We’re being honest here: The movie award season is the bane of our existence. We’re happy when good movies, especially good little movies, get extra attention. But we hate the drag of endless awards bodies pelting us with the same handful of movies, and we especially hate the “Oscar pundits” who try to fool readers that each new round of winners in any way affects the voters at AMPAS.
But we digress. We make exceptions for places like the New York Film Critics Circle, whose tastes, thanks to its 37 members, tend to generally be pretty respectable. And what they chose for best in cinema of 2016 tells us what films we’ll be talking about — and talking about, and talking about — over the next three months, until the Oscars puts us all out of our misery.
And what will we be endlessly talking about, like mad parrots? Movies we were already talking about! “La La Land” took best film, while fellow festival favorite “Moonlight” “only” took three awards, namely director (for Barry Jenkins), supporting actor (Mahershala Ali) and cinematography (by James Laxton). The NYFCC agreed with the Gothams — and presumably most other award bodies to come — that Casey Affleck (for “Manchester by the Sea”) and Isabelle Huppert (for “Elle” — not, alas, also the new “Things to Come”) were the best male and female lead actors of the year. Ditto that “O.J. Simpson: Made in America” — a 7 ½ hour doc that played on TV, but did get a qualifying theatrical run so it could score trophies — was the year’s best documentary.
In less predictable news, the new teen comedy “The Edge of Seventeen” may be undeservedly bombing in theaters, but it quite deservedly shared the Best First Film prize with “Krisha.” Special awards went to both Thelma Schoonmaker and the restoration of Julie Dash’s dreamy 1994 surprise hit “Daughters of the Dust,” which, if you’re a New Yorker, you can catch at Film Forum right now.
We got your complete NYFCC winners right here, broh: