"The Descendants" was widely expected to win several awards from the New York Film Critics Circle. Our Experts heavily favored the film to win the top prize while star George Clooney, supporting player Shailene Woodley and the script were also forecast to be strong contenders. Instead, all were snubbed by the Gotham critics group.
"The Descendants" writer/director Alexander Payne has a strong track record with the NYFCC. First, he picked up the Best Screenplay prize in 1999 for "Election." In 2004, his "Sideways" swept Best Picture, Actor (Paul Giamatti), Supporting Actress (Virginia Madsen), and he won a second time for Best Screenplay.
While this year's voters were passionate about some contenders -- like Meryl Streep who won Best Actress on the first ballot with a whopping 38 points -- the New York Post's Lou Lumenick reveals "The Descendants" never managed to amass more than 17 points.
Jessica Chastain won Supporting Actress for her roles in "The Tree of Life," "The Help," and "Take Shelter" while Woodley did not even figure in the top three. Likewise, Clooney, who won Best Actor two years ago for both "Up in the Air" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox," lost to Brad Pitt for "Moneyball" and "The Tree of Life." Best Screenplay went to Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillian for "Moneyball." And "The Artist" won Best Picture and Director for Michel Hazanavicius.
While NYFCC is only the first of many groups that will announce their winners in the next two months, that early frontrunner status for "The Descendants" has been replaced by building buzz for "Moneyball," "The Tree of Life," and especially "The Artist" which also led with the most Indie Spirit nominations Tuesday.
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Read more about entry and rules here. Make your initial Oscar predictions now. Change them later as often as you wish up until Oscar Day. Below, meet our past winners of recent award prediction contests.
Oscar Nominations: New York state resident Tim Kressner (gufa54) won $1,000 for reaping the highest percentage (78%) when predicting Academy Award noms. Watch our video chat with him here and learn his strategy for making picks. See the leaderboard here. See Kressner's predix here.
Golden Globes (Film): Mario Gomez, a med studen in Mexico, won our contest with the highest percentage of correct picks (86%) and highest point score (2,693). See our video chat with him here. Two other contestants also scored 86%: lulo1989 and eastwest. Tom O'Neil reaped best Experts' score. David Schnelwar had top score among our Editors. See the leaderboard here to see if you made the top tier.
Critics Choice Nominations: Bryce H scored an impressive 83% when sizing up 20 categories. That was one percentage point ahead of our smartest Editor, Daniel Montgomery. Our top Expert was also one of our Editors, Paul Sheehan, who reaped 74%. To see how you performed, check out our leaderboard plus the score section of your account page.
Golden Globe (Film) Nominations: Jonathan was our top User, reaping a staggering 86% when forecasting the lineup of 10 categories. That put him six percentage points ahead of our best Expert -- Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood) -- and eight ahead of our leading Editor, Daniel Montogomery. Did you made the cut on the leaderboard score breakdown?
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award Winners: Christian aced all rivals, scoring 82%. That was almost 20 percentage points ahead of our top Expert (Edward Douglas of ComingSoon ) and Editor (Matt Noble), both of whom earned scores of 64%. Christian foresaw that surprise screenplay win for "Before Midnight." See leaderboard.