by Erik Childress

For the first time since 2005 with Brokeback Mountain, the New York Film Critics have agreed with Los Angeles in their selections for Best Film and Director. Today the East Coast Circle announced The Hurt Lockerand director Kathryn Bigelow have taken their top prizes, just one day after Boston and L.A. did the same. This is the fifth straight critic's group to honor Bigelow as director of the year after the National Board of Review led off awards season by choosing Clint Eastwood for Invictus. Apparently they felt Eastwood was a better "get" for their annual celebrity party than Bigelow, but there's currently no bigger shining star than her. The only times that NY & LA agreed on their choice for director since 1999 - 2000's Steven Soderbergh and 2005's Ang Lee - they went on to victory at the Oscars.

This is also the fifth straight victory for the pairing of Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) and Mo'Nique (Precious). One is the distinguished star of German television snatched up by Quentin Tarantino to play the calculating Nazi hunter and the other is the star of such distinguished features as Soul Plane, Phat Girlz and Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins. This is only the second time since 1999 that NY & LA have doubled up on their choice for Supporting Actor. The other was William Hurt for 2005's A History of Violence, Oscar-nominated but not victorious.