The coasts have spoken. And they have a couple of surprises to offer us.
First, the New York Film Critics Circle, an awards group once considered superior in prestige to the Oscar.
Then, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Which tends to do their own thing.
I should note one thing before I start: I’m not going to try and cover every awards group this year. Just the major ones. This is as much for the sake of time as for the sake of keeping my writing on these awards and on these films in general fresh.
Best Film: La La Land
This is a little surprising. I’d have guessed a musical romance would’ve been considered too light or too populist for this bunch. But this is one of the big three of the season (whether it remains a mere big three or expands remains to be seen), so it’s not a shocker.
Best Director: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Could he actually win the Oscar? It’s obviously too soon to call, but he’s been racking up the awards thus far.
Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester By the Sea
He’ll win the Oscar. At this point the only serious competition I can think of is Denzel Washington in Fences, and his film isn’t making the same kind of impact.
Best Actress: Isabelle Huppert, Elle and Things to Come
I’m so scared the Academy will fuck her over. I feel like they somehow will.
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
He’s good, and he’s a good actor who hasn’t been fully appreciated. That said, I’d actually put at least two of his co-stars ahead of him, in part because his role is comparatively small. But if he wins the big one I won’t be upset.
Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams, Manchester By the Sea and Certain Women
Weird that they cite her for both films, since I actually wasn’t all that impressed by her work in Certain Women (mostly because her segment of the film was, for my money, by far the weakest).
Best Screenplay: Manchester By the Sea
Sounds about right.
Best Cinematography: Moonlight
It’s handsomely shot, but it’s not even in my top 5. (It’s my #7.)
Best Animated Film: Zootopia
Shame that no one seems to be showing any love to the wonderful Finding Dory, but this is very good as well.
Best Foreign Language Film: Toni Erdmann
Can’t wait to see this.
Best Non-Fiction Film: O.J.: Made in America
…can’t wait to see this, either.
Best First Film (TIE): Kelly Fremon Craig, The Edge of Seventeen and Trey Edward Shults, Krisha
The Edge of Seventeen is a really nice little coming-of-age comedy-drama with Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson in fine form.
Krisha I just need to see.
Best Picture: Moonlight (runner-up: La La Land)
Weird that the Los Angeles critics didn’t go with the L.A.-set film, while the New York critics did, but…eh.
Best Director: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (runner-up: Damien Chazelle, La La Land)
He’s winning everything. Is he gonna pull a Todd Haynes and get screwed by the Academy or what?
Best Actor: Adam Driver, Paterson (runner-up: Casey Affleck, Manchester By the Sea)
Oh, now they’re just fucking with us, aren’t they? Nothing against Adam Driver, and I do want to see his movie, but this seems vaguely like them just throwing us a curveball.
Best Actress: Isabelle Huppert, Elle and Things to Come (runner-up: Rebecca Hall, Christine)
Double fuck yes. Hall is actually my #1 and has received almost no recognition so far. And given that Huppert is just plain awesome…this makes me very happy indeed.
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (runner-up: Issey Ogata, Silence)
Is it often that New York and L.A. sync up this much? What a strange year. Also very interested to see how they flesh out Ogata’s character from the book.
Best Supporting Actress: Lily Gladstone, Certain Women (runner-up: Michelle Williams, Manchester By the Sea)
Gladstone is quite good. Not as good as Naomie Harris in Moonlight (odd she wasn’t at least a runner-up), but she’s a solid #8 on my list.
Best Screenplay: The Lobster (runner-up: Manchester By the Sea)
I hope to God this means the Academy might nominate it. That would honestly be enough for me. Like Mad Max getting in for Best Picture. I don’t even need it to win. I just need it to get nominated.
Please, please, please let that happen.
Best Cinematography: Moonlight (runner-up: La La Land)
Best Editing: O.J.: Made in America (runner-up: La La Land)
Interesting choice. Those eight hours really must zip by.
Best Production Design: The Handmaiden (runner-up: La La Land)
- I absolutely agree with their choice. It’s very close between this and High-Rise, but I gave this the edge in the end. So good call.
- What the fuck did La La Land do to them to be the runner-up in five separate categories? That’s fucking strange.
Best Music Score: La La Land (runner-up: Jackie)
Well, that’s something, at least. Excited to see what Mica Levi provides for Jackie.
Best Animation: Your Name (runner-up: The Red Turtle)
Your Name is a body-swap fantasy film from Japan. It made fucking bank there. God knows when it’ll get seen here.
Best Foreign-Language Film: The Handmaiden (runner-up: Toni Erdmann)
I personally prefer Elle, but it’s a good choice.
Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film: I Am Not Your Negro (runner-up: O.J.: Made in America)
You give O.J. Editing but not Documentary? Huh.
New Generation Award: Trey Edward Shults & Krisha Fairchild, Krisha
Goddamn, I need to see this movie.