Yes, the critics from around the country want you to know which films they think were the best of 2006 -- and, while there aren't too many surprises, those folks from Washington, DC tossed out a couple of interesting picks, ones that may or may not affect the Oscar race. With their fifth annual awards ceremony, the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) named Paul Greengrass' United 93 the best film of 2006. As United 93, as well as Greengrass himself, show up on more and more lists, it's becoming clear which 9/11-related film will be in the hunt this year. It's definitely a slick choice, one that might help the film land a spot in the Best Picture race at the Academy Awards.
Jennifer Hudson continues to impress everyone around the country, despite the fact that Dreamgirls hasn't opened in theaters yet, as the former American Idol star was a two-time winner (Best Supporting Actress, Best Breakthrough Performance) in D.C. Not surprisingly, Helen Mirren was named Best Actress for her performance in The Queen, and Forest Whitaker took Best Actor for The Last Kind of Scotland. Perhaps the most surprising moves were in naming Djimon Hounsou Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Blood Diamond, as well as giving two first-time scribes (Michael Arndt, Jason Reitman) the screenplay honors (Little Miss Sunshine for original, Thank You for Smoking for adapted). In my opinion (and I never thought I'd be saying this), the year's most enjoyable and exciting races will exist in the screenwriting categories -- with Little Miss Sunshine,The Queen, Babel and United 93 duking it out for Best Original Screenplay and films like The Departed, Dreamgirls and Little Children fighting over Best Adapted Screenplay. Needless to say, it shall be fun to watch.
A full list of D.C. critic's picks is waiting for you after the jump.