After nearly 4 1/2 of voting where it looked like either Amazon’s Manchester by the Sea or A24’s Moonlight was going to take best picture based on their traction, the New York Film Critics Circle gave best film to Damien Chazelle’s La La Land. The Lionsgate/Summit movie also received 12 Critics’ Choice nominations earlier today just as the Gotham group began their deliberations.
The NYFCC’s historical bellwether rate for determining Oscar’s best picture is over 40%. Even when they’re off, they’re often spot-on in other categories — read last year, when they were the first ones to call Mark Rylance as supporting actor for Bridge of Spies, months before he took home the Oscar.
Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight took three wins apiece today.
For the Kenneth Lonergan movie, Casey Affleck won best actor, Michelle Williams (she was also recognized for Certain Women) was named best supporting actress, and the director’s screenplay took a trophy as well. Affleck won a Gotham Award earlier this week for his turn in Manchester, and he was also nominated for best actor by the Broadcast Critics today. Last week, the Independent Spirits also nominated him. Amazon acquired the pic out of Sundance for $10M. Roadside Attractions is releasing stateside, and it has grossed $1.6M through two weekends.
Moonlight took best feature, screenplay and a special jury award at the Gothams, but here with the NYFCC it was Mahershala Ali, who like Affleck, also had a great morning nabbing a best supporting win from NYFCC for the A24 coming-of-age drama and a Critics’ Choice nom as well. Barry Jenkins took best director, while the pic’s DP James Laxton also won.
There was further spillover from the Gothams in the best actress category, where Isabelle Huppert landed an NYFCC win for her turn as a rape victim in Paul Verhoeven’s Elle and also for her role in Things to Come.
Ezra Edelman’s feature documentary O.J.: Made in America won four Critics’ Choice documentary awards for feature, limited doc series, director and sports doc, and now the film possesses a NYFCC kudo. The five-part series premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on ESPN in mid-June.
Sony Classics’ German Oscar entry Toni Erdmann, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May and won the Fipresci Prize, was named best foreign-language film. Maren Ade’s movie follows an eccentric father who, in an effort to get back into his corporate daughter’s life, disguises himself as her CEO’s life coach. SPC will open the dramedy on Christmas.
Special lauds were announced for Martin Scorsese’s editor Thelma Schoonmaker, who recently finished Paramount’s Silence, as well as the 25th anniversary restoration for Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust.
The First Film category posted a tie between Kelly Fremon Craig’s R-rated teen comedy The Edge of Seventeen and Trey Edward Shults’ Krisha.
Last year, aside from best supporting actor, NYFCC synced with Oscar’s final winner in the best animated film category (Inside Out), and while the org gave Son of Saul best first film, that movie continued on to win best foreign-language film. Other than that, NYFCC lauded Weinstein Co.’s Carol with best film, best director Todd Haynes, Phyllis Nagy’s screenplay and Edward Lachman’s DP work. Carol was overlooked by Oscars in the best picture and director categories but received nominations for screenplay, cinematography, costumes, original score, actress (Cate Blanchett) and supporting actress (Rooney Mara).
This morning, Pete Hammond posted the Broadcast Film Critics just lauded La La Land with 12 nominations.
Here is the complete list of winners for the 2016 New York Film Critics Circle Awards; they’ll be handed out on Jan. 3 at Tao Downtown in Manhattan:
Best film: La La Land
Best director: Berry Jenkins, Moonlight
Best actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Best actress: Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Best supporting actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Best supporting actress: Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea and Certain Women
Best screenplay: Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan
Best animated film: Zootopia
Best cinematography: Moonlight, James Laxton
Best first film: (tie) Kelly Fremon Craig’s The Edge of Seventeen and Trey Edwards Shults Krisha
Best foreign film: Toni Erdmann (Germany)
Best non-fiction film (documentary): O.J.: Made in America
Special Awards: Editor Thelma Schoonmaker, the other for Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust 25th Anniversary Restoration