If I'm not mistaken, the New York Film Critics Circle did manage to be the first film critics' organization to announce its awards for this year. They were not last year.
They've named Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow's movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, the "Best Picture" of 2012. Bigelow, who also won the best director Oscar for The Hurt Locker, won the Circle's "Best Director" prize for Zero Dark Thirty. Steven Spielberg's Lincoln was also a big winner, snagging three prizes, including acting honors for Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field.
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.
Here's the complete list of the 2012 winners:
Best Picture - Zero Dark Thirty
Best Director - Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty
Best Screenplay - Tony Kushner for Lincoln
Best Actress - Rachel Weisz for The Deep Blue Sea
Best Actor - Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln
Best Supporting Actress - Sally Field for Lincoln
Best Supporting Actor - Matthew McConaughey for 2 films: Bernie, Magic Mike
Best Cinematographer - Greig Fraser for Zero Dark Thirty
Best Animated Film – Frankenweenie
Best Non-Fiction Film (Documentary) - The Central Park Five
Best Foreign Film – Amour
Best First Film - David France for How to Survive a Plague