National Society draws ‘Blood’

Top film critics name oil drama best picture

Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood” took four prizes, including best picture, at the 42nd annual National Society of Film Critics Awards.

The film’s Daniel Day-Lewis drew actor kudos, while Anderson won for director and Robert Elswit for cinematography.

The other acting prizes held only one minor surprise: For supporting actor, Casey Affleck of “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” edged out “No Country for Old Men’s” Javier Bardem. Wins by Julie Christie for “Away From Her” and Cate Blanchett for “I’m Not There” were more expected, as both have been building momentum for the past several weeks.

Tamara Jenkins drew the screenplay nod for “The Savages,” and “No End in Sight” claimed top doc honors.

“No Country for Old Men,” which has looked tough to beat in early awards and noms to this point, came away empty-handed.

Of the org’s 61 members, 41 took part in the voting Saturday at Sardi’s restaurant. Founded in l966, the National Society of Film Critics differs from other critics groups because members are elected. The org is also truly national, with regional newspaper critics joining those from Time, Newsweek, the New Yorker and Salon.com.

And the winners are. . .

PICTURE
“There Will Be Blood,” Paramount Vantage

FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
“4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” IFC

DIRECTOR
Paul Thomas Anderson, “There Will Be Blood”

NONFICTION FILM
“No End in Sight,” Magnolia

ACTOR
Daniel Day-Lewis, “There Will Be Blood”

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Casey Affleck, “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”

ACTRESS
Julie Christie, “Away From Her”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett, “I’m Not There”

SCREENPLAY
Tamara Jenkins, “The Savages”

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Robert Elswit, “There Will Be Blood”

EXPERIMENTAL FILM
“Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind,” John Gianvito

FILM HERITAGE AWARDS

Ford at Fox, a 21-disc box set from Fox Home Video
Ross Lipman, UCLA Film and Television Archive

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