On Saturday the National Society of Film Critics chose Jean-Luc Godard’s 3D Goodbye to Language as the Best Picture of 2014. It narrowly beat Richard Linklater’s Boyhood for the top prize. A simple press release issued by the Society listed the winners and nominees in nine categories. The Society “made up of many of the country’s most distinguished movie critics” used “a weighted ballot system” to pick winners. Unlike other awards, there was no party, and unlike other awards, the results of the vote are made public.
Linklater won Best Director; Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel won Best Screenplay; Timothy Spall won Best Actor for Mr Turner; and Marion Cotillard won Best Actress for her work in two films: The Immigrant and Two Days, One Night. Although the SAG, Golden Globes, and Academy Awards are only weeks away, the NSFC awards shouldn’t be considered an indication of who will win other awards this season. The film critics tend to swim against the current when it comes to recognizing talent. Last year, for instance, it awarded Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor to the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, but the Academy chose not to follow suit.