written by Clayton Davis, Variety
The New York Film Critics Circle, one of the first critics’ groups to weigh in on awards season, announced its winners on Friday morning with Todd Field’s “Tár” from Focus Features taking the top prize for best film. It was A24 that led the tally for all studios with four.
Celebrating its 88th year, the East Coast org is comprised of more than 50 journalists from publications such as Time and Variety.
In the midst of one of the most stacked fields of contenders in years, Cate Blanchett was among the two wins for “Tár,” winning best actress for her turn as a controversial German composer on the verge of losing her grip on power. This marks her second win from the group after “Blue Jasmine” (2013), for which she won her second acting Oscar (after 2004’s “The Aviator”). Far from a done deal, she is fighting in a race that includes surprise Gotham winner Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”), Gotham honoree Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”) and fan-favorite Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”).
One of the jaw-droppers from the group was the selection of S.S. Rajamouli for best director for the Tollywood epic-adventure film “RRR.” Although the film wasn’t selected to represent India in the international feature category, Variance Films has mounted a substantial campaign to have the film recognized in the general categories including best picture. It looks like it could be paying off.
A24’s “Aftersun” from director Charlotte Wells was awarded best first film. The independent feature which is co-produced by Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins continues to gain momentum and could be a strong possibility to land an original screenplay nom for the 35-year-old Scottish writer.
Neon’s “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” took home the honor for non-fiction film, continuing its adoration that began at the Venice Film Festival where it won the Golden Lion. From Oscar-winner Laura Poitras (“Citizenfour”), the documentary that explores the career of Nan Goldin and the fall of the Sackler family is a movie that undoubtedly speaks to east coast sensibilities.
The international feature award went to Poland’s “EO” from Jerzy Skolimowski, the story of a donkey that encounters various people on a journey through modern-day Europe.
It’s not just about the massive box office of “Top Gun: Maverick” as the Paramount Pictures sequel picked up an award for best cinematography for Oscar winner Claudio Miranda (“Life of Pi”), his first win from the group. With a solid crossover track record with the Academy – only three have missed in the last decade – Tom Cruise’s high-flying action flick could fly higher in other races as well.
Among the studio and film omissions from the group were the streaming giants Amazon, Apple and Netflix who were all shut out with the major contenders including “Thirteen Lives,” “Emancipation” and “Glass Onion.” 20th Century Studios, Disney, MGM/UAR and Sony Pictures Classics also failed to pop up anywhere.
NYFCC’s winner for best film has typically had a strong correlation with the Academy Awards’ best picture category. Since the expansion to nominees in 2009, only “Carol” (2015) and “First Cow” (2020) have missed Oscar recognition. The latter was the first film that has won New York’s top prize and failed to garner a single Oscar nom.
Last year, the winners included the Japanese feature “Drive My Car” which went on to receive a nomination for best picture. Other crossover winners included “The Power of the Dog” receiving the directing prize for Jane Campion, alongside eventual lead and supporting actor nominees Benedict Cumberbatch and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Lady Gaga’s best actress win for “House of Gucci” and Kathryn Hunter’s supporting triumph for “The Tragedy of Macbeth” were the two winners that failed to garner recognition.
Make sure to bookmark the 2022-2023 Awards Season calendar for all key dates and timelines for the season.
Here’s the list of NYFCC winners as they are announced:
Variety predicted: “Tár”
Best Director: S. S. Rajamouli, “RRR” (Variance Films)
Variety predicted: Todd Field
Best Actor: Colin Farrell, “The Banshees of Inisherin” (Searchlight Pictures) and “After Yang” (A24)
Variety predicted: Tom Cruise
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, “Tár” (Focus Features)
Variety predicted: Danielle Deadwyler
Best Supporting Actor: Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Variety predicted: Ke Huy Quan
Best Supporting Actress: Keke Palmer, “Nope” (Universal Pictures)
Variety predicted: Stephanie Hsu
Best Screenplay: “The Banshees of Inisherin” (Searchlight Pictures) – Martin McDonagh
Variety predicted: “Tár”
Best Animated Film: “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” (A24)
Variety predicted: “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On”
Best Cinematography: “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount Pictures) – Claudio Miranda
Variety predicted: “Top Gun: Maverick”
Best First Film: “Aftersun” (A24) – Charlotte Wells
Variety predicted: “Aftersun”
Best International: “EO” (Poland)
Variety predicted: “Close”
Best Non-Fiction Film: “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” (Neon)
Variety predicted: “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”
Special mention: The NYFCC awards cash prizes to two students focusing on film criticism/journalism attending college in the region. This year’s winners are Undergraduate, Nico Pedrero-Setzer and Graduate, Greg Nussen.
Special Award 1: Jake Perlin, curator, distributor, and publisher, in recognition of his indispensable contributions to film culture.
Special Award 2: dGenerate Films, For their invaluable work bringing independent films from China to a wider audience.
Special Award 3: Jafar Panahi, for his dogged bravery as an artist, and for the humanity and beauty of a body of work created under the most oppressive circumstances.