Three film critics' groups announced their winners Sunday, and while Zero Dark Thirty continued its early award-season run, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association spread the love to The Master and Amour. Kathryn Bigelow and her Osama bin Laden flick claimed best picture and best director from both the Boston Society of Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Online, both of which also handed their top acting prizes to Emmanuelle Riva for Amour and Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln. It was Amour that scored big with the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's best picture award, though it actually put Riva in a tie with Silver Linings Playbook's Jennifer Lawrence for best actress. More surprisingly, perhaps, was Los Angeles honoring The Master with three prizes — for director Paul Thomas Anderson, actor Joaquin Phoenix, and supporting actress Amy Adams.
We love analyzing the early critics awards—it's the closest thing we have to a regular season before our pop cultural Super Bowl (the Oscars)—and Zero Dark Thirty has a distinct front-runner status already. But do these handouts mean anything? Scott Feinberg of the Hollywood Reporter warns that we shouldn't necessarily think they mean Oscar. He points out that 2010's The Social Network had a good run in these contests, but ultimately lost to The King's Speech. What these critics awards can do is highlight under-the-radar performances that may make their way into the Academy's heart.
Here's our updated tally of the prizes so far: