By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated December 17, 2002 11:00 AM
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It’s been nearly an entire day since a critics group announced its choices for the top films of 2002, so — just in time — the Los Angeles-based Broadcast Film Critics Association has announced its year-end nominees.

“About Schmidt” and “Adaptation,” which each received four nominations apiece, are among the 10 nominees in the running for best picture. The other contenders: “Catch Me If You Can,” “Chicago,” “Far From Heaven,” “Gangs of New York,” “The Hours,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” “The Pianist” and “Road to Perdition.”

The winners will be announced Jan. 17 by the association of TV, radio and online reviewers. (The ceremony will air on E! Entertainment Television a day later.)

“About Schmidt,” about a retired and widowed Midwestern insurance actuary who hits the road in a Winnebago, also earned nominations for best actor (Jack Nicholson), supporting actress (Kathy Bates) and writers (Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor).

“Adaptation,” an even darker comedy than “Schmidt” and starring Nicolas Cage in dual roles as twin screenwriters — one neurotic, the other shallow and happy-go-lucky — earned nominations for supporting actress (Meryl Streep), supporting actor (Chris Cooper) and writer (Charlie Kaufman, who also is competing against himself for his screenplay of “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”). Cage, however , was not nominated.

Besides Nicholson, best actor nominees are Daniel Day-Lewis for “Gangs of New York” and Robin Williams for the otherwise overlooked “One Hour Photo.”

Best actress nominees are Salma Hayek (“Frida”), Nicole Kidman (“The Hours”), Diane Lane (“Unfaithful”) and Julianne Moore (“Far From Heaven”).