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Bin Laden doco named best film of 2012
A scene from 'Zero Dark Thirty'.

The New York Film Critics Circle named Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty the best film of 2012, voicing its strong support for the grimly journalistic Osama bin Laden docudrama.

Bigelow, whose Hurt Locker won best picture at the Academy Awards in 2010, also won best director in the awards announced on Monday.

Australian Greig Fraser won an award for the film’s cinematography.

“Zero Dark Thirty confirms the massive talent of Kathryn Bigelow,” said NYFCC chairman Joshua Rothkopf, a critic for Time Out New York.

“Zero Dark Thirty is a very important movie. It’s not triumphant and it’s still a very significant dramatisation of an important event. And we were knocked out by the film."

But the critics group also cast a loud vote for Seven Spielberg’s Lincoln, bestowing it with three awards — Daniel Day-Lewis for best actor, Sally Field for best supporting actress and Tony Kushner for best screenplay.

Lewis’ award for his performance as president is his fifth from the NYFCC. Rachel Weisz earnt best actress from the critics for her performance in the little-seen The Deep Blue Sea, a period drama by British director Terence Davies.

The supporting actor pick went to Matthew McConaughey for his performances as both a Texas district attorney in Richard Linklater’s Bernie and as a male stripper in Steven Soderberg’s Magic Mike.

Shut out entirely were award hopefuls Les Miserables, Argo, Silver Linings Playbook and The Master.

This year’s Oscar hunt is generally seen as fairly open, with a number of strong contenders. The NYFCC voting could help coalesce support behind Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln. Rothkopf, though, said there was strong passion in voting for several films that didn’t yield an award.

Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or- winning Amour, a depiction of an ageing married couple, took best foreign language film.

Best non-fiction film went to The Central Park Five, the documentary about an infamous 1989 New York rape case, co-directed by Ken Burns, his daughter Sarah Burns and David McMahon.

Best animated film went to Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie.

AIDS activism documentary How to Survive a Plague was picked as best first feature.

The NYFCC, a body of 35 New York-based critics founded in 1935, announced the annual vote on Twitter.
Awards will be handed out at a ceremony on January 7.