And it's turning out to be a banner day for the people behind La La Land. Damien Chazelle's crowd-pleasing musical topped the list of Critics' Choice nominees, and now the New York Film Critics Circle have pulled off a surprise by naming it Best Film. I've been saying all along it was the frontrunner to win an Oscar for Best Picture, and it's starting to gain the momentum to back that up.
Its main competition could be Moonlight, and the film has earned Barry Jenkins his second Best Director award already this season. It's pretty early, too, and he's bound to win more along the way. Most pleasant surprise for me was Isabelle Huppert winning Best Actress for both of her performances in Elle and Things to Come (which I reviewed like five minutes ago). She's worthy in both but I hope they don't cancel one another out. Casey Affleck continued his run of Best Actor wins for Manchester by the Sea, putting a damper on those expecting Denzel Washington to eventually take over for Fences. His co-star Michelle Williams even managed to beat out Viola Davis for Best Supporting Actress, while Moonlight's Mahershala Ali won for Best Supporting Actor.
My immediate takeaway? Yay for Isabelle Huppert; uh-oh for Fences. Full list of winners is below.
Best Film: “La La Land”
Best Director: Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”
Best Actress: Isabelle Huppert, “Elle” and “Things to Come”
Best Actor: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea” and “Certain Women”
Best Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”
Best Cinematography: James Laxton, “Moonlight”
Best Animated Film: “Zootopia”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Toni Erdmann”
Best Documentary Film: “O.J.: Made in America”
Best First Film: “The Edge of Seventeen” and “Krisha” (tie)
Special Awards: One for Thelma Schoonmaker, the other for the 25th anniversary restoration of Julie Dash’s “Daughters of the Dust.”