The award cycle has kicked off with the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, who’ve anointed "No Country for Old Men"the year’s best film. Other prizes:
Best actor: George Clooney for "Michael Clayton"
Best actress: Julie Christie for "Away From Her"
Best director: Tim Burton for "Sweeney Todd"
Best directorial debut: Ben Affleck for "Gone Baby Gone"
Best supporting actor: Casey Affleck for "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"
Best supporting actress: Amy Ryan for "Gone Baby Gone"
Best foreign film: "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
Best documentary: "Body of War"
Best animated feature: "Ratatouille"
On what’s shaped up to so far be a year that’s light on consensus, there’s certainly a chance that "No Country" will pick up the momentum to nab the Oscar. (We’re having trouble wrapping our head around actually being invested in the best picture race.) We’ll see how the critics circle prizes go â€” meanwhile, excuse us while we slog through the last of the year’s films and dwell on "There Will Be Blood."