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La La Land, the current frontrunner for Oscar’s Best Picture, won the top award with the New York Film Critics Circle – its only win of the day. The lion’s share of awards were split between Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea with the former winning Best Director, Supporting Actor and Cinematography and the latter taking Actor, Supporting Actress and Screenplay. It would appear a consensus between Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea couldn’t be met with the group, allowing a third party to come in and take the prize. That’s just my guess at this point, we’ll have more insight on the voting later. Since 2000, only three NYFCC Best Picture winners have failed to earn the Oscar equivalent (Mulholland Dr., United 93 and Carol). La La Land is the first film to win Best Film with NYFCC and nothing else since United 93 did 10 years ago. It’s the first musical to win Best Film here since My Fair Lady 52 years ago and only the fourth musical ever to win with the group. The others were Going My Way and West Side Story – all of which won Oscar’s Best Picture.
Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea) is now 3/3, winning Best Actor from the NYFCC today and the NBR and Gothams earlier this week. That said, the last three winners here (Robert Redford, All is Lost; Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner and Michael Keaton, Spotlight) were not nominated. That won’t be the case for Affleck but when you compare it to other NYFCC/Oscar bits of history it stands out.
Since 2004, only two times has the NYFCC winner of Best Actress not been Oscar nominated (Sally Hawkins for Happy Go Lucky and Rachel Weisz for Deep Blue Sea), giving winner Isabelle Huppert (Elle) a huge boost towards that Oscar nomination.
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) continues his streak, winning Best Director. Since 2000, only three times has the New York Film Critics Circle Best Director winner not been Oscar nominated. Mike Leigh once, for Happy Go Lucky and Todd Haynes twice – last year for Carol and for 2002’s Far From Heaven. Of the last 16 winners here, seven went on to win the Directing Oscar.
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) wins Best Supporting Actor. Since 2004, only Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike and Bernie) and Albert Brooks (Drive) failed to earn Oscar nominations after winning here. The last three winners (Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies; J.K. Simmons, Whiplash and Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club) went on to win the Oscar.
Here is the complete list of 2016 NYFCC winners:
La La Land
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Isabelle Huppert, Elle and The Things to Come
Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Best Supporting Actress
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea and Certain Women
Best Animated Film
Best Foreign Film
Best Non-Fiction Film
O.J.: Made in America
James Laxton, Moonlight
Best First Film
The Edge of Seventeen and Krisha (TIE)
SPECIAL AWARDS: One for editor Thelma Schoonmaker, the other for Julie Dash’s “Daughters of the Dust” 25th Anniversary Restoration