Dec 022014
 

The Immigrant

The New York Film Critics Circle, as has become the tradition, were amongst the first to announce the winners of their annual awards. The news was dropped early this morning Australian time.

What is especially interesting is that Australians have actually had the opportunity to see each of the films acknowledged, and a lot of the late Oscar contenders like Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, Unbroken, Birdman, Gone Girl and Selma did not receive a single award. James Gray’s The Immigrant provided the biggest surprise with two awards – trailing Boyhood with three.

A look at the NYCC winners along with the Gotham Award Winners is after the jump.

Here is the full list of NYFCC winners:

Best Film

Boyhood

This is probably going to happen a lot.

Best Actor

Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner

The New York Film Critics Circle seems to love performances in Mike Leigh films, with several represented over the years. Spall has followed up his Cannes win with this prestigious acknowledgement. He has mysteriously dropped out of the Oscar discussion of late, but he lives and breathes (and grunts) this character from beginning to end.

Best Actress

Marion Cotillard, The Immigrant; Two Days, One Night

This should come as no surprise to anyone. I thought Marion was excellent in The Immigrant, but even better in the Dardenne Brothers’ Two Days, One Night. That is the performance she should receive her Oscar nomination for. Moore might be the favourite for Still Alice, but she has competition not named Reese Witherspoon.

Best Director

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

I have loved so many of Linklater’s films. Boyhood isn’t in my top five from his career work, but I’m so glad he is getting the recognition he deserves.

Best Supporting Actor

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Simmons is terrifying in Whiplash but his career-best work is still in the HBO series Oz. This award belongs to Ruffalo for Foxcatcher, no?

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

I’m not sold on Arquette taking out this award. I liked her a lot, but Hawke was the parent who left the bigger impression on me.

Best Foreign Language Film

Ida (Poland, dir. Pawel Pawlikowski)

Interesting. Certainly one of the top contenders for the Oscar, and perhaps the most beautifully photographed of all films in 2014.

Best Animated Film

The Lego Movie (dirs. Phil Lord, Christopher Miller)

Yep. Hard to top this.

Best Screenplay

The Grand Budapest Hotel (dir. Wes Anderson)

The Grand Budapest Hotel is such a lot of fun and one of Anderson’s cleverest and most narratively complex since The Royal Tenenbaums. His form and visual style are often the source of criticism but his scripts are always interesting.

Special Award

Adrienne Mencia

Best Cinematography

Darius Khondji, The Immigrant

Ooh. The Immigrant reminded me of the Vito scenes in The Godfather Part II, which is all praise. Stunning. Khondji could be alive at the Oscars.

Best First Film

Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook

I am so glad that Jennifer Kent’s fantastic crowdfunded debut feature has been recognised. It didn’t do so well in Australia at the box office, but internationally the praise has been unanimous.

Best Non-fiction Film (Documentary)

Citizenfour (dir. Laura Poitras)

It seems to have become the Oscar favourite after a swarm of praise at the New York Film Festival, so this is no surprise.

What are your thoughts on the winners at the NYFCC Awards?

Also this afternoon, the winners at the 24th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards were announced.

Best Feature

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Beat out Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Love is Strange and Under the Skin for its major first win of the awards season.

Best Actress

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Fantastic to see Julianne Moore take out this award for her sublime work in Still Alice. She was up against a red hot field too in Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Beyond the Lights and Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin.

Best Actor

Michael Keaton, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance)

Yes! Keaton.

Best Documentary

Citizenfour

Another win for Citizenfour. Very much looking forward to seeing this.

Gotham Independent Film Audience Award

Boyhood

Understandable. The most popular film of the year hands down.

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Ana Lily Amirpour, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

I love this. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is awesome.

Breakthrough Actor

Tessa Thompson, Dear White People

Thompson beat out stiff competition for her work in the well-received and much-discussed Dear White People.

A Special Jury Award for Ensemble Performance, which went to Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher, whose director Bennett Miller also received a tribute during the ceremony.

 

By Andrew Buckle

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