Tue. Oct 20th, 2020

New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC): 'The Irishman' is Best Pic, Antonio Banderas makes history as Best Actor, Lupita Nyong'o is Best Actress


Martin Scorsese’s deeply New York mob drama The Irishman was chosen as Best Picture today by the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC). It comes a day after the film won the top prize from the National Board of Review.

Every Best Picture winner at the NYFCC this decade has gone on to earn a Best Picture Oscar nomination with the exception of 2015’s Carol. In the era of the Oscar’s preferential ballot two films, 2009’s The Hurt Locker and 2011’s The Artist, won Best Picture both here and at the Academy Awards.

Antonio Banderas won Best Actor for his searing yet subtle performance in Pedro Almodóvar’s semi-autobiographical Pain and Glory. It is the first time ever that a non-English language performance has won Best Actor with the NYFCC. Lupita Nyong’o took the Best Actress honors for the horror/thriller Us, making her the first actress to win for that genre since Jodie Foster in 1991’s Silence of the Lambs. This decade, only two winners here failed to translate to Oscar nominations: Rachel Weisz in 2012’s The Deep Blue Sea and Regina Hall from last year’s Support the Girls.

Joe Pesci won his first award ever from the New York critics, for his supporting turn in The Irishman. This bodes very well for his Oscar chances as the last winner here to miss out on an Oscar nomination while in a Best Picture nominee was Daniel Day-Lewis in 1985’s A Room with a View. Laura Dern was double cited in supporting actress for Marriage Story and Little Women. This is her first mention from the east coast group. Every supporting actress winner here this decade has turned it into an Oscar nomination except Kristen Stewart for 2015’s Clouds of Sils Maria and Tiffany Haddish for 2017’s Girls Trip. Three won the Oscar: Melissa Leo in 2010’s The Fighter, Patricia Arquette in 2014’s Boyhood and Regina King in 2018’s If Beale Street Could Talk. Fun fact: Meryl Streep won this award in 1979 for…Kramer vs. Kramer and The Seduction of Joe Tynan.

Quentin Tarantino took the screenplay prize for his fictional take on 1960s Tinseltown, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It marks his first win from a major critics group (NYFCC, LAFCA, NSFC) since his breakthrough with 1994’s Pulp Fiction.

Here is the full list of 2019 New York Film Critics Circle winners.

BEST PICTURE: The Irishman

BEST DIRECTOR: Josh and Benny Safdie, Uncut Gems

BEST SCREENPLAY: Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

BEST ACTRESS: Lupita Nyong’o, Us

BEST ACTOR: Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Laura Dern, Marriage Story and Little Women

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Joe Pesci, The Irishman

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHER: Claire Mathon (Portrait of a Lady on Fire)

BEST ANIMATED FILM: I Lost My Body (Jérémy Clapin)

BEST NON-FICTION FILM (DOCUMENTARY): Honeyland (Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov)


BEST FIRST FILM: Atlantics (Mati Diop)

SPECIAL AWARDS: Randy Newman and Indie Collect

About the NYFCC

Founded in 1935, the Circle’s membership includes critics from daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines, and qualifying online general-interest publications. Every year in December the organization meets in New York to vote on awards for the previous calendar year’s films.

Among the categories: best picture, director, screenplay, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, cinematography, animated film, and best first feature. Special standalone awards are also given to individuals and organizations that have made substantial contributions to the art of cinema, including producers, directors, actors, writers, critics, historians, film restorers, and service organizations.

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