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A third choice for 2015 Best Film: ‘Carol’

Dan Webster

If all things good, bad or whatever do come in threes, the current movie-awards scene is certainly proving it — especially when the things in question end up being different.

In as many days, a third group of movie critics has picked its Best Film of 2015. And for the third time, the choice offers up a new honoree. This time, the film is Todd Haynes' period piece "Carol."

The New York Film Critics Circle today announced that Haynes' film was the best of 2015, that Michael Keaton ("Spotlight") was the best actor and that Rooney Mara ("Carol") was the best actress.

On Monday, the IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards gave its top prize to "Spotlight." The National Board of Review followed on Tuesday by honoring George Miller's "Mad Max: Fury Road."

What all this says about 2015 is clear: It was a good year for good film, with no clear candidate an Oscar favorite. Not, of course, that an Oscar means all that much anymore in terms of actual quality, what with the democratization of the awards process (not to mention the Motion Picture Academy's historical tendency to substitute mainstream tastes for critical appraisal). But Oscar still remains the, uh, gold standard of movie awards.

"Carol" has yet to open in the Inland Northwest (it was released nationally on Nov. 20). "Mad Max" premiered last May, and "Spotlight" is playing now at AMC River Park Square.

Note: An earlier version of this blog post misidentified the director of "Mad Max: Fury Road."

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