This post may be difficult to write without violating the sanctity of review embargoes, except to say that… “American Hustle”? Really?
The New York Film Critics’ Circle (NYFCC), the first major critics group to announce its year-end awards, on Tuesday handed its Best Picture award to “American Hustle,” director David O. Russell’s heavily fictionalized look at the Abscam scandal in the 1970s. ‘Hustle’ also took home awards for Best Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress Jennifer Lawrence.
It was by no means a sweep, however; Steve McQueen won Best Director for “12 Years a Slave,” with Robert Redford (“All is Lost”) and Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”) taking top acting honors; Jared Leto took Best Supporting Actor for “Dallas Buyers Club.”
Other winners included “Blue is the Warmest Color” (Best Foreign Language film), “The Wind Rises” (Best Animated Film), “Inside Llewyn Davis” for Best Cinematography, “Fruitvale Station”‘s Ryan Coogler for Best First Film and “Stories We Tell” for Best Non-Fiction Film. Documentarian Frederick Wiseman won the Circle’s Special Award.
My review of “American Hustle” will be published here next Thursday, but as someone who has seen the film, I can’t help but react incredulously to its awards for Picture and (especially) Screenplay. Lawrence’s award is more defensible.