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'United 93' voted best picture by the N.Y. critics

December 11, 2006 |  9:00 am

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Fending off closest rivals "The Queen" and "The Departed," "United 93" was voted best picture of 2006 by the New York Film Critics Circle on the fifth ballot.

Voting is still under way, but other categories already decided include best actor (Forest Whitaker, "Last King of Scotland"), actress (Helen Mirren, "The Queen"), supporting actress (Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls") and supporting actor (Jackie Earle Hailey, "Little Children").

Frequently, the NYFCC has strong impact on the Oscars by launching underdogs in the past like Marcia Gay Harden ("Pollock"). When it chose "The Silence of the Lambs" as best picture in 1991, it gave Oscar voters permission to do what they had never done before -- or since: choose a horror film as the year's best.

Yesterday Whitaker tied for the best actor award bestowed by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association with Sacha Baron Cohen ("Borat"), who came in third place in the New Yorkers' vote behind Ryan Gosling ("Half Nelson").

The L.A. critics chose "Letters from Iwo Jima" as best picture and Helen Mirren ("The Queen") best actress.

In the past 10 years three of the best picture selections made by NYFCC failed to be nominated for the top Oscar: "Topsy-Turvy," "Mulholland Drive" and "Far from Heaven." Only once in those same 10 years did the Gothamites agree with Oscar voters on the winner: "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King."

BEST PICTURE
"United 93"
Runners-Up:
"The Queen"
"The Departed"


BEST DIRECTOR
Martin Scorsese, "The Departed"
Runners-Up:
Stephen Frears, "The Queen"
Clint Eastwood, "Letters from Iwo Jima"

BEST ACTOR
Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland"
Runners-Up:
Ryan Gosling, "Half Nelson"
Sacha Baron Cohen, "Borat"

BEST ACTRESS
Helen Mirren, "The Queen"
Runners-Up:
Judi Dench, "Notes on a Scandal"
Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Jackie Earle Haley, "Little Children"
Runners-Up:
Eddie Murphy, "Dreamgirls"
Steve Carell, "Little Miss Sunshine"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls"
Runners-Up:
Shareeka Epps, "Half Nelson"
Catherine O'Hara, "For Your Consideration"

BEST SCREENPLAY
"The Queen"
Runners-Up:
"The Departed"
"Little Miss Sunshine"

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Guillermo Navarro, "Pan's Labrynth"
Runners-Up:
"Curse of the Golden Flower"
"Children of Men"

BEST NON-FICTION FILM
"Deliver Us From Evil"
Runners-Up:
"49 Up"
"Borat"
"An Inconvenient Truth"

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
"Army of Shadows"
Runners-Up:
"Volver"
"The Death of Mr. Lazarescu"

BEST FIRST FILM
"Half Nelson"
Runners-Up:
"Little Miss Sunshine"
"A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints"

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
"Happy Feet"
Runners-Up:
"A Scanner Darkly"
"Cars"


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