'American Hustle' is 2013's best film in New York, Los Angeles critics choose 'Gravity' and 'Her' (+video)
'American Hustle' was selected by the New York Film Critics Circle as the best film of the year, while the process through which the Los Angeles Film Critics Association chooses the best movie ended in a tie between 'Gravity' and 'Her.' 'American Hustle' hits theaters in wide release on Dec. 20 in the US.
The New York Film Critics Circle named "American Hustle," a film about 1970s con artists forced to work with the FBI, as best film of 2013 and gave its top acting prizes to Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett, while the Los Angeles Film Critics Association named "Gravity" and "Her" as the year's best films on Sunday and chose Bruce Dern, Cate Blanchett and French actress Adele Exarchopoulos for top acting honors.
British director Steve McQueen won New York's best director prize for "12 Years a Slave," the historical drama about a free black man sold into slavery and based on the 1853 memoir of Solomon Northup, while Los Angeles selected Alfonso Cuaron as best director for "Gravity," the outer space-set box office hit which also won the awards for best cinematography and best editing.
Redford picked up New York's best actor award for his solo performance in the survival drama "All is Lost," and Blanchett was named best actress for her portrayal of a pill-popping former socialite forced to deal with reduced circumstances in Woody Allen's film "Blue Jasmine."
Actor Jared Leto won the best supporting actor prize for his role in "Dallas Buyers Club" as an HIV-positive transgender woman who helps smuggle medication not approved in the United States to AIDS patients.
The New York Film Critics Circle, which announced the awards on Twitter, gave Jennifer Lawrence, last year's best actress Oscar winner for her role in "Silver Linings Playbook," the best supporting actress prize for playing the ditzy, bored housewife in "American Hustle."
"Hustle" also won the best screenplay award for Eric Singer and Russell.
The New York Film Critics Circle prize for best foreign language film went to "Blue is the Warmest Color," a French lesbian love story by director Abdellatif Kechiche that won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.
"Stories We Tell," a Canadian film directed by Sarah Polley, which delves into storytelling and memories, picked up the best documentary award.
The group awarded "Fruitvale Station," Ryan Coogler's directorial debut about the real-life story of a young, black man shot to death by a white, transit policeman, the best first film prize.
"The Wind Rises," by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki, was named best animated film.
In making their choices, the Los Angeles critics declared ties in the categories of best actress and best supporting actor as well as for best picture of the year.
Exarchopoulos, star of the lesbian love story "Blue is the Warmest Color," and Blanchett, who won raves for Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine," were both named best actress by the LA critics.
"Blue is the Warmest Color" also won the prize for best foreign language film.
The other acting tie was for best supporting actor, with Jared Leto as a transsexual fighting HIV in "Dallas Buyers Club" and James Franco as a gangster drug dealer in the comic drama "Spring Breakers" sharing the prize.
Dern won best actor for his turn as an ornery old man convinced he has won a fortune in Alexander Payne's "Nebraska."
Lupita Nyong'o was named best supporting actress for "12 Years a Slave."
"Stories We Tell," a Canadian film about myth, memory and family storytellers, won best documentary, and "Ernest & Celestine" took the prize for best animated film.
Best score was won by "Inside Llewyn Davis," while the critics picked "Her" for best production design.