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'12 Years a Slave' came thisclose to winning New York Film Critics Circle

By Paul Sheehan
Dec 04 2013 07:11 am
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New York Film Critics Circle Awards winners entertainment news 13579086

New York Post scribe Lou Lumenick spilled the beans on the complicated voting at Tuesday's meeting of the New York Film Critics Circle. As he notes, "the circle uses an arcane voting system for its multiple ballots."

The Best Picture race required five ballots to find a winner ("American Hustle) while Best Director needed four before Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave") prevailed.  Both lead and supporting actress contests went three rounds before Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine") and Jennifer Lawrence ("American Hustle") came out on top as did Foreign Language Film ("Blue is the Warmest Color"). However, the male acting races (Robert Redford, "All is Lost" and Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club") and animated feature ("The Wind Rises") were decided on just the second ballot. 

Before getting to the breakdown of this year's vote, it is important to understand what happens in each round of balloting. 

Round One (proxies allowed)
Members make a single choice.

Rounds Two & Three (no proxies)
Three choices with three points for first, two for second, and one for third. 
Winner must be ranked somewhere on majority of ballots.

Round Four (no proxies)
Three choices with three points for first, two for second, and one for third. 
Majority rule dropped.

Round Five (no proxies)
If there is a tie in Round Four, a run-off.

Lou broke down the results of this year's balloting, noting that some members left during the marathon five-hour voting. 

BEST PICTURE
Round One 
No winner

Round Two
"12 Years a Slave": 34 points
"American Hustle": 32 points

Round Three (original vote discarded as it included proxies)
"American Hustle": 38 points
"12 Years a Slave": 30 points
"Gravity": 16 points
"Nebraska": 16 points

Round Four (winner need not appear on majority of ballots)
"American Hustle": 38 points
"12 Years a Slave": 38 points
"Gravity": 17 points
"Her": 17 points

Round Five Tiebreaker (straight vote)
"American Hustle": 14 members
"12 Years a Slave": 12 members
 

BEST DIRECTOR
Round Three
Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave"): 37 points
Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity''): 30 points
David O. Russell ("American Hustle"'): 26 points

Round Four
Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave"): 47 points
Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity''): 32 points
Spike Jonze ("Her''): 31 points

BEST ACTRESS
Round Two
Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine"): 44 points 
Adèle Exarchopoulos ("Blue is the Warmest Color"): 30 points 
Amy Adams ("American Hustle"): 29 points 

Round Three
Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine"): 47 points 
Amy Adams ("American Hustle"): 40 points
Adèle Exarchopoulos ("Blue is the Warmest Color"): 34 points 
 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Round Two
Luptia Nyongo ("12 Years a Slave"): 46 points
Jennifer Lawrence ("American Hustle"): 40 points
June Squibb ("Nebraska"): 34 points

Round Three
Jennifer Lawrence ("American Hustle"): 40 points
Luptia Nyongo ("12 Years a Slave"): 39 points
June Squibb ("Nebraska"): 27 points
 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Round Two
"Blue is the Warmest Color":  37 points
"The Past":  23 points
"The Great Beauty": 23 points 

Round Three
"Blue is the Warmest Color": 40 points
"The Past":  32 points
"The Great Beauty": 20 points 
 

BEST ACTOR
Round Two
Robert Redford ("All is Lost"): 44 points
Chiewetel Ejiofor ("12 Years a Slave"): 27 points
Oscar isaac ("Inside Llewyn Davis"): 27 points
 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Round Two
Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club"): 49 points
Michael Fassbender ("12 Years a Slave"): 24 points
James Franco ("Spring Breakers"): 24 points
 

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Round Two
"The Wind Rises": 52 points
"Frozen": 33 points
"Monsters University": 15 points

What do you think is going to win Best Picture at the Oscars? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. 

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