National Society of Film Critics Names ‘Amour’ Best Film of 2012

by Susan King

Los Angeles Times (MCT)

7 January 2013


LOS ANGELES — Another critics’ group has shown love for the film “Amour.”

The National Society of Film Critics named “Amour,” Michael Haneke’s heartbreaking drama about an elderly couple facing a catastrophic illness, the best film of 2012. Haneke was named best director and star Emmanuelle Riva was named best actress by the group, which gave out its awards on Saturday.

“The Master” came in second for best picture, with “Zero Dark Thirty” third. Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”) tied with Paul Thomas Anderson (“The Master”) for runner-up in the director category.

It’s the latest critical acclaim for “Amour” which was named best picture by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. in December. The film also won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

Jennifer Lawrence placed second in the best actress category for “Silver Linings Playbook,” with Jessica Chastain placing third for “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Best actor honors went to Daniel Day-Lewis for his performance as Abraham Lincoln in “Lincoln,” with Denis Levant of “Holy Motors” placing second. Joaquin Phoenix was third for “The Master.”

Day-Lewis previously won best actor from the critics’ group for 1989’s “My Left Foot” and 2007’s “There Will Be Blood.”

The National Society of Film Critics is made up of 60 of the country’s major critics. Forty-three members gathered Saturday in New York for the 47th annual awards meeting, at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, as guests of the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

The society and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences often disagree over their top choices. Last year, the critics chose Lars Von Trier’s end-of-the-world drama “Melancholia” as the best film, but the best picture Oscar went to “The Artist.”

Matthew McConaughey received supporting actor honors for “Magic Mike” and “Bernie.”

Amy Adams was named best supporting actress for “The Master.”

Tony Kushner won screenplay honors for “Lincoln.”

“The Gatekeepers” received the best nonfiction award.

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