Natl. Critics Group Favors ‘Goodfellas’

Warner Bros.’ pic “Goodfellas” continued to dominate the critics’ awards Jan. 6. The film took best picture and best director honors for Martin Scorsese at the 25th anniversary meeting of the National Society of Film Critics.

“Goodfellas” and Scorsese won the same awards last month from the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and the New York Film Critics Circle.

Also mirroring the L.A. awards, Jeremy Irons was named best actor for his performance in Warner Bros.’ “Reversal Of Fortune” and Anjelica Huston took best actress honors for two films, Miramax’ “The Grifters” and WB’s “The Witches.”

Following his win from the N.Y. critics, Bruce Davison was named best supporting actor for Samuel Goldwyn Co.’s “Longtime Companion.” Annette Bening of “The Grifters” won as best supporting actress.

Surprise winner was Finnish director by Aki Kaurismaki’s “Ariel,” released Kino Intl., as best foreign film. Named best documentary was Mark Kitchell’s “Berkeley In The Sixties,” distributed by Tara Releasing.

Screenplay award went to Charles Burnett for Goldwyn’s “To Sleep With Anger.”

British cinematographer Peter Suschitzky won best photography kudos for John Boorman’s Disney release, “Where The Heart Is.”

Peter Rainer of the Los Angeles Times was reelected chairman of the NSFC by the 33 voting members (seven of the 40 members did not attend).

Group, which sends scrolls to the winners instead of having an awards ceremony, also voted for two special citations. The late New York publicist Renee Furst was cited for her promotion of foreign and independent films, and director Jean-Luc Godard will receive a scroll for his filmmaking over three decades.

NSFC noted that Godard’s “latest major work, ‘Nouvelle Vague,’ has, due to distributor neglect, so far been denied to the American public.”

‘Goodfellas’ beat ‘Grifters’

In the individual balloting, “Goodfellas” beat out “The Grifters” and “Reversal Of Fortune” for best film. Director Scorsese finished ahead of “Grifters” director Stephen Frears, followed by Australian director Jane Campion for her debut feature, “Sweetie.” Scorsese really dominated these categories, since in addition to directing “Goodfellas” he was one of the producers of “The Grifters.”

Distant runners-up to Irons in the acting sweepstakes were Danny Glover of “To Sleep With Anger” and Robert De Niro for his roles in “Goodfellas” and Columbia’s “Awakenings.”

Joanne Woodward, as in the L.A. critics’ balloting, was runnerup to Huston for best actress. Third place was a tie between Jessica Lange of WB’s “Men Don’t Leave” and Debra Winger for her two Jeremy Thomas productions, WB’s “The Sheltering Sky” and Orion’s “Everybody Wins.”

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