<p><em>Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy</em>: Mark Strong as Jim Prideaux, aka Mr. Ellis</p>

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Mark Strong as Jim Prideaux, aka Mr. Ellis

Awards voting in the National Society of Film Critics entails a weighted ballot. Each member is allowed to cast three votes in any given category, with the top vote being worth 3 points, second-place vote 2, and third-place vote 1. There is no slate of nominations; members are free to vote for whomever or whatever film they deem worthy, as long as it came out in the year under consideration—and even that isn't a strict requirement, since movies may be produced in, say, 2010, theatrically released in New York and Los Angeles at the end of 2011 just in time for Oscar consideration, and seen on theater screens in other U.S. communities sometime in 2012. Not to mention films seen on the festival circuit but not picked up for theatrical distribution till (sometimes years) later. But we digress. Back on the subject of weighted ballots, if a member votes for only one candidate in a category, that vote counts only 1 point, not 3. Similarly if only two votes are cast (you do the math).

Here's how Queen Anne & Magnolia News' representative in the NSFC voted in the 2011 derby. And since I was voting long distance, my votes don't figure in the results of any category that went beyond a first ballot. Except morally and spiritually, of course.

1. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
2. Certified Copy
3. A Dangerous Method

1. Tomas Alfredson, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
2. Abbas Kiarostami, Certified Copy
3. David Cronenberg, A Dangerous Method

1. Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
2. George Clooney, The Descendants*
3. Jean Dujardin, The Artist

1. Keira Knightley, A Dangerous Method
2. Juliette Binoche, Certified Copy
3. Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia

1. Mark Strong, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
2. Albert Brooks, Drive
3. John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene

1. Jessica Chastain [prefer to omit Coriolanus, but all the rest, fine]
2. Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
3. Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

1. Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami)
2. Moneyball (Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin)
3. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan)

1. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Hoyte Van Hoytema)
2. Midnight in Paris (Darius Khondji)
3. Le Havre (Timo Salminen)

1. A Separation (Iran; Asghar Farhadi)
2. Le Havre (France-Finland; Aki Kaurismäki)
3. Of Gods and Men (France; Xavier Beauvois)

1. Le quattro volte**
2. Tabloid
3. Page One: Inside the New York Times

* I wouldn't add The Ides of March, but if others wish to co-list it, OK.
** I don't really regard this film as nonfiction, but people have gone farther afield while voting in this category, and I esteem it highly, so there.