The New York Film Critics Circle holds its annual awards dinner Monday night and while the critics themselves (including me) try to keep the Oscar speculation at arm’s length, the people angling for statuettes don’t. Which is why the honorees “rumored” to be showing up at the historic Edison Ballroom (they’re always “rumored” until they actually show up) will be reducing the paparazzi to puddles of goo.
They’ll include (maybe) best actress frontrunner Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”), best director Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”), best supporting actor Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”); David O. Russell (best screenplay with Eric Singer for “American Hustle”) and Bruno Delbonnel, the man behind the miraculous cinematography of “Inside Llewyn Davis.”
The last time the NYFCC’s pic for Best Actor -- Robert Redford, of ‘All Is Lost” -- was honored by the group was back in 1995, when a film he directed -- “Quiz Show”—was named best film, having gone a fierce five rounds (of balloting, it can probably now be revealed) with “Pulp Fiction.” Sundance was under way, and while a number of the group’s members (this writer among them) were stuck out in Utah, Redford made a quick back and forth to pick up his award, which was presented by Paul Newman – the best actor that year for “Nobody’s Fool.”
With Oscar balloting under way, Redford--who has landed Critics Choice, Indie Spirit, Gotham and Globe noms but not SAG-- needs the boost this publicity will provide, so we're going to bet on his showing up--although you never know if he'll be on time.