If the early opinion of professional critics (hipster douchebag and otherwise) are any indication, this year's Oscar race for Best Picture will likely come down to a bout between No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood. The Coen Bros.' Men nabbed the Best Film honors from both the New York Film Critics Circle and the Boston Society Of Film Critics, while the Los Angeles Film Critics Association gave its top honor to Paul Thomas Anderson's Blood. New York also gave top directing prizes to the Coens and best supporting actor to Javier Bardem; Boston echoed the award for Bardem but gave Best Director to Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell And The Butterfly. L.A., meanwhile, gave directing honors to Anderson and Best Actor to Daniel Day-Lewis. Sarah Polley's Away From Her also took home several recognitions, including First Film from the N.Y. board and the New Generation award from L.A.; Boston chose to honor hometown boy Ben Affleck with the New Filmmaker Award for Gone Baby Gone. Most surprisingly, L.A. didn't give No Country For Old Men a single award in any category, but then again, it's not like the critics' awards have any real bearing on who takes home the Oscar anyway…These are the same groups who gave across the board sweeps for Brokeback Mountain, and we all know how well that turned out.
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