There are plenty of places to find exhaustive round-ups of critics circle prizes and top ten lists as the year gallops to a close. David Hudson at Greencine Daily always does a bang-up job. Movie City News will doubtless launch their comp page soon (last year’s is here). Rex
ReedSorgatz at Fimoculous has already begun compiling his list of lists.
We, in the firm belief that if you stare at critics circles too long, you will go blind, are only going to bother listing the ones that catch our eye. The New York Film Critics Circle, for instance, settled (sort of) on "United 93," an unexpected pick.
Bilge Ebiri at ScreenGrab has delicious Rex Reed anecdotes from the voting process:
A brief silence. Then, the voice of Rex Reed.
"So that’s it."
"The best film of 2006."
"According to the New York Film Critics Circle."
"Is UNITED 93."
Long, uncomfortable pause, plus some tittering.
"A film that no one in America wanted to see."
Leah Rozen: "And how did you vote, Rex?"
Richard Corliss at Time is prompted to ask the eternal question â€” do movie critics matter? But really, he wants to share J. Hoberman anecdotes:
I’m a member of the New York group, which met Monday to choose its best. The job is simple: tear yellow-lined paper into cracker-size bits; write a name or three on one piece; wait while the names are read out and tabulated; vote again and again; finally reach a consensus in this category; and go back to square one. It’s about as much fun as filling out an income-tax form, though less fraught with drama. Indeed, the only excitement yesterday came in the Best Film voting, when The Queen and United 93, which reconstructs some of the chaos and heroism of 9/11, were tied after four ballots. A brief debate arose: Should we vote yet again, or proclaim the two films joint winners? After all, said the Village Voice‘s Jim Hoberman, "they’re the same film."
The New York Online Film Critics mostly go for "The Queen" (via About.com).
And what does all of this mean? Mostly that there are no clear best films of the year â€” mainstream or arthouse.
+ 2006 Awards (NYFCC)
+ What Really Went On Inside the NYFCC (ScreenGrab)
+ Do Movie Critics Matter? (Time)
+ The New York Film Critics Online Awards 2006 (About.com)
+ ‘The Departed’ tops Boston film critics’ awards (Boston Globe)
+ AFI AWARDS 2006 (AFI.com)