Last night I jotted down some thoughts on the National Board of Review unexpectedly giving audience and critical darling Mad Max: Fury Road the top honor (alongside a look at the other categories and their respective winners), and now we have the New York Film Critics Circle getting in on the action.
Following in line with previous years, the group has decided to reward more artistic films rather than going with the popular vote. As usual, they also threw in a complete surprise that should shake up the Oscar race.
Best Picture: Carol
Best Director: Todd Haynes, Carol
Best Actress: Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Best Actor: Michael Keaton, Spotlight
Best Supporting Actress: Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria
Best Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Best Screenplay: Phyllis Nagy, Carol
Best Cinematography: Edward Lachman, Carol
Best Nonfiction Film: In Jackson Heights, Frederick Wiseman
Best Animated Film: Inside Out, Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
Best First Film: Son of Saul, László Nemes
Best Foreign Film: Timbuktu, Abderrahmane Sissako
To be fair to New York critics, they aren’t the only ones praising Carol; it’s critically acclaimed and also should be considered at the top of the pack when it comes to multiple categories for the Oscars. It would be nice if Chicago would pick up the f****** movie so I could see it and write a review, but I’ll spare you my first world problems.
Saoirse Ronan nabbing the award for Best Actress isn’t necessarily a surprise; the Irishwoman gives an amazing performance, and the movie is called Brooklyn. I don’t want to say New York is catering to their people because that would downplay the incredible work ethic of Ronan. As far as the Oscars go this category is still the toughest of the bunch to predict. There’s just so much great female competition this year. My money is still on Brie Larson for Room though, provided she doesn’t start losing at every preceding award ceremony.
Michael Keaton definitely deserves an award for his work on Spotlight (and a residual for last year’s efforts in Birdman) but sorry New York, he wasn’t a lead. His screen-time amounts to maybe 40% of the movie, as Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams also play key roles.
Mark Rylance has done quite a bit of Broadway and was excellent in Bridge of Spies, so I have no problems with him getting rewarded by New York. This category is also stacked however, meaning that no one is really a lock for the golden statue.
Coming out of left field is Kristin Stewart getting recognition for Clouds of Sils Maria, which although was released last year in other parts of the world, is now eligible for American awards. It’s nice to see these groups not forgetting about performances earlier in the year, subsequently shaking up the race. It’s not unlikely that Stewart could become a threat considering that she picked up a Caesar Award (the equivalent to a French Oscar) last year for this very role.
Inside Out wins yet another award, no surprise there.
I really need to check out Son of Saul.
What’s most interesting is that this is a very different batch of winners from last night. It will be interesting to see what LA goes with next week. Overall, some races are beginning to build and as predicted, this should be one of the hardest Academy Awards ceremonies to call in recent years. LA could continue the embracing of Mad Max: Fury Road or Carol, or go with a different horse altogether like Spotlight, which absolutely cannot be counted out yet.
Robert Kojder – An aficionado of film, wrestling, and gaming. Follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook