Brokeback Mountain maintained its early awards season momentum by scooping bestfeature and best director honours in the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC)awards announced today [12].

Ang Lee's picture followed up on its weekend success in the LosAngeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), which awarded the same two winners,and there was joy for Heath Ledger, one of the two male leads in the picture,who won best actor.

Reese Witherspoon won best actress for her role as June Carteropposite Joaqiun Phoenix in Walk The Line, while supporting honours went to William Hurt and MariaBello for A History Of Violence.

Noah Baumbach, who shared LAFCA's best screenplay award with Capote's Dan Futterman, was the sole winnerthis time around for his caustic family drama The Squid And The Whale.

Wong Kar-wai's 2046 won best foreign-language film and the film's Christopher Doyle,Lai Yiu Fai and Kwan Pun Leung shared the cinematography award.

Bennett Miller won best first film for Capote, while Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's MovingCastle won bestanimation and Werner Herzog took the best non-fiction prize for Grizzly Man and White Diamond.

The 30-member NYFCC voted for its 71st annual awards forexcellence in cinema at the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan, and the awards willbe handed out at the awards dinner on Jan 8, 2006.

"I was not surprised at all that the voting was so competitive,"the group's chairman and Newsday critic Gene Seymour said.

"I'm not sure if that means it was a good year or a so-soyear but it always shakes out."


Picture: Brokeback Mountain
Director: Ang Lee Brokeback Mountain
Actor: Heath Ledger Brokeback Mountain
Actress: Reese Witherspoon Walk The Line
Supporting actor:William Hurt A History Of Violence
Supporting actress: Maria Bello A History Of Violence
Screenplay: Noah Baumbach The Squid And The Whale
Foreign-language film: 2046
Cinematography: Christopher Doyle, Lai Yiu Fai and Kwan Pun Leung 2046
First film: Bennett Miller Capote
Non-fiction: Werner Herzog Grizzly Man and White Diamond
Animation: Howl's Moving Castle