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A whole bunch of film critics boards announce their annual awards

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Melissa McCarthy

Oscar race, consider yourself on. And wildly confusing. But on.

The New York Film Critics Online, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Boston Society of Film Critics, and American Film Institute all released their best of the year lists on Sunday, and they all refused to move in a decisive direction. Let's walk through this mess together, shall we?

First up, the American Film Institute's top ten films of the year (unranked):

  1. Bridesmaids
  2. The Descendants
  3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  4. The Help
  5. Hugo
  6. J. Edgar
  7. Midnight in Paris
  8. Moneyball
  9. The Tree of Life
  10. War Horse

Next, the L.A. Film Critics Association's major categories:

Best Picture: The Descendants

Best Director: Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Best Actor: Michael Fassbender; A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre, Shame, X-Men: First Class

Best Actress: Yun Jung-hee, Poetry

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain; Coriolanus, The Debt, The Help, Take Shelter, The Texas Killing Fields, The Tree of Life

Best Screenplay: Asghar Farhadi, A Separation

And now the Boston Society of Film Critics:

Best Picture: The Artist

Best Director: Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Best Actor: Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Best Actress: Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn

Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks, Drive

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids

Best Screenplay: Steve Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin, Moneyball

Finally, the New York Film Critics Online's accolades:

Best Picture: The Artist

Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Best Actor: Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

Best Actress: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks, Drive

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids

Best Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants

Based on these awards, The Artist and The Descendants seem most destined for Best Picture. Best Director looks wide open, as does Best Actor and Best Actress. (She took one "runner-up" spot, but is anyone else surprised Viola Davis didn't claim any Best Actress honors?) Albert Brooks will likely nab a Best Supporting Actor nod, and, most excitingly, Melissa McCarthy is a legitimate Oscar contender. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm getting giddy just thinking about her possible acceptance speech. I can only hope her promoters have sent the Oscar voters some puppies in pink berets in their gift bags to win them over.