Saoirse Ronan is the Queen of New York. Well, of its film critics at least.
Her movie Lady Bird was named Best Picture of the Year by the New York Film Critics Circle, and she was tagged as Best Actress.
Meanwhile, just two days after Steven Spielberg‘s The Post dominated The National Board of Review – winning Best Film, Actress (Meryl Streep) and Actor (Tom Hanks) – the journo-politico biopic was completely shut out by in the Big Apple.
Youth ruled the roost for leading perfs. 21-year-old Timothée Chalamet had his name called as Best Actor for his turn in Call Me By Your Name, the 1980s-set gay romance that first buzzed in January at the Sundance (and hasn’t stopped). Coincidentally, Chalamet also has a notable supporting turn in Best Pic winner Lady Bird.
If one Oscar favorite has emerged after the first two awards lists, it’s Willem Dafoe in The Florida Project. He’s now 2-for-2 as Best Supporting Actor. I’d expect him to ride a smooth wave all the way to Oscar night. He’s a respected actor, and beloved. This is a classic example of it being “his time”. It’s earned, to boot.
His boss Sean Baker took a surprise win in the Best Director category. Notably, Christopher Nolan didn’t for Dunkirk. If more critics don’t go for this guy (an auteur they love) can we really expect the Academy to, which has historically dissed him?
The day’s biggest shock was in the Best Supporting Actress category, where Tiffany Haddish of Girls Trip took top honors. Similar to Melissa McCarthy‘s brand of broad, raunchy comedy, Haddish was a critical favorite for the surprise summer hit. Still, this isn’t the type of role that usually wins awards. However, Haddish has been promoted and campaigned for by several critics in the Twittersphere in the run-up to this awards season. Today, that grass roots push paid off.
Once again noticeably absent: The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Those two films and their lead actresses – Sally Hawkins and Frances McDormand, respectively – were expected to dominate as top contenders for the Picture and Actress Oscar prizes. It’s still early, but consecutive snubs by the NYFCC and The National Board of Review will cause immediate re-calculations by Academy Award prognosticators and their heretofore conventional wisdom.
Another big snub? Roger Deakins not winning the cinematography award for Blade Runner 2049. Instead, that category served as the first major boost for Netflix. The streaming-goliath’s Awards Season flagship Mudbound was cited for its stunning, earthy landscapes. Also notable: the film’s DP Rachel Morrison is the first woman to win that category at the NYFCC awards. She’s a favorite of director Ryan Coogler, having lensed his Fruitvale Station and the upcoming Black Panther.
The NYFCC is spotty as an Oscar predictor. Last year, with picks dominated by La La Land, Moonlight, and Manchester by the Sea, most of their choices went on win or be nominated for Academy Awards. But in 2015, the NYFCC chose Carol as Best Film and tabbed its helmer Todd Haynes for Best Director. Neither went on to receive nominations in their respective categories.
NEW YORK FILM CRITICS CIRCLE
Best Film: Lady Bird
Best Director: Sean Baker, The Florida Project
Best Actor: Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Best Actress: Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Best Supporting Actor: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Best Supporting Actress: Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip
Best Screenplay: Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson
Best Animated Feature: Coco, dir. Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
Best First Film: Jordan Peele for Get Out
Best Foreign Language Film: BPM (Beats Per Minute), France, dir. Robin Campillo
Best Non-Fiction Film: Faces Places, dir. Agnes Varda
Best Cinematography: Mudbound, Rachel Morrison
Special Award for Career Achievement: Molly Haskell, film critic (The Village Voice, New York magazine, and Vogue)
This year’s awards ceremony will be dedicated to the memory of the late film critic Richard Schickel.
Click on links below for other Critics Group Awards and Guild Nominees that have been announced so far for the 2017 / 18 season:
Chicago Film Critics Association
Screen Actors Guild Nominations
Atlanta Film Critics Circle
San Diego Film Critics Society
Philadelphia Film Critics Circle
Toronto Film Critics Association
Golden Globe Nominations
San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Boston Society of Film Critics
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association
AFI Top 10 of 2017
Critics Choice Award Nominees
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
The National Board of Review