Thursday, December 1, 2016

"Manchester" and "Moonlight" Win Big At NYFCC, But "La La Land" Nabs Top Prize


The New York Film Critics Circle has announced their list of winners today and even though they don't vote in the actual Oscars like people in the industry do, they do have a major influence in the awards race. For example, when Marcia Gay Harden made her march to win her surprise Oscar for Pollock, one of the few awards she won beforehand was the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Anyhow, this list of winners has given an interesting demonstration of how the race is shaping up.

Best Film: La La Land

Very interesting win. I'm guessing they want to spread the wealth since Manchester By The Sea and Moonlight were already quite taken care of. But now that this won Best Film here, Manchester won Best Film at the National Board of Review, and Moonlight won Best Feature at the Gotham Awards, it should be a three way battle between those three for the top prize at this point in the race.

Best Director: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Jenkins' second directing award thus far. He already won Best Director at the National Board of Review and Screenplay at the Gotham Awards. He's probably Damien Chazelle's biggest competition unless Martin Scorsese has something to say about it.

Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester By The Sea

No surprise here. Affleck is probably going to sweep through the critics awards. So expect this trend to continue. We could see a critical/industry divide between him and Denzel Washington for Fences, though. Early word on Washington is very strong.

Best Actress: Isabelle Huppert, Elle & Things To Come

Huppert is looking stronger and stronger each day. She's already won at the Gotham Awards, is an Independent Spirit nominee, just got a Critics Choice nomination and now this. The fact that they awarded her for her one-two punch of Elle and Things To Come, signifying the banner year she's having, will only help her cause. Worked for Marion Cotillard a few years ago when she won this award for both The Immigrant and Two Days, One Night.

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershalal Ali, Moonlight
Nice win. He's looking stronger for a nomination. I don't knpw if he'll win because he doesn't have a big emotive scene that often clinches an acting win for some people. But a nomination is looking like it'll be in the cards.

Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams, Manchester By The Sea & Certain Women

After missing out at the Independent Spirit Awards, this was a much needed boost that Williams needed. I will say, though, that I don't fully agree with her also winning for Certain Women because Lily Gladstone was much better and it would've been nice to see her honored here.

Best Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By The Sea

This one will probably battle it out with Moonlight for Best Original Screenplay. But as of now, it seems positioned to be the frontrunner.

Best Animated Feature: Zootopia

Awesome choice!!!! I figured they would go for something artistic like The Red Turtle from Sony Pictures Classics. But this looks to only help Zootopia's case to win Best Animated Feature at the Oscars.

Best Documentary Feature: OJ: Made In America

Still have to see it. But it may be looking likely to at least make the final shortlist if it can overcome the fact that it's technically a TV movie.

Best Foreign Language Film: Toni Erdmann

The Cannes sensation starts to make waves with critics stateside.

Best Cinematography: James Laxton, Moonlight

Soooo well-deserved.

Best First Film: (TIE) Edge of Seventeen & Krisha

Neat tie. Still need to see both films, though. Frustratingly, despite its aggressive marketing, Edge of Seventeen never made its way near me. But Krisha is now available on streaming. So I'll likely catch it soon.