Film Notes: New York critics select 'Zero Dark Thirty' as best picture

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"Zero Dark Thirty" was named best picture and its director and cinematographer singled out at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards voting on Monday.

Director Kathryn Bigelow's movie, expected to open in Pittsburgh in January, is about the U.S. Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. In other results, "Lincoln" captured honors for Daniel Day-Lewis as lead actor, Sally Field as supporting actress and Tony Kushner for his screenplay.

Rachel Weisz took the top actress crown for "The Deep Blue Sea" and Matthew McConaughey was cited for supporting roles in "Bernie" and "Magic Mike."

Other honors:

Cinematographer -- Greig Fraser, "Zero Dark Thirty."

Animated film -- "Frankenweenie."

Nonfiction film (documentary) -- "The Central Park Five."

Foreign film -- "Amour."

First film -- David France, "How to Survive a Plague."

New JFilm fest venue, dates

The 20th annual JFilm Festival will have a new main home and later date in 2013.

The event will use the recently remodeled Manor Theater in Squirrel Hill as its principal location April 11-21. Organizers typically show movies at a handful of other venues, too.

For more information about what once was called the Pittsburgh Jewish-Israeli Film Festival, see

'End of Watch' returns

If Friday night lights and other back-to-school or fall activities kept you away from "End of Watch," you are in luck.

It is being re-released Friday for awards consideration and stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as police partners in Los Angeles. Their chemistry and compatibility are remarkable, and the movie has an ending you won't soon forget.

When it's all about animation

Eight movies, including "Rise of the Guardians," "Brave" and "Wreck-It Ralph," have been nominated for best animated feature at the 40th annual Annie Awards.

Also in contention: "Frankenweenie," "Hotel Transylvania," "ParaNorman," "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" and "The Rabbi's Cat."

The awards honor animated productions in 30 categories, including best animated feature, animated special production, commercials, short subjects and individual achievements.

"Rise of the Guardians," "Brave" and "Wreck-It Ralph" each have 10 nominations.

Contenders for voice acting in an animated feature: Adam Sandler as Dracula in "Hotel Transylvania"; Alan Tudyk as King Candy, "Wreck-It Ralph"; Atticus Shaffer as Edgar "E" Gore and Catherine O'Hara as Weird Girl, both "Frankenweenie"; Imelda Staunton as Queen Victoria, "The Pirates! Band of Misfits"; Jim Cummings as Budzo in "Adventures in Zambezia"; Jude Law as Pitch in "Rise of the Guardians"; and Kelly Macdonald as Merida in "Brave."

The awards will be presented Feb. 2 at UCLA's Royce Hall.

Oscar doc contest narrows

Fifteen documentaries have moved a step closer to being nominated for an Academy Award.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday that 15 films in the documentary feature category had advanced in the process, narrowed from 126.

In alphabetical order they are: "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry"; "Bully"; "Chasing Ice"; "Detropia"; "Ethel"; "5 Broken Cameras"; "The Gatekeepers"; "The House I Live In"; "How to Survive a Plague"; and "The Imposter."

Also, "The Invisible War"; "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God"; "Searching for Sugar Man"; "This Is Not a Film" and "The Waiting Room."

Documentary Branch members will select five nominees from the short list. The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 10. Oscars will be presented Feb. 24 in Hollywood.

Pittsburgh Filmmakers will open "Chasing Ice," which captures the world's changing glaciers, Dec. 28 at the Regent Square Theater.


Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: or 412-263-1632. Read her blog:


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