CATEGORIES Movies, Awards
'The Hurt Locker' is the true darling of cinema appraisers, taking three National Society of Film Critics Awards -- including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor -- on Sunday, according to IndieWire. And a pair of acting dark horses for Oscar glory have officially emerged, thanks to the sometimes renegade ways of the NSFC. Jeremy and Yolande, take a bow.

Though we've acknowledged Jeremy Renner's growing buzz for 'The Hurt Locker,' his bid for an Oscar is not a sure thing, with beloved veterans (Jeff Bridges for 'Crazy Heart') and superduperstars (George Clooney for 'Up in the Air') in the hunt. With the NSFC's pat on the back, Renner has picked up his first national film critics prize for his star turn in 'Locker' (he's already been honored as Best Actor by the Chicago and Boston Film Critics). Though Renner is missing from the Golden Globe nominees, he'll be up in the Best Actor and Best Ensemble categories when the SAG Awards are presented January 23. 'The Hurt Locker' is the true darling of cinema appraisers, taking three National Society of Film Critics Awards -- including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor -- on Sunday, according to IndieWire. And a pair of acting dark horses for Oscar glory have officially emerged, thanks to the sometimes renegade ways of the NSFC. Jeremy and Yolande, take a bow.

Though we've acknowledged Jeremy Renner's growing buzz for 'The Hurt Locker,' his bid for an Oscar is not a sure thing, with beloved veterans (Jeff Bridges for 'Crazy Heart') and superduperstars (George Clooney for 'Up in the Air') in the hunt. With the NSFC's pat on the back, Renner has picked up his first national film critics prize for his star turn in 'Locker' (he's already been honored as Best Actor by the Chicago and Boston Film Critics). Though Renner is missing from the Golden Globe nominees, he'll be up in the Best Actor and Best Ensemble categories when the SAG Awards are presented January 23.

As for Yolande ... one-time mime Yolande Moreau adds the National Society of Film Critics award to her growing list of honors for the French biopic 'Seraphine'. She will be picking up the Best Actress prize from the influential Los Angeles Film Critics Society on January 16. Like Meryl Streep, Moreau has enjoyed great success at a time most actresses find work scarce. In the last five years, the 56-year-old Belgian has won two Caesars (France's Oscar equivalent) for Best Actress, including one last year for 'Seraphine.' The Best Actress category seems open to newbies this year (Carey Mulligan for 'An Education,' and Gabourey Sidibe, the star of 'Precious' are among the contenders.) If more Academy voters see Moreau's performance as the free-spirited painter Seraphine of Senlis, she may join the new guard at the Kodak Theatre.

'Seraphine' Trailer


The Gold Derby is reporting that Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep – the latter for 'Julie & Julia' – were very, very close to getting NSFC's top spots. Somewhat better known than Renner and Moreau, Bridges and Streep have 19 Oscar nominations between them.

'Locker's trifecta included the group's Best Picture and Best Director awards. Kathryn Bigelow is primed to become the first woman named Best Director in the history of the Academy Awards, having earned nearly all of the pre-Oscar critics' kudos for 'Locker.' Speaking of sweeps, NSFC also joined most other critics' groups in naming Mo'Nique this year's Best Supporting Actress for 'Precious,' and Austrian polyglot Christoph Waltz of 'Inglourious Basterds'' for Best Supporting Actor. Interestingly, the NSFC could not break a tie in the Supporting Actor category, and Waltz will share his award with 'Bright Star''s Paul Schneider, an indie film stalwart (or, if you prefer, the guy from 'Parks and Recreation'.)

'Avatar' and 'Up in the Air' – surely to be heard from when Academy Award nominations are announced early next month -- did not get a single NSFC nod. An unpredictable Oscars makes for a fun Oscars (right, Adrien Brody?) so the results come March 7 could be astonishingly entertaining.

For a full list of winners, check out IndieWire.