Critics' picks: NY's early faves
If members of the New York Film Critics Circle voted today for their awards, "Volver" would probably win best picture, director (Pedro Almodovar) and actress (Penelope Cruz, fending off a devilish challenge from Meryl Streep). The lead actor race is a three-way toss-up between Forest Whitaker ("Last King of Scotland"), Peter O'Toole ("Venus") and Ryan Gosling ("Half Nelson").
That's what I conclude in an Envelope feature article — CLICK HERE to read more.
But beware of such early prognostication. At this point last year I reported that "History of Violence" was ahead at NYFCC, but that was before the journos saw "Brokeback Mountain," which ended up winning a narrow victory. "Brokeback" beat "History of Violence" by a score of 39 to 35 and Ang Lee prevailed as best director over David Cronenberg by a mere two-point edge. "HOV" reaped consolation in the supporting-acting races where Maria Bello and William Hurt prevailed, but Bello only did so late in the voting. Catherine Keener ("Capote") led on the first ballot.
Photos: Even though "Volver" seems to be out front for NYFCC's best-pic prize right now, beware: no foreign-language film has won that award in more than 30 years. Middle photo: Watch out for Ryan Gosling ("Half Nelson") as an underdog in the best-actor race where Forest Whitaker ("Last King of Scotland," at right) seems to be the current frontrunner.
(Sony Pictures Classics/ ThinkFilm/ Fox Searchlight)