The days when "Zero Dark Thirty" seemed to be winning top honors with every group in sight kind enough to give an award are far, far away. Now, the critics awards feel like a wheel of fortune, giving us different champions with nearly every spin.
The St. Louis Film Critics took their turn and landed on "Argo" for their top prize, while also giving best director to Ben Affleck. And in fact, "Zero" didn't fare badly, winning lead actress for Jessica Chastain and original screenplay for Mark Boal. Adapted screenplay was a tie between Tony Kushner's "Lincoln" and David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook."
Other acting awards went to Daniel Day-Lewis ("Lincoln"), Christoph Waltz ("Django Unchained") and, in a supporting actress tie, Ann Dowd ("Compliance") and Helen Hunt ("The Sessions").
"Skyfall" won in cinematography thanks to Roger Deakins, while "Life of Pi" won in visual effects and "Django" and "Moonrise Kingdom" shared the music honor.
"The Intouchables" was top foreign-language film, "Wreck-It Ralph" was No. 1 in animation and "Searching for Sugar Man" aced it in documentary. Indiana fave "Safety Not Guaranteed" tied with "Compliance" in the category of top arthouse or festival film.