At least five film critics associations announced their best of the year picks over the weekend, and once again Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" proved the film to beat. The hunt for Osama bin Laden film dominated the field, far ahead of its nearest rivals including "Lincoln," "Amour," "The Master" and "Les Miserables."
The Los Angeles Film Critics Association
One of the few who went against the grain was the Los Angeles Film Critics Association which named Michael Haneke's French-language drama "Amour" the Best Picture of 2012.
Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" was the runner-up, but it did win for Best Director, Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix), Best Supporting Actress (Amy Adams) and production design.
"Frankenweenie" scored Best Animated Film, "Holy Motors" won Best Foreign Language Film, and "The Gatekeepers" scored Best Documentary. "Argo" took Best Screenplay, "Skyfall" won Best Cinematography, and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" won best score.
Jennifer Lawrence ("Silver Linings Playbook") and Emmanuelle Riva ("Amour") tied for Best Actress, Dwight Henry ("Beasts of the Southern Wild") won Best Supporting Actor.
The Boston Online Film Critics Association
Online Boston critics awarded Kathryn Bigelow their Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Jessica Chastain) and Best Editing honors for "Zero Dark Thirty."
Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" won Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Supporting Actor (Tommy Lee Jones) and Best Screenplay. Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress for "Les Miserables," and "Moonrise Kingdom" took an ensemble cast award.
"How to Survive a Plague" won Best Documentary, "Oslo, August 31st" took Best Foreign Language Film, and "ParaNorman" won Best Animated Feature. "The Master" won Best Score and "Skyfall" won Best Cinematography.
The Boston Society of Film Critics
The non-digital Boston film critics also awarded "Zero Dark Thirty" their Best Picture, Director & Editing honors. "Lincoln" scored Best Actor, Supporting Actress (Sally Field) and Screenplay.
"Amour" won Best Actress & Best Foreign-Language Film, "Frankenweenie" won Best Animated Film, and "How to Survive a Plague" won Best Documentary.
Some key differences to other critical groups thus far? Ezra Miller won Best Supporting Actor for "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," "Moonrise Kingdom" won Best Score, "The Master" nabbed Best Cinematography, and "Seven Psychopaths" took home the Best Ensemble Cast award.
The New York Film Critics Online
While the regular New York film critics voted last week, their online counterparts voted this weekend and stuck to familiar patterns. "Zero Dark Thirty" won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay.
Daniel Day-Lewis, Emmanuelle Riva, Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Hathaway took the acting awards, while the cast of "Argo" scored the Best Ensemble award. "Beasts of the Southern Wild" won Best Debut Director and Breakthrough Performance for Quvenzhane Wallis.
"Amour," "The Central Park Five" & "Chico & Rita" took the Best Foreign Language, Documentary and Animated film honors respectively. "Django Unchained" won Best Score and "Life of Pi" Best Cinematography.
The British Independent Film Association
For a change, let us head across the Atlantic where "Berberian Sound Studio" took four British Independent Film Awards including Best Director, Best Actor (Toby Jones), Best Technical Achievement and Best Achievement In Production.
"Broken" took the top honor of Best British Independent Film and a Best Supporting Actor nod for Rory Kinnear. Andrea Riseborough won Best Actress for "Shadow Dancer," while Olivia Colman won Best Supporting Actress for "Hyde Park on Hudson."
"Sightseers" won for Best Screenplay, "The Hunt" won Best International Independent Film, and "The Imposter" took Best Documentary and the Directorial Debut award.