The 2016 film awards season is shaping up to be one for the ages. As the year draws to a close, contenders are hailing from unexpected places and an obvious frontrunner has yet to emerge. With this past week’s announcements of two prominent groups of critics on either coast, it’s safe to call Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight,” Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea,” and Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” the films to beat.
The New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC), comprised of journalists from several wide-ranging arts publications and founded in 1935, named “La La Land” the year’s best picture. The original movie musical from Lionsgate was not recognized for its two leading performances by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling or in any other categories. A24’s “Moonlight,” however, took home the Circle’s honors for best director, best supporting actor Mahershala Ali, and best cinematographer James Laxton.
“Manchester,” from Roadside Attractions and Amazon Studios, also fared well with the NYFCC, earning awards for Lonergan’s screenplay and Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams’ wrenching performances. Williams was honored for both “Manchester” and IFC Films’ “Certain Women” from writer-director Kelly Reichardt, while Isabelle Huppert, already this year’s Gotham Award-winning leading actress, was doubly recognized for “Elle” and “The Things to Come.”
Huppert, in fact, has now won more major awards for leading actress this season than any other perceived frontrunner. The French legend was also recognized by The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), again for both “Elle” and “The Things to Come.” Comprised of L.A.–based critics voting on the best films since 1975, LAFCA also presents an early predictor of the SAG and Academy Awards.
“Moonlight” took home LAFCA’s awards for best picture, director, and cinematography, with “La La Land” trailing as runner-up in all three categories. Affleck was dubbed runner-up to Adam Driver in Amazon Studios’ “Paterson,” while Williams fell to Lily Gladstone for “Certain Women.” “Moonlight” supporting actor Mahershala Ali solidified his status as a frontrunner with a win, while Issey Ogata of Martin Scorsese’s Paramount Pictures release “Silence” was named runner-up. Screen legend Shirley MacLaine, meanwhile, will be presented with a career achievement award.
What does this all mean for the Oscars? Stay tuned for more updates on the 2016 film awards season. For the full list of NYFCC and LAFCA Award winners, see below.
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BEST PICTURE: “La La Land”
BEST DIRECTOR: Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”
BEST SCREENPLAY: Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”
BEST ACTRESS: Isabelle Huppert, “Elle” and “The Things to Come”
BEST ACTOR: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea” and “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”
Thelma Schoonmaker and Julie Dash, “Daughers of the Dust (25th Anniversary Restoration)
Runner-up: “La La Land”
DIRECTOR: Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”
Runner-up: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
ACTOR: Adam Driver, “Paterson”
Runner-up: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
ACTRESS: Isabelle Huppert, “Elle” and “Things to Come”
Runner-up: Rebecca Hall, “Christine”
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Runner-up: Issey Ogata, “Silence”
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Lily Gladstone, “Certain Women”
Runner-up: Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”
SCREENPLAY: Efthymis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Lobster”
Runner-up: Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”
ANIMATION: “Your Name”
Runner-up: “The Red Turtle”
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: “The Handmaiden”
Runner-up: “Toni Erdmann”
DOCUMENTARY / NON-FICTION FILM: “I Am Not Your Negro”
Runner-up: “O.J.: Made in America”
NEW GENERATION: Trey Edward Shults and Krisha Fairchild, “Krisha”
FILM EDITING: Bret Granato, Maya Mumma, Ben Sozanski, “O.J.: Made in America”
Runner-up: Tom Cross, “La La Land”
CINEMATOGRAPHY: James Laxton, “Moonlight”
Runner-up: Linus Sandgren, “La La Land”
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ryu Seong-hee, “The Handmaiden”
Runner-up: David Wasco, “La La Land”
MUSIC/SCORE: Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, “La La Land”
Runner-up: Mica Levi, “Jackie”
DOUGLAS E. EDWARDS INDEPENDENT/EXPERIMENTAL FILM/VIDEO: “The Illinois Parables,” from writer-director Deborah Stratman
SPECIAL CITATION: Turner Classic Movies, for preserving historic cinema and bringing it to a wider audience via FilmStruck
CAREER ACHIEVEMENT: Shirley MacLaine
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