Anne Hathaway has won yet more acclaim for Les Miserables, but Hugh Jackman has been pipped by one of his Oscar rivals at the London Critics' Circle Film Awards.
The Australian actor, who plays reformed prisoner Jean Valjean in the film, has been on an awards season roll that has included nominations for Australian, British and American academy awards and a Golden Globe win in the last fortnight.
Amour - Trailer
Michael Haneke's latest film eschews violence and psychological riddles for a profoundly frank portrayal of ageing, sickness and the lengths we go to for love.
But the London critics named Joaquin Phoenix actor of the year for his performance as a damaged war veteran who falls under the influence of a charismatic religious leader in The Master.
The strong field also included Oscars favourite Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln, Jean-Louis Trintignant (Amour) and Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt).
Amour, Michael Haneke’s drama about an elderly couple dealing with fading health, was the big winner at the awards.
It took out film of the year, while 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva won actress of the year and Haneke was named screenwriter of the year.
In a triumph for a veteran of French cinema, Riva, who is also nominated for an Oscar, beat Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone), Helen Hunt (The Sessions) and Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook).
Philip Seymour Hoffman won best supporting actor for The Master over Alan Arkin (Argo), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), Michael Fassbender (Prometheus) and Javier Bardem (Skyfall).
Hathaway, the warm Oscars favourite for best supporting actress, won the same prize ahead of Isabelle Huppert (Amour), Sally Field (Lincoln), Amy Adams (The Master) and Judi Dench (Skyfall).
Director of the year went to Ang Lee for Life of Pi.
"A critic's job is to champion the best rather than just go with the awards-season flow and I think we have done that this year in both our nominations and the films," said awards chair Rich Cline.
The Critics' Circle is made up of more than 120 British film critics, broadcasters and writers.
Like the BAFTAs, the Critics' Circle also presents separate awards for British films.
British film of the year went to Berberian Sound Studio, with Toby Jones, who plays a sound technician working on a nightmarish Italian horror movie in that film, and Andrea Riseborough, from the IRA thriller Shadow Dancer, named British actor and actress of the year respectively.