Now this is a critics group putting their awards where their sophistication is.
Critics Groups are, in a sense, like any other group. Their cumulative opinion often falls into a conventional wisdom or common narrative. Rarely does it result in a truly elitist pick, but such was the case this year as the National Society of Film Critics named The Rider the Best Film of 2018.
Bypassing awards season darlings Roma and The Favourite, the NSFC was truly on-brand with the highbrow choice of The Rider. It’s a beautiful and haunting low budget film from Chinese director Chloé Zhao about a Native American rodeo rider in South Dakota who goes through a life crisis. Starring no-name actors, it’s a semi-autobiographical tale of the local cast (and lead Brady Jandreau) that Zhao assembled.
Similarly, the South Korean mystery drama Burning was also pulled from outlier cinephile obscurity and into the limelight. Steven Yeun was named Best Supporting Actor, and the film was cited in several Runner-Up categories including Best Picture.
Other winners and runners-up fell more into line with ones we’ve seen pop up throughout awards season. Even so, those picks still favored the more erudite titles within the season’s trends.
Here’s the NSFC full winners list, complete with 2nd and 3rd place Runners-Up for each category and final vote tallies.
NATIONAL SOCIETY OF FILM CRITICS
Best in Film 2018
Best Actor: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (58 points)
Runners-Up: Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate (30 points); Ben Foster, Leave No Trace (25 points); John C. Reilly, The Sisters Brothers and Stan & Ollie (25 points)
Best Supporting Actor: Steven Yeun, Burning (40 points)
Runners-Up: Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (35 points); Brian Tyree Henry, If Beale Street Could Talk, Widows, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (32 points)
Best Screenplay: The Death of Stalin, Armando Iannucci, David Schneider and Ian Martin (47 points)
Runners-Up: Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty (27 points); The Favourite, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara (24 points)
Best Non-Fiction Film: Minding the Gap (35 points)
Runners-Up: Shirkers (31 points); Amazing Grace (24 points)
Film Heritage Award: To the team of producers, editors, restorers, technicians and cineastes who labored for decades to bring Orson Welles’ The Other Side of the Wind to completion for a new generation of movie lovers.
Film Heritage Award:To the Museum of Modern Art for restoring Ernst Lubitsch’s 1923 film Rosita, starring Mary Pickford.
Special Citation (for a film awaiting U.S. distribution): A Family Tour (Ying Liang, Taiwan/Hong Kong/Singapore/Malaysia)
Click on links below for other Critics Group Awards and Guild Nominees that have been announced so far for the 2018 / 19 season:
Directors Guild of America Nominees
Writers Guild of America Nominees
Golden Globe Winners
Producers Guild of America Nominees
Boston Society of Film Critics
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association
Screen Actors Guild Nominees
Critics Choice Awards Nominees
San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Toronto Film Critics Association
Philadelphia Film Critics Circle
Chicago Film Critics Association
AFI Film Awards
Detroit Film Critics Society
Atlanta Film Critics Circle
New York Film Critics Circle
The National Board of Review