Since the New York Film Critics Circle first handed out awards in 1935, it has previewed 35% of the Oscar winners in the top six races. The Gotham scribes have their best batting average with Best Actor (40%), which bodes well for this year’s winner Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”) and the worst with Best Supporting Actress (30%), which is bad news for his co-star Michelle Williams who was cited for that film and “Certain Women.”
In the 80-year history of the Circle (there was a newspaper strike in 1962), 31 of its Best Picture champs have go on to claim the same prize at the Oscars. That works out to an preview rate of 39%. The first of these“The Life of Emile Zola” (1937) and the most recent was “The Artist.” (Read the decade-by-decade breakdown.)
After getting Best Director right the first time out with John Ford (“The Informer”), the Circle went 0 for 4 for the rest of the decade. It predicted seven Oscar winners in the 1940s (including two more for Ford), four in each of the 1950s and 1960s, just one in the 1970s (Woody Allen for “Annie Hall”), none in the 1980s, one again (Jonathan Demme for “Silence of the Lambs”) in the 1990s and six in the 2000s. Michel Hazanavicius, who helmed “The Artist,” was the most recent of the 26 Best Director winners here to add an Oscar to their mantle. That works out to 33% accuracy.
In 2012, Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”) was the most recent of the 32 Best Actor winner at the NYFCC to go on to repeat at the Oscars (in addition, Barry Fitzgerald won this award but the Supporting Actor Oscar for “Going My Way” in 1944). After its first six winners were snubbed beginning in 1935, the Circle had a good run at forecasting Oscar winners: seven in the 1940s (including Fitzgerald), four in the 1950s, five in each of the 1960s and 1970s, and four in the 1980s.) After previewing only three of the Oscar winners in each of the 1990s and 2000s, it has gone two for five so far this decade.
While Cate Blanchett was named Best Actress by the Gotham critics last year for “Carol,” she lost that Oscar race. In 2013, with her wins for “Blue Jasmine” she became the 30th Best Actress winner at the NYFCC to go on to repeat at the Oscars (in addition, Peggy Ashcroft won this award but the Supporting Actress Oscar for “A Passage to India” in 1984). That works out to 38% accuracy. In its first half decade, the Circle foresaw two of the five Best Actress Oscar winners (their two-time honoree Greta Garbo was not among these). In the 1940s, it went only two for ten. Among those snubbed by the academy was Deborah Kerr, who picked up the first of her eventual three NYFCC awards in 1947 but never won any of her six Oscar bids.) It foresaw seven champs in the 1950s, four in each of the 1960s and 1970s, three in the 1980s and four again in the 1990s. While it predicted the Oscar winner just twice in the 2000s, it has done it twice already in the last five years.
The supporting acting awards were introduced in 1969 with 47 winners of each to date.
Last year, Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”) became the 15th winner of the Supporting Actor award to also claim an Oscar. The Circle predicted four Oscar winners in the 1970s, two in the 1980s, and then three apiece in the 1990s and 2000s and three so far this decade. That works out to an accuracy rate of 32%.
However, last year’s Supporting Actress winner, Kristen Stewart (“Clouds of Sils Maria”), was snubbed by the academy. Only 14 NYFCC champs have gone on to repeat at the Oscars; the most recent of these was Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood,” 2014). The Circle predicted just one winner in the 1970s, five in the 1980s, two in the 1990s and four in the 2000s and two so far this decade.
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