity” helmer Alfonso Cuaron is tipped to take Best Director over Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) with all our Experts, four Editors, half of the Top 24 and 40% of All Users backing his bid. That translates into odds of 1 to 12 while McQueen is in second with odds of 12 to 5.
The battle for Best Actor is a three-way race between Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club“), Robert Redford (“All is Lost“) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”). At this point, we give the edge to McConaughey but either of the other men could win, with Bruce Dern (“Nebraska“) a possible spoiler.
But Best Actress looks like a lock for Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine“) with two Experts, five Editors, 20 of the Top 24 and 80% of All Users predicting her to win over the Gotham critics. That support gives her odds of 4 to 7, far ahead of Sandra Bullock (“Gravity”) at 9 to 2.
Fassbender’s co-star Lupita Nyongo has a bigger lead in Supporting Actress, with odds of 4 to 11 compared to 11 to 2 for June Squibb (“Nebraska”). Oscar frontrunner Oprah Winfrey is in third with odds of just 25 to 1.
Last year, the NYFCC went with “Zero Dark Thirty” for Best Picture and Director (Kathryn Bigelow). While the film went on to lose the the top Oscar race to “Argo,” Bigelow was snubbed by the directors branch of the academy (the Oscar went to “Life of PI” helmer Ang Lee.) Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”) began his march to a third Oscar with a win from the NYFCC. However, two of the other NYFCC acting champs didn’t even reap Oscar bids — Best Actress Rachel Weisz (“The Deep Blue Sea”) and Best Supporting Actor Matthew McConaughey (“Bernie” & “Magic Mike”) — while Best Supporting Actress winner Sally Field (“Lincoln”) lost her quest for a third Oscar to Anne Hathaway (“Les Miserables”).
Two years ago, the NYFCC named “The Artist” both Best Picture and Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius) and the academy did likewise. Meryl Streep won her fourth Best Actress prize from the Gotham critics for her portayal of British PM Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady” before claiming her third Oscar for the role. Brad Pitt was cited as Best Actor by the NYFCC for his work in both “Moneyball” and “The Tree of Life” and Jessica Chastain was named Best Supporting Actress for three films: “The Help,” “Take Shelter” and “The Tree of Life.” Pitt reaped an Oscar bid for “Moneyball” while Chastain was recognized for “The Help.” Albert Brooks won over the NYFCC with his featured role in “Drive” but was snubbed by Oscar voters.
Below, begin your predictions for the NYFCC Awards by forecasting the winner of Best Picture.