NEW YORK - "Being John Malkovich" and "Topsy-Turvy" tied for the best picture award Saturday at the annual voting of the National Society of Film Critics. It was the first such tie in the organization's history and epitomized a spread-it-around awards season that no single film has so far dominated. Neither of the co- winners enjoyed anything like a sweep.
Spike Jonze's "Being John Malkovich," a contemporary Alice in Wonderland take on celebrity culture, won only one other award, best screenplay for Charlie Kaufman. "Topsy-Turvy," about the turbulent working relationship of British operetta pooh-bahs Gilbert and Sullivan, also gained Mike Leigh the best director award. ("Topsy- Turvy" opens in Boston on Jan. 21.) "Election," Alexander Payne's satire on cutthroat politics, finished third.