How are the Oscar favourites faring on the award circuit?

Over the past two months, the American film critic guilds have been going awards-crazy, bestowing accolade after accolade upon the best films of 2009.

The sad fact is that it’s hard to care about every individual guild. I mean, do those of us in Australia really care who the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association named the best cinematographer of the year?

Therefore, I’ve decided to collate all the winners from each of the separate guilds*, specifically in the categories of Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Screenplay and Animated Feature. By doing so, we get a clearer picture of which films are getting recognised and which pictures are in position for Oscar success.

The films are ranked by overall number of accolades:

Up in the Air (23)
Best Film: 5
Best Director (Jason Reitman): 2
Best Actor (George Clooney): 7
Best Supporting Actress (Anna Kendrick): 2
Best Screenplay: 7

The Hurt Locker (22)
Best Film: 8
Best Director (Kathryn Bigelow): 10
Best Actor (Jeremy Renner): 3
Best Screenplay: 1

Inglourious Basterds (19)
Best Film: 1
Best Director (Quentin Tarantino): 1
Best Actress (Melanie Laurent): 1
Best Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz): 12
Best Screenplay: 4

Precious (12)
Best Actress (Gabourey Sidibe): 1
Best Supporting Actress (Mo’Nique): 11

Best Animated Feature: 9

Fantastic Mr Fox (5)
Best Animated Feature: 2
Best Actor (George Clooney): 1
Best Screenplay: 2

Julie and Julia
Best Actress (Meryl Streep): 5

An Education (5)
Best Actress (Carey Mulligan): 5

Invictus (3)
Best Director (Clint Eastwood): 2
Best Actor (Morgan Freeman): 1

A Single Man
Best Actor (Colin Firth): 3

A Serious Man
Best Screenplay: 3

Crazy Heart (2)
Best Actor (Jeff Bridges): 2

Seraphine (2)
Best Actress (Yolande Moreau): 2

500 Days of Summer (2)
Best Screenplay: 2

The Messenger (2)
Best Supporting Actor (Woody Harrelson): 1
Best Supporting Actress (Samantha Morton): 1

Avatar (1)
Best Film: 1

Trucker (1)
Best Actress (Michelle Monaghan): 1

Me and Orson Welles (1)
Best Supporting Actor (Christian McKay): 1

Bright Star (1)
Best Supporting Actor (Paul Schneider): 1

In The Loop (1)
Best Screenplay: 1

Firm favourites are emerging here, such as Kathryn Bigelow, Christoph Waltz and Mo’Nique. However, while The Hurt Locker is claiming the most Best Picture prizes, Bilge Ebiri at Vulture reminds us that critics guild often fall in line behind movies that go on to lose Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

The season is not over yet. We still have SAG, DGA, PGA, Golden Globes, Independent Spirit and Critics Choice Awards to go before we even get to see Oscar.

*The guilds include: National Society of Film Critics, Austin Film Critics Association, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association, San Diego Film Critics, Florida Film Critics Association, Southeastern Film Critics Association, Chicago Film Critics, San Francisco Film Critics Circle, New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Boston Society of Film Critics, National Board of Review, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association, American Film Institute, New York Film Critics Online.

Discuss: How do you feel about the American critics’ choices?

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