Herewith are the final choices of the New York Film Critics Circle, which were voted on earlier today. HE strongly agrees with one judgment — the Best Supporting Actress prize going to The HoldoversDa’Vine Joy Randolph. And Oppenheimer‘s Chris Nolan winning the Best Director award…fine. And some of the minor category awards were acceptable. But I responded to other major-category NYFCC winners with puzzlement and annoyance.

Best Film: Killers of the Flower Moon (Apple Original Films/Paramount Pictures) / HE reaction: On its own dramatic terms, Martin Scorsese‘s sprawling, guilt-trip period drama is moderately approvable, at best, and is certainly a bear to sit through. (I’ve seen it twice.) It seems obvious that the NYFCC gave it their top prize for reasons and motives that sidestep cinematic principles. (A critic friend believes it may be Scorsese’s worst film ever). KOTFM was chosen as a gesture of support and compassion for the Oklahoma Osage in particular and victims of white avarice and greed in general. What should have won? Obviously Poor Things, Maestro, Oppenheimer, American Fiction, The Holdovers….hell, even Barbie is more deserving of a Best Picture trophy than Killers.

Best Director: Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer (Universal Pictures) / HE reaction: Okay, no argument, good enough.

Best Actor: Franz Rogowski in Passages (Mubi) / HE reaction: What happened here? A plurality of NYFCC voters actually believe that Rogowski, an aggressively intense and deeply unappealing actor (I stopped watching Passages because of him)…the NYFCC congregation is honestly contending that Rogowski out-points the brilliant triumvirate of Bradley Cooper in Maestro, Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers and Jeffrey Wright in American Fiction? This is nutso.

Best Actress: Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon (Apple Original Films/Paramount Pictures) / HE reaction: I’ve been saying all along that the Gladstone bandwagon is an identity thing….”let’s all celebrate a moderately okay performance by a Native American actress because she’s a Native American actress.” Her Mollie Burkhart delivers a certain simmering, accusatory undertow but she has no great scenes or or even distinctive ones — everything Gladstone puts out is subdued, restrained and a bit flat. The NYFCC voters acquiesced. Who should gave won?: Obviously Poor ThingsEmma Stone or Maestro‘s Carey Mulligan — performances that reach big-time and rank far above and beyond.

Best Supporting Actor: May December‘s Charles Melton (Netflix) / HE reaction: I’m mystified by this. Melton is fine in May December, but what is this? What’s going on? Is it because he’s good looking and half-Korean or something? I actually felt that his performance was a little on the slightly weird, less-than-assured, flailing-around side.

Best Supporting Actress: Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers (Focus Features) / HE reaction: Excellent call, emphatic agreement, best of the bunch.

Best Screenplay: May December (Netflix — Samy Burch, Alex Mechanik / HE comment: This is a completely deranged call. David Hemingson‘s The Holdovers script is way, way above the shooting-fish-in-a -barrel level of the campy May December…who’s kidding who here?

Best Animated Film: The Boy and the Heron (GKids) / HE comment: No comment.

Best Cinematography: Hoyte van Hoytema for Oppenheimer (Universal Pictures) / HE comment: No worries.

Best First Film: Past Lives (A24) — dir. Celine Song / HE comment: Fair enough.

Best International: Anatomy of a Fall (Neon) — dir. Justine Triet / HE comment: The Taste of Things is a far richer andf more enjoytable film.

Best Non-Fiction Film: Menus-Plaisirs-Les Troisgros (Zipporah Films) — dir. Frederick Wiseman.

The NYFCC are mostly ideological sycophants, political cowards, go-alongers…people who have sworn loyalty to the politically purifying, disruptive, anti-populist social serum that’s been plaguing cinema since ’17 or thereabouts…basically your Strelnikovs, your enlightened cool kidz…advocates of dynamic social change first and movie worship second.