Founded in 1935, the New York Film Critics Circle is, according to their website, “an organization of film reviewers from New York-based publications that exists to honor excellence in U.S. and world cinema.” Members are critics from daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines, and online general-interest publications (that meet certain qualifications). Every year in December, Circle members meet in New York to vote on awards for the year's films. The Circle also puts on an awards presentation, which will be held on Monday, January 10, 2011 to honor 2010 winners.
The Circle was the first film critics organization that I encountered as a budding, young movie lover. The Circle's awards have been predictors of the Oscar nominations. However, The Circle sees it awards “as a principled alternative to the Oscars, honoring esthetic merit in a forum that is immune to commercial and political pressures,” according to their website.
Here's the complete list of the 2010 winners:
Best Film – The Social Network
Best Director – David Fincher (The Social Network)
Best Screenplay – Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg (The Kids Are All Right)
Best Actress – Annette Bening (for The Kids Are All Right)
Best Actor – Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
Best Supporting Actress – Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Best Supporting Actor – Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right)
Best Cinematography – Matthew Libatique (The Black Swan)
Best Animated Film – The Illusionist
Best Non-fiction Film – Inside Job
Best Foreign Language Film - Carlos
Best First Feature – Animal Kingdom