Support for "There Will Be Blood" was so overwhelming within the National Society of Film Critics that the group's award voting resulted in more first-ballot victories than any time in recent memory. "Blood" won awards for best picture, director (Paul Thomas Anderson) and actor (Daniel Day-Lewis) upon the first round of polling. It led for best screenplay on the first ballot, but lost to "The Savages" on the second.
Julie Christie ("Away from Her") won best actress and "No End in Sight" won best nonfiction film after first go-rounds.
The most contentious battle was in the race for best supporting actor, which went four rounds. Javier Bardem ("No Country for Old Men") led on the first ballot, Casey Affleck ("Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford") on the second. They tied on the third and Affleck pulled ahead on the fourth.
Voting for best supporting actress took two ballots, but Cate Blanchett ("I'm Not There") led on both.
Because so many categories were determined on the first ballots, most races were decided by all 41 critics who submitted votes (17 by proxy) among the group's 61 members. After the first ballot, only critics who are physically present at the conclave may participate. Twenty-four members attended the powwow held today at Sardi's restaurant in New York City.
While voting, members rank three choices in each category on a weighed ballot, assigning three points to their first choice, two to their second and one to their third. Winners must not only have the most points, but appear on a majority of ballots. Below: final score tallies are given in parenthesis.
1. There Will Be Blood (48) – Paul Thomas Anderson [Paramount Vantage]
2. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (28) – Julian Schnabel
3. No Country for Old Men (27) – Joel and Ethan Coen
1, Paul Thomas Anderson (47) – There Will Be Blood [Paramount Vintage]
2. Joel and Ethan Coen (29) – No Country for Old Men
2. Julian Schnabel (29) – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
1.Daniel Day-Lewis (66) – There Will Be Blood [Paramount Vantage]
2. Frank Langella (34) -- Starting Out in the Evening
3. Philip Seymour Hoffman (21) -- The Savages, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
1. Julie Christie (53) – Away from Her [Lionsgate]
2. Marion Cotillard (50) – La Vie en Rose
3. Anamaria Marinca (28) – 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. Casey Affleck (37) - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford [Warner Bros.]
2. Javier Bardem (30) – No Country for Old Men
3. Philip Seymour Hoffman (29) – Charlie Wilson’s War
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Cate Blanchett (42) – I’m Not There [The Weinstein Company]
2. Amy Ryan (29) – Gone Baby Gone and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
3. Tilda Swinton (23) – Michael Clayton
1. Tamara Jenkins (28) – The Savages [Fox Searchlight]
2. Paul Thomas Anderson (19) – There Will Be Blood
3. Ronald Harwood (17) – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
1. There Will Be Blood (51) – Robert Elswit
2. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (40) – Janusz Kaminski
3. No Country for Old Men (33) – Roger Deakins
BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
1. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (57) – Cristian Mungiu [IFC]
2. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (42) – Julian Schnabel
3. Persepolis (18) – Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
BEST NONFICTION FILM
1. No End in Sight (43) – Charles Ferguson [Magnolia]
2. Sicko (20) – Michael Moore
3. Terror’s Advocate (18) – Barbet Schroeder
BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM to “Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind” by John Gianvito
FILM HERITAGE AWARD “to Ford at Fox, a 21-disc box set from Fox Home Video.”
FILM HERITAGE AWARD “to Ross Lipman of the UCLA Film and Television Archive for the restoration of Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep and other independent films.”