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Friday, 14 December, 2001, 10:24 GMT
Mulholland Drive gears up for Oscars
Mulholland Drive
Mulholland Drive has wowed the New York film critics
Director David Lynch's dark tale Mulholland Drive is the best movie of 2001, according to the New York Film Critics' Circle.

The movie stars Naomi Watts and Laura Elena Harring in a twisting, turning story of obsession, danger and amnesia in Los Angeles.

Watts plays a would-be actress embarking on what turns out to be cautionary experience of life in Hollywood.

Among other awards, top acting honours were bestowed on Tom Wilkinson and Sissy Spacek by the group for their starring roles in In the Bedroom.

What this award means is Oscar voters have to consider it seriously

Tom O'Neil

The critics said Todd Field's story of a grieving Maine couple was the best first film of the year.

The English ensemble comedy Gosford Park won best screenplay, best director for Robert Altman, and best supporting actress for Helen Mirren.

John Anderson, chief film critic for Newsday and the circle's president, said he expected Mulholland Drive would be the winner before voting began.

David Lynch
Lynch's film could have Oscar potential

"It had a lot of support coming out of the New York Film Festival," Anderson said.


"Lynch is kind of an idiosyncratic film-maker who appeals to our idiosyncratic membership."

Tom O'Neil, of, which tracks Oscar predictions, said choosing Mulholland Drive was "a shockeroo".

"Some consider it a masterpiece. Some consider it a mess," O'Neil said.

Other winners:
Best supporting actor: Steve Buscemi, Ghost World
Best cinematographer: Christopher Doyle and Pin Bing Lee, In the Mood for Love
Best foreign film: In the Mood for Love
Best non-fiction film: The Gleaners and I
Best animated film: Waking Life

"What this award means is Oscar voters have to consider it seriously."

Last year, the group picked Traffic as the top movie and Steven Soderbergh as best director.

The film went on to earn an Oscar nomination for best picture, and Soderbergh won the Oscar for best director.

Founded in 1935, the New York Film Critics Circle is composed of critics from the city's daily and weekly publications.

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