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Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges ALMOST won National Society of Film Critics Awards

January 3, 2010 |  4:23 pm

Meryl Streep ("Julie & Julia") and Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart") almost won best actress and actor awards from the National Society of Film Critics today when they led during early voting but then eventually lost after further balloting to Yolande Moreau ("Seraphine") and Jeremy Renner ("The Hurt Locker").

The society's voting conclave at Sardi's restaurant in New York was one of the most harmonious, speedy sessions in recent memory. Many of the top awards were decided on the first ballot by all 46 voters (out of 64 members total) — 20 present, 26 proxy voters in distant cities who submitted paper ballots. Those quick category decisions included best picture ("The Hurt Locker"), director (Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker") and  foreign film ("Summer Hours").

National Society of Film Critics Meryl Streep Jeff Bridges news

However, when the voting in some categories continued to a second ballot, out-of-town proxies fell out of the tallying, following society rules, and only the 20 members present at Sardi's could vote. This radical change in procedure often affects the award outcomes dramatically.  So does another voting rule: A winner must not only have the most points but appear on a majority of ballots.

Streep led today on the first ballot for best actress with a score of 33 over Yolande Moreau and Carey Mulligan ("An Education"), who both had 29 points. However, when proxies dropped out of voting on the second round, Mulligan fell out of the top three and Moreau won with 22 points over Streep (21) and "Bright Star" performer Abbie Cornish (19).

The best-actor vote also went two rounds.  Bridges led on the first session with a big lead (52) over Renner (39) and "Up in the Air" star George Clooney (26). But Clooney dropped out of the top three on the second round when Renner (30) triumphed over Bridges (24) and "Bad Lieutenant" star Nicolas Cage (15).

The most heated battle was over best supporting actress, which went five rounds. Mo'Nique ("Precious") led during all sessions with Anna Kendrick ("Up in the Air") in the place position. Vera Farmiga ("Up in the Air") and Edith Scob ("Summer Hours") jockeyed with Samantha Morton ("The Messenger") for the show spot during various ballots, but that third spot eventually went to Morton.

Christoph Waltz ("Inglourious Basterds") led during all three ballots for best supporting actor. Woody Harrelson ("The Messenger") came in second on the first ballot, then tied Christian McKay ("Me and Orson Welles") on the second round.

Below are the final point scores. Read more about the National Society of Film Critics' vote results here.

* = winner

*1. "The Hurt Locker" 64  (Kathryn Bigelow)
2. "Summer Hours" 23 (Olivier Assayas)
3. "Inglourious Basterds" 17 (Quentin Tarantino)

*1. Kathryn Bigelow  85  ("The Hurt Locker")
2. Olivier Assayas 23 ("Summer Hours")
3. Wes Anderson  18 ("Fantastic Mr. "Fox")

*1. Yolande Moreau 22 ("Seraphine")
2. Meryl Streep 21 ("Julie & Julia" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox")
3. Abbie Cornish 19 ("Bright Star")

*1. Jeremy Renner  30  (The Hurt Locker")
2. Jeff Bridges 24  ("Crazy Heart")
3. Nicolas Cage  15  ("Bad Lieutenant")

*1.  Mo’Nique 28  ("Precious")
2. Anna Kendrick 24  ("Up in the Air")
2. Samantha Morton 24  ("The Messenger")

*1. Christoph Waltz  28  ("Inglourious Basterds")
*1. Paul Schneider  28  ("Bright Star")
3. Christian McKay 27  ("Me and Orson Welles")

*1. "Summer Hours" 61  (Olivier Assayas)
2. "Everlasting Moments" 21  (Jan Troell)
3. "Police, Adjective" 20  (Corneliu Porumboiu)
3. "35 Shots of Rum" 20  (Claire Denis)

*1. "The Beaches of Agnes" 40 (Agnes Varda)
2. "Tyson" 30  (James Toback)
3. "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" 25 (Sacha Gervasi)

*1. Joel and Ethan Coen  33  ("A Serious Man")
2. Olivier Assayas  25  ("Summer Hours")
3. Quentin Tarantino 22 ("Inglourious Basterds")

*1. "The White Ribbon"  33  (Christian Berger)
2. "The Hurt Locker"  32  (Barry Ackroyd)
3. "Everlasting  Moments" 19  (Jan Troell)

*1. Nelson Lowry  43  ("Fantastic Mr. Fox")
2. Rick Carter  28  ("Avatar")
3. Henry Selick  12  ("Coraline")

Photos: "Julie & Julia" (Columbia), "Crazy Heart" (Fox Searchlight)


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