By: Erik Childress

Not to be confused with the Online Film Critics Society, a globally all-encompassing group of internet-bound writers, the more locally streamlined New York Film Critics Online have announced their 9th annual awards. Before dismissing them as just another fringe group, perhaps those with faith in the statistical analysis of awards season may not want to look past that six of their top seven awards in 2008 just happened to win a certain golden statuette a few months later. A sign of things to come or just another happy coincidence? More the latter since they have been a bit more stoic in producing nominees than winners. Yet they do have the distinction of being the first critics' group to put James Cameron's Avatar on the playing field.

It was Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds that led the NYFCO's awards with four victories (including Supporting Actor, Screenplay and Cinematography), but it was the 3-D IMAX CGI "game-changer" that captured Best Picture from them. Perhaps reflecting the film's lack of award-worthy performances, or screenplay, story and anything exceptional past its technical merits, the granddaddy prize of them all was the only one that Avatar walked away with from the group.