With the announcement of a few early precursor awards dished out by the Boston Society of Film Critics, the New York Film Critics Online and Los Angeles Film Critics, we're officially on the road to February 24th's Academy Awards. While these winners and losers have only the tiniest bit of influence on the actual Oscar races, the results are at least interesting to recognize. The biggest winner appears to be the virtually unseen Best Picture contender from Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty. Taking home the Best Picture title from both Boston and New York's online circuit, Zero Dark Thirty clearly moves into the front of a crowded three headed monster which also includes Steven Spielberg's Lincoln and Tom Hooper's Christmas release of Les Miserables.
Another less surprising, but still notable, winner happens to be the always great Daniel Day-Lewis who topped the Best Actor category with both the Boston and New York Online groups. Day-Lewis gave a daring and utterly speechless performance starring as our nation's 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln soars on the shoulders of its leading star and stands as a formidable Best Picture contender on its own.
On a more shocking note, I was thrilled to see a high level of praise and recognition for a rather ignored supporting performance given by the young and talented Ezra Miller in this year's The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Miller shows his range as an eccentric homosexual high school student who helps befriend a shy and friendless loner. Miller first opened eyes with his gut-wrenching role in 2011's psychological drainer We Need to Talk About Kevin, where he portrayed a monster who (SPOILER ALERT) inexplicably murders many of his classmates. Ezra Miller claimed the Best Supporting Actor title from the Boston Society of Film Critics and continues to prove that he is an immensely talented actor who is shaping up to be a budding star.
Finally, the Los Angeles Film Critics went in a much different direction with its awards than both Boston and New York. L.A. selected the foreign film Amour as its Best Picture winner and displayed an outpouring of love for Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master. Anderson claimed the group's Best Director title as well as performance wins given to Joaquin Phoenix (Best Actor) and Amy Adams (Best Supporting Actress). For a full list of winners from all three precursors, click here (courtesy of EW.com)