New York Film Critics salute Hollywood's finest

Sandy Kenyon reports on what some are hoping is an Oscars preview
February 27, 2014 5:50:39 AM PST
The Oscars aren't given out until March 2nd, but the long march to the Dolby Theater in Hollywood has already begun.

The party thrown by New York Film Critics has become an important stop. Winners are announced in advance so those who did an American Hustle arrived knowing those critics said it was the best.


Recognition from New York Film Critics can't hurt a film's Oscar chances, which is why so many big names showed up to talk up their films.

"This is one of the best years for filmmaking there are some great movies out there," Octavia Spencer said.

Spencer is an Oscar voter trying to determine who to nominate.

"I judge by how a performance connects to me emotionally," Spencer said.

Cate Blanchett's performance as Blue Jasmine was the best by an actress this past year, according to critics here in the city.

Her character reminded some of Bernie Madoff's wife, Ruth, and the star drew inspiration by spending time on the Upper East Side.

"I didn't base it on any one person, but on a whole conglomerate because you don't have to be on the Upper East Side to know what a nervous breakdown means," she said.

Blue Jasmine is Woody Allen's 45th film, but this past year will likely be remembered as a time when younger filmmakers from diverse backgrounds got their shot.

Fruitvale Station was called the 'best first film' thanks to the skills of director Ryan Coogler.

"What I hope to see is to see it continue, to see it grow and to see it spread in terms of female representation behind the camera and representation of other ethnicities behind the camera. You know, I hope that it's not just a fad. That it's a trend," Coogler said.

His movie Fruitvale Stationmade my list of the top 10 films of last year. My number one was 12 Years A Slave. The director of that one told me the toughest part of that entire experience for him is trying to convince people to see the movie. Steve McQueen's picture is so tough to watch, but so worthwhile.