"Boyhood," a coming-of-age drama filmed over 12 years with the same actors, dominated the New York Film Critics Circle Awards on Monday, winning best picture of 2014, best director for Richard Linklater, and the best supporting actress category.
Actor Timothy Spall was named best actor for his portrayal of one of Britain's greatest painters, J.M.W. Turner, in "Mr. Turner," and Marion Cotillard nabbed the top actress honors for roles in two films, "The Immigrant" and "Two Days, One Night."
With presentation set for on Jan. 5 in New York, these are the first major movie awards in the run-up to the Oscars, the film industry's highest accolades.
Actor J.K. Simmons picked up the best supporting actor prize for playing a music teacher who terrorizes a student in "Whiplash," while Patricia Arquette won best supporting actress as the mother in "Boyhood," which follows a boy growing up from age 5 to 18.
The New York Film Critics Circle, founded in 1935, is among the oldest such groups in the country and its members represent newspapers, magazines, and online publications.
The awards are regarded as a bellwether for the Oscars, which will be bestowed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Feb. 22.
The NYFCC selected "The Lego Movie" as the best animated film and "Ida," the story of a young woman on the verge of taking her vows as a nun in 1960s Poland, as best foreign film.
"Citizenfour," a documentary by director Laura Poitras about former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who released tens of thousands of classified documents to the media, was named best non-fiction film.
The best screenplay award went to Wes Anderson for "The Grand Budapest Hotel," a tale about a concierge in a famous fictional hotel between the first and second World Wars, and the best cinematography prize to Darius Khondji for "The Immigrant."
Jennifer Kent won the best first-film prize for her thriller "The Babadook."