The usual suspects continue their long walk down award-season lane with the announcement of more critics’ prizes. The Chicago Film Critics Association and the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle revealed the winners of their 2006 awards, giving Best Film honors to The Departed and United 93, respectively. Both groups gave their Best Actor and Actress awards to Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland (but is he an Oscar lock?) and Helen Mirren for The Queen – no big surprises there. Little Children’s Jackie Earle Haley (recently profiled in EW) was chosen Best Supporting Actor by both, while Chicago gave Adriana Barraza the Best Supporting Actress award for Babel and Oklahoma chose Cate Blanchett for Notes on a Scandal.
Both associations offer prizes in unusual categories: Chicago’s awards include “Most Promising Performer” (Sacha Baron Cohen was this year’s winner) and “Most Promising Director” (Rian Johnson, Brick). The OFCC selects a “Breakout Performance” (Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls), gives a Top 10 Movie list, and names bad films under the categories of “Obviously Worst Film” (Basic Instinct 2) and “Not So Obviously Worst Film” (Bobby).