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December 10, 2008

Timely 'Milk' wins over NY critics


In a post-Prop 8 world, the tragic but uplifting biopic "Milk" couldn't be better timed.

Not sure it's enough to carry it to an Oscar win -- a nomination, for sure -- but the New York film critics sure loved it. They named it best picture, and its star, Sean Penn, best actor, who's becoming the Oscar frontrunner, Academy voter nostalgia for Clint Eastwood aside.

Josh Brolin, whom we think deserves some recognition for "W," was picked for his best supporting role as the murderous, possibly closeted city supervisor in "Milk."

Then the group went for the other end of the indie upbeat spectrum with honors for "Happy-Go-Lucky" director Mike Leigh and star Sally Hawkins, who bested Melissa Leo and likely Oscar contenders Kate Winslet and Anne Hathaway.

Also predictive of Oscar, Penelope Cruz was best supporting actress for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," and "Man on Wire" was named best documentary.

Awards are handed out Jan. 5. More here, and for a blow-by-blow on how the New York Film Critics Circle arrived at its winners, go here.


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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

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  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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