NY Critics Back 'Traffic', Hanks

The second critics’ awards of the year have been announced, and it’s looking like Steven Soderbergh’s year. Traffic, his gritty, multistoried docudrama about the drug trade, received best picture honors from the New York Film Critics Circle.

The group also named Soderbergh as best director for the film and for his popular spring offering, Erin Brockovich. One of Traffic’s standout ensemble players, Benicio Del Toro, was named as best supporting actor.

The New York critics selected Tom Hanks as best actor for his turn in Cast Away and You Can Count on Me’s Laura Linney as best actress. Best supporting actress honors went to Marcia Gay Harden for her role as Jackson Pollock’s long-suffering wife in Pollock.

You Can Count on Me earned a best screenplay award for writer-director Kenneth Lonergan.

YiYi Tops Crouching Tiger In the foreign film competition, the New York critics chose director Edward Yang’s Yi Yi (A One and a Two …) over Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, although Ang Lee’s critically acclaimed epic was recognized for its cinematography.

In the non-fiction and animated film categories, New York critics sided with the National Board of Review, with awards going, respectively, to the baseball documentary The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg and the DreamWorks claymation comedy Chicken Run.

George Washington, written and directed by David Gordon Green, was named as best first film.

The awards will be presented Jan. 14.