If you somehow haven't noticed, I'm right in the middle of a massive update of film awards announcements. But something stuck out to me when I noted that the Southeastern Film Critics Association didn't give "The Artist" a single award.

Of the five groups announcing today and yesterday (two of which I still have to publish), only one awarded "The Artist" this year's Best Picture prize (the St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association). Everyone else relegated it to runner-up consideration or perhaps a bone for Best Original Screenplay.

This is interesting to me. After a wave of groups anointed the film "the one," everyone (okay, not everyone, but almost) apparently feeling safe in going to that place, given the back-up, suddenly we get a chunk who shied away from it. I'm not saying it means anything but I do think it could be representative of something I was getting at in Friday's Oscar Talk podcast.

Nobody wants to be anointed "the one" in December. There are still five weeks to go in phase one of the season and ballots haven't even arrived in voters' mailboxes yet (they go out next Tuesday). By the time voting bodies get a chance to have their say, something that has been a front-running juggernaut can suddenly seem like old news or not so fresh. Or worse, people who haven't seen the film could put it in the player and think, "What's the big deal?"

I think this happened to some extent with "The Social Network" last year and I think we could see it happen with "The Artist" this year. We'll see, though.

Check out the full list of Southeastern film critics winners below.

Best Picture: "The Descendants" (Runner-up: "The Artist")

Best Director: Martin Scorsese, "Hugo" (Runner-up: Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist")

Best Actor: George Clooney, "The Descendants" (Runner-up: Michael Fassbender, "Shame")

Best Actress: Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady" (Runner-up: Tilda Swinton, "We Need to Talk About Kevin")

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, "Beginners" (Runner-up: Albert Brooks, "Drive")

Best Supporting Actress: Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs" (Runner-up: Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants")

Best Adapted Screenplay: "The Descendants" (Runner-up: "Moneyball")

Best Original Screenplay: "Midnight in Paris" (Runner-up: "The Artist")

Best Cinematography: "The Tree of Life" (Runner-up: "Hugo")

Best Animated Film: "Rango" (Runner-up: "The Adventures of Tintin")

Best Documentary: "Project Nim" (Runner-up: "Tabloid")

Best Foreign Language Film: "A Separation" (Runner-up: "The Skin I Live In")

Gene Wyatt Award: "The Help" (Runner-up: "Undefeated")

Keep track of the ups and downs of the 2011-2012 film awards season at The Circuit.

For year-round entertainment news and awards season commentary follow @kristapley on Twitter.

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