The year is coming to a close, which means that many groups of critics are preparing to hand out their awards for the best of the year. Last week was an incredibly hectic one for awards pundits, as the National Board of Review, the Gotham Awards, and the L.A. Film Critics Association all passed out their annual awards, while the Critics' Choice Awards revealed their nominees. In addition to those groups, the New York Critics Circle announced the picks for the best of 2016. There were a few expected wins, but also a few surprises along the way. Check out the winners below!
Best Picture- La La Land
Best Director- Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Best Screenplay- Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Best Actress- Isabelle Huppert, Elle & Things to Come
Best Actor- Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Best Supporting Actress- Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea & Certain Women
Best Supporting Actor- Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Best Cinematographer- James Laxton, Moonlight
Best Animated Film- Zootopia
Best Non-Fiction Film (Documentary)- O.J.: Made in America
Best Foreign Language Film- Toni Erdmann
Best First Film- Kelly Fremon Craig, The Edge of Seventeen & Trey Edward Shults, Krisha
Special Award- Thelma Schoonmaker and Julie Dash, Daughters of the Dust (25th Anniversary Restoration)
Going into the awards ceremony, most prognosticators were firmly expecting either Manchester by the Sea or Moonlight to win Best Picture, with a few others predicting Martin Scorsese's Silence to take the top prize. But after being shut out entirely in the other categories, it was a huge surprise that in the end, Damien Chazelle's La La Land was victorious. The common thought is that Manchester and Moonlight split the votes, allowing for Chazelle's delightful musical to slip through for a victory. Nonetheless, it was a great day for the other two front-runners in the race, as both Moonlight and Manchester took home three trophies each. Barry Jenkins' win in the Best Director category is especially telling, as he has now run the table on Chazelle, the perceived Oscar front-runner. Also making gains is Isabelle Huppert, the star of Paul Verhoeven's provocative and disturbing Elle. Once considered to be an outsider in the race, Huppert is now headed on a fast-track for a nomination, and maybe even a win over Emma Stone. It's gonna be tight, and while I don't think that enough of the Academy will embrace Verhoeven's disturbing film for Huppert to win, she's certainly making things interesting. All in all, the New York Film Critics Circle provided a very interesting set of winners that could have an impact on the race moving forward. Look for more on the Oscars and on other awards winners in the near future.
Images courtesy of Lionsgate