‘Schindler’s’ tops N.Y. pic critics’ list

The New York Film Critics Circle tapped “Schindler’s List” as best picture of 1993. However, the group did not give its directing nod to the film’s helmer, Steven Spielberg, but to Jane Campion for her work on “The Piano.” Her movie was runner-up for best film, and Spielberg was runner-up as director.

“Schindler” and “Piano” each took three honors, with “Schindler” also collecting two runner-up spots and “Piano” taking one. Both pix also figured prominently in the 1993 National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Awards, with “Schindler” also taking top film from that org.

Holly Hunter won the actress nods from both the Circle and the NBR for her perf in “Piano.”

The N.Y. crix gave David Thewlis of “Naked” the best actor honor, while the Board of Review — representing film critics, authors and scholars around the country — chose Anthony Hopkins for both “The Remains of the Day” and “Shadowlands.” Without citing a single performance, the N.Y. crix named Hopkins runner-up. In addition to “Remains” and “Shadowlands,” he appeared in “The Trial” this year.

“Schindler,” Campion, Hopkins and Hunter all took similar honors from the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., which handed out its awards Saturday.

Campion was a double winner with the New York Circle, for her “Piano” screenplay as well as direction. The screenplay category was a crowded one for the runners-up: Steven Zaillian was cited for “Schindler,” while Harold Ramis and Danny Rubin placed for “Groundhog Day.”

The N.Y. crix chose Chen Kaige’s “Farewell My Concubine” for best foreign language film, and “Visions of Light” for documentary. Latter pic, a history of cinematography, was directed by Arnold Glassman, Stuart Samuels and Daily Variety chief film critic Todd McCarthy.

The Circle comprises 27 critics from major New York-based publications. Awards will be presented Jan. 16. The Critics Circle deliberated for four hours in a closed session before reaching consensus on the 59th annual awards. Other winners:

Cinematographer: Janusz Kaminski, “Schindler’s List.” Runner-up: Michael Ballhaus, “The Age of Innocence.”

Supporting actor: Ralph Fiennes, “Schindler’s List.” Runner-up: Leonardo DiCaprio.

Supporting actress: Gong Li, “Farewell My Concubine.” Runner-up: Rosie Perez.

Specific performances were not cited for DiCaprio, who appeared in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” and “This Boy’s Life,” or Perez, who appeared in “Fearless” and “Untamed Heart.”

As for the National Board of Review awards, Sean Connery was honored for career achievement, while Martin Scorsese was named best director for “The Age of Innocence.” Spielberg was runner-up in the director category. The NBR chose “The War Room” as its documentary, “Farewell My Concubine” as foreign film and, in a just-under-the-wire appearance, Bette Midler’s turn in CBS’ “Gypsy” as outstanding television performance.

The remaining NBR awards, to be presented Feb. 28:

Supporting actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.” Runner-up: Tommy Lee Jones, “The Fugitive.”

Supporting actress: Winona Ryder, “The Age of Innocence.” Runner-up: Anna Paquin, “The Piano.”

TV series: “NYPD Blue.” Runner-up: “Prime Suspect.”

Special award: The Film Forum (for visionary film programming).

Special award: Robert Rodriguez (for exceptional directorial debut, “El Mariachi”).

Special award: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (for excellence in screenwriting).

Special award: The Tribeca Film Center (for encouraging innovative films).

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