New York Film Critics Circle Name LA LA LAND Year’s Best Film (AWARDS 2016)

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Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea are quickly emerging as early favorites in the 2016 Oscar race, but La La Land is singing and dancing right behind them.

Following The National Board of Review’s first announcement of the Awards season, the New York Film Critics Circle has followed up with their choices for the best in movies for 2016, naming La La Land the year’s best film.

It’s a bit of a surprise, as Manchester by the Sea (which won the NBR’s top prize) seems more NYFCC’s style while La La Land would be more in line for the sunnier (and local) tastes of the upcoming Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Also, the top award is the only award for La La Land as the New York critics cited other movies (some multiple times) in the remaining categories.

Manchester by the Sea‘s Casey Affleck is 2-for-2 in the Best Actor category while his writer/director is also 2-and-0 for Best Screenplay. Also currently undefeated: Barry Jenkins, picking up his second win as Best Director for Moonlight. From his ensemble, Mahershala Ali was named Best Supporting Actor. He’s a leading Oscar contender in that category.

Meanwhile, Parisian acting icon Isabelle Huppert won Best Actress for her performances in both the controversial Paul Verhoeven indie Elle and the drama The Things to Come, about a woman experiencing multiple life crises. The Huppert choice by the sophisticates in the NYFCC comes as no surprise (she’s a longtime critic favorite), but she likely still remains a long shot for an Oscar nomination; but this certainly helps.

Michelle Williams picks up her first citation (of what will likely be many) this Awards season, for her work in the indie dramas Manchester by the Sea and Certain Women.

Once again noticeably absent: Jackie (the Jacqueline Kennedy biopic that follows the JFK assassination) and Loving (the true story about legalizing interracial marriage)

Last year, the NYFCC chose Carol as 2015’s Best Film and tabbed its helmer Todd Haynes for Best Director. Neither went on to receive Academy Award nominations in those respective categories. I’d bet this year will be different.

NEW YORK FILM CRITICS CIRCLE
Best of 2016

Best Film:  La La Land
Best Director: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Best Actor:  Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Best Actress: Isabelle Huppert, for both Elle and The Things to Come
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Best Supporting Actress:  Michelle Williams, for both Manchester by the Sea and Certain Women
Best Screenplay:  Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Best Animated Feature:  Zootopia
Best First Film (tie):  Trey Edward Shults for Krisha and Kelly Fremon Craig for The Edge of Seventeen
Best Foreign Language Film:  Toni Erdmann
Best Documentary:  O.J.: Made in America
Best Cinematography:  James Laxton, Moonlight
Special Award: Thelma Schoonmaker, film editor (famous for her decades of collaboration with Martin Scorsese)
Special Award: Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust 25th Anniversary Restoration

Click on links below for other Critics Group Awards and Guild Nominees that have been announced so far this season:

Academy Award Nominees
Golden Globe Winners
Screen Actors Guild Winners
Directors Guild of America Nominees
Producers Guild of America Winners
Writers Guild of America Nominees
National Society of Film Critics
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Boston Society of Film Critics
Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association
The National Board of Review
Critics’ Choice Awards Winners

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