“Far From Heaven” Tops NYFCC List

The New York Film Critics Circle Monday chose Focus Features’ Far From Heaven as the year’s best film, and named its director Todd Haynes best director.

Far From Heaven is a distinct and personal vision from Todd Haynes,” NYFCC chair Marshall Fine told The Hollywood Reporter. “I think it was one of the most complete and fulfilling films of the year.”

The announcements come on the heels of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s year-end accolades, which honored New Line Cinema’s About Schmidt for best picture and director. It also received awards for best supporting actor (Dennis Quaid), best supporting actress (Patricia Clarkson) and best cinematography (Edward Lachman).

Julianne Moore, who was on a winning streak after being named best actress by the National Film Board of Review and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, lost her reigning seat in New York, however. Moore was defeated in the best actress category by Diane Lane for her role in 20th Century Fox’s Unfaithful, directed by Adrian Lyne.

“That was the most surprising vote of the day,” Fine said. “(Lane‘s) performance obviously really spoke to the voter this year.”

Daniel Day-Lewis took best actor for his portrayal of the villainous Bill the Butcher in Miramax Films’ Gangs of New York, directed by Martin Scorsese.

Scribe Charlie Kaufman won best screenplay for Sony Pictures’ Adaptation, which stars Nicolas Cage as Kaufman and his twin Donald.

Artisan Entertainment’s Standing in the Shadows of Motown was the group’s choice for best documentary. The studio’s Roger Dodger also took home best first film for its writer-director Dylan Kidd.

Buena Vista Pictures’ dark film Spirited Away from Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki was chosen as best animated feature. It was Japan’s top grossing film in 2001.

IFC Films’ Mexican hit Y Tu Mama Tambien won for foreign language film.

The New York Film Critics Circle, founded in 1935, is composed of 34 New York-based newspaper and magazine writers. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the group’s awards have predicted the Oscars’ best picture with a historical success rate of 43 percent.