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The Oscar race is shaping up, with About Schmidt and its star Jack Nicholson right in the middle of the action.
THREE MORE ORGS CHIME
IN ON TOP 2002 FLICKS
N.Y. and L.A. Film Critics, AFI Tout Tops in Movies, with Far From Heaven, About Schmidt, Day-Lewis, Nicholson, Moore and More
The Oscar race is shaping up, with About Schmidt and its star Jack Nicholson and Far From Heaven and Julianne Moore right in the middle of the action as the L.A. and New York film critics cast their votes.

The Alexander Payne film about a retired midwestern accountant widower who hits the road in a Winnebago to stop his daughter from marrying a loser, earned top honors from the L.A. Film Critics this weekend, while Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven, an update of Douglas Sirk's lavish '50s Technicolor soap operas earned the N.Y. Critics' honors. About Schmidt's Nicholson tied for L.A. Film Critics Best Actor honors with Gangs of New York’s villainous Daniel Day-Lewis, who received the nod from the 34-member N.Y. Film Critics Circle.

L.A. Film Critic Best Actress honors went to Moore for her roles in Far From Heaven and The Hours, but their N.Y. colleagues selected Diane Lane for her turn as the roaming wife in Adrian Lyne's Unfaithful. Moore also received top awards from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures last week (see hitsdailydouble.com, 12/5), which named The Hours Best Movie, Roger Dodger’s Campbell Scott Best Actor and Quiet American's Philip Noyce Best Director.

The L.A. critics named Spain’s Pedro Almodovar Best Director for his film Talk to Her, while Payne and co-writer Jim Taylor won Best Screenplay for Schmidt. The New York contingent tapped Heaven's Haynes as Best Director and Adaptation's Charlie and "Donald" Kaufman for best screenplay.

Adaptation’s Chris Cooper (also winner of the National Board of Review nod) and Sunshine State’s Edie Falco were named Best Supporting Actor and Actress by the L.A. journalists, while Y Tu Mama Tambien was named Best Foreign Language Film by both the L.A. and N.Y. groups. The New York crew tapped Far From Heaven's Dennis Quaid and Patricia Clarkson for their supporting roles. The National Board tapped About Schmidt's Kathy Bates for Best Supporting Actress.

The L.A. film critics awarded production design honors to Dante Ferretti for Gangs of New York, while Elmer Bernstein picked up music/score honors for Far From Heaven, as did cinematographer Ed Lachman for the same film. Lachman earned similar honors from the N.Y. Film Critics Circle.

The N.Y. film critics named Paul Justman's Standing in the Shadows of Motown as best documentary, while tapping Roger Dodger as best first film. The L.A. Film Critics chose The Cockettes as the year's best non-fiction film. Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away was named the year's best animated film by both.

Meanwhile, the American Film Institute selected their own Top 10 Most Outstanding Motion Pictures of the year.

The list includes About a Boy, About Schmidt, Adaptation, Antwone Fisher, Chicago, Frida, Gangs of New York, The Hours, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Quiet American.

This week, Entertainment Weekly's Owen Glieberman picked Far From Heaven, while colleague Lisa Schwarzbaum chose About Schmidt.

Next up: the 60th Golden Globe nominations will be announced this Thursday (12/19).

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