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‘Carol’ wins New York Film Critics Circle’s best picture award

Cate Blanchett, as Carol Aird, in a

Cate Blanchett, as Carol Aird, in a scene from "Carol." Credit: The Weinstein Company, AP / Wilson Webb

“Carol” led this year’s New York Film Critics Circle’s awards with four wins, including best picture and best director for Todd Haynes.

Starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as women who fall in love during the early 1950s in New York City, “Carol” also won for best screenplay, by Phyllis Nagy, and best cinematography, by Edward Lachman.

The New York Film Critics Circle cast its votes and announced the results Wednesday. The group’s annual awards dinner will be held Jan. 4.

“Carol” swept the awards in a year with several high-profile films about gay or transgender characters, including “The Danish Girl,” starring Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe, one of the very first sex-reassignment patients. That movie has long been considered an Academy Awards contender but was shut out by the Critics Circle.

Michael Keaton won best actor for playing a Boston Globe editor in “Spotlight,” while best actress went to Saoirse Ronan in “Brooklyn,” a drama about Irish immigrants that has proved surprisingly popular, playing to packed houses on Long Island. In the supporting acting categories, Kristen Stewart won for “Clouds of Sils Maria,” in which she plays a movie star’s assistant, and Mark Rylance won for his performance as a world-weary spy in Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies.”

As expected, Pixar’s “Inside Out” won best animated film. In the nonfiction category, Frederick Wiseman’s documentary “In Jackson Heights” was the surprise winner over “Amy,” Asif Kapadia’s acclaimed documentary on the late singer Amy Winehouse. “Timbuktu,” the story of an isolated family resisting Islamic fundamentalists, won best foreign film.

The Critics Circle also announced special awards for the legendary film composer Ennio Morricone and the late William Becker, a Southampton resident whose Janus Films introduced European films to Americans during the 1960s and beyond.

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