New York film Critics Circle announces winners, building momentum in the Oscar race

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    1st December 2023 – (New York) In the race towards the Oscars, the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) has added fuel to the fire by unveiling its picks for the year’s best movies. Notably, films such as “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “May December,” and “Anatomy of a Fall” received recognition, further solidifying their positions as contenders. This follows their recent acknowledgement at the star-studded Gotham Awards ceremony on Monday. While the NYFCC stayed true to some favourites already favoured by the Academy, including Christopher Nolan for “Oppenheimer” (best director) and “Killers of the Flower Moon” (best picture), the critics group also ventured into new territory with unexpected wins, such as Franz Rogowski’s upset victory for best actor in “Passages.”

    The victory of “Killers of the Flower Moon” for Best Picture draws parallels to “The Irishman,” another Netflix film that won the same award in 2019 but fell short in all Oscar categories despite earning multiple nominations. However, there is a growing belief that this year could diverge from that pattern. Lily Gladstone, who won the lead-performance Gotham Award on Monday for her role in the indie drama “The Unknown Country” (as “Killers” was not submitted to the voting body), is gaining momentum for her captivating performance in Martin Scorsese’s epic. Her official win for best actress from the NYFCC is just the beginning of what promises to be a successful awards season. Gladstone’s presence in the film is already making a significant impact on both “Killers of the Flower Moon” and her own chances of recognition.

    The NYFCC’s choice for best screenplay has historically aligned with Oscar nominations in all but two instances over the past 14 years, boding well for first-time screenwriter Samy Burch, whose film “May December” triumphed in that category. The dark comedy directed by Todd Haynes is gaining momentum at a crucial time, with Charles Melton, its scene-stealing supporting star, also receiving accolades at both the Gothams and the NYFCC Awards. The film, backed by outstanding reviews, is set for its forthcoming release on Netflix. With its strong reception, it could secure a long-awaited nomination for best picture for Haynes, as well as potential first-time nominations for Burch and Melton.

    Similarly, “Anatomy of a Fall” is on the bubble as a potential contender. The film, a complex character study directed by Justine Triet, has claimed both major best-international-feature titles this week. However, it is ineligible for the Academy Award in that category because France opted to submit another well-received film, “The Taste of Things.” Nevertheless, distributor Neon remains optimistic about the film’s overall chances, supported by impressive box office figures and a robust campaign featuring star Sandra Hüller.

    Celine Song’s “Past Lives,” which won best feature at the Gothams, also received recognition from the NYFCC, winning best first film. Additionally, “Oppenheimer” had a successful day, with Christopher Nolan named best director and Hoyte van Hoytema securing the cinematography award. Both Nolan and Hoytema, who have been nominated for Oscars in the past, are now early frontrunners for this awards season.

    Full List of NYFCC Winners:

    • Best Film: “Killers of the Flower Moon”
    • Best Director: Christopher Nolan (“Oppenheimer”)
    • Best Actress: Lily Gladstone (“Killers of the Flower Moon”)
    • Best Actor: Franz Rogowski (“Passages”)
    • Best Supporting Actress: Da’Vine Joy Randolph (“The Holdovers”)
    • Best Supporting Actor: Charles Melton (“May December”)
    • Best Screenplay: “May December” by Samy Burch and Alex Mechanik
    • Best International Film: “Anatomy of a Fall”
    • Best Nonfiction Film: “Menus-Plaisirs — Les Troisgros”
    • Best Animated Film: “The Boy and the Heron”
    • Best First Film: “Past Lives”
    • Best Cinematography: Hoyte van Hoytema (“Oppenheimer”)