Todd Haynes' homage to1950s melodramas Far From Heavenpicked up five awards including Best Picture of 2002 today (Dec 16) from the NewYork Film Critics Circle, one of the key pre-Oscar indicators of the awardsseason. The 34-member group named the picture's director Todd Haynes asbest director and gave other awards to Dennis Quaid and Patricia Clarkson fortheir supporting roles in the film as well as to Ed Lachman for hiscinematography.

Ironically Julianne Moore,the actress who has already won several year-end best actress awards, was notnamed best actress for the film; instead Diane Lane won that prize for AdrianLyne's Unfaithful.

Daniel Day-Lewis took bestactor for his role as the nefarious gang leader Bill The Butcher in MartinScorsese's epic crime thriller Gangs Of New York, and Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman (the latterof whom does not exist) won the screenplay prize for Adaptation.

The 68th annual awards forexcellence in cinema were announced at the Muse Hotel in Manhattan and theawards dinner is scheduled to take place on Jan 12, 2003, at the Manhattannightclub Noche.

ArtisanEntertainment's black comedy Roger Dodger, directed by Dylan Kidd, took Best First Film; HayaoMiyazaki's Spirited Away,which is distributed in the US through Buena Vista Pictures, won Best AnimatedFilm and IFC's Y Tu Mama Tambien, directed by Alfonso Cuaron, was voted Best Foreign-Language Film.

Standing In The ShadowsOf Motown, another Artisan picturethat was directed by Paul Justman, was chosen as the year's BestNon-Fiction Film.

A special award went to KinoInternational for its restoration work on Fritz Lang's stylisedfuturistic classic, Metropolis.