‘Carol’ Dominates New York Film Critics Circle Awards

New York Film Critics Circle Awards
Courtesy of the Weinstein Co.

You couldn’t help but notice a healthy dose of hometown spirit in the New York Film Critics Circle’s list of year-end superlatives, which concluded with a best film victory for Todd Haynes’ “Carol” Wednesday morning. From Queens (“In Jackson Heights”) to Manhattan (“Carol”) to Brooklyn (“Bridge of Spies” and, uh, “Brooklyn”), the Big Apple was well-represented by the group across the board.

Acting awards went to Michael Keaton (“Spotlight”), Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”), Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”) and Kristen Stewart (“Clouds of Sils Maria”), while Todd Haynes took the best director prize.

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association will chime in on Dec. 6.

Here’s the full list of New York Film Critics Circle Awards winners.

Best First Film: “Son of Saul”
As mentioned in a recent column, László Nemes’ Cannes prize winner is one of a number of films that could use a boost by critics in the race to achieve a higher profile.

Best Foreign Film: “Timbuktu”
Last year’s foreign Oscar submission from Mauritania prevents Nemes’ film from racking up two wins at the start. Very interesting …

Best Supporting Actress: Kristen Stewart (“Clouds of Sils Maria”)
When Stewart won the César Award in this category last year for her performance in Olivier Assayas’ 2014 Cannes entry, one couldn’t help but wonder if she could survive the year and stand out in this year’s race. That possibility faded, but the New York crowd just added some more gas to the tank. Best supporting actress is a very fluid category at present.

Best Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”)
That might nudge him ahead in what is already an overstuffed, highly competitive category. Rylance’s wry offerings gave the film a whole other dimension that obviously stands out.

Best Cinematography: Edward Lachman (“Carol”)
A great choice and a nice new feather in Lachman’s cap after he picked up the win at Camerimage recently. Indicative of major support for the film within the group? Bet on it. (Lachman also won this prize for Todd Haynes’ “Far From Heaven” in 2002.)

Best Screenplay: Phyllis Nagy (“Carol”)
As I was saying…

Best Nonfiction Film: “In Jackson Heights”
A nice consolation for the great Frederick Wiseman after his film was left off the Academy’s list yesterday of the 15 contenders for the best documentary feature Oscar.

Best Animated Film: “Inside Out”
On one hand, I’m a little surprised this didn’t go to “Anomalisa.” It took a while to announce so maybe there was much deliberating. On the other hand, this is Pixar’s greatest film to date and probably a masterpiece (not to throw that word around). So, bravo.

Special Award: William Becker and Janus Films
Becker, who left a stamp on art-house films and broadening their reach via the home video market, passed away in September. A lovely and apt ode.

Special Award: Ennio Morricone
A nice tip of the hat to “The Hateful Eight” there, as Morricone’s ominous thriller-like score could put him in Oscar contention this year. Morricone received an honorary Oscar a few years back, and really, any time is a good time to recognize his legacy.

Best Actress: Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”)
The best actress Oscar race is Ronan vs. Brie Larson by anyone’s gauge at this point, and this is some major wind in the former’s sails.

Best Actor: Michael Keaton (“Spotlight”)
Curveball! Along with the rest of the cast, Keaton is being campaigned in the supporting category for the film. And I think that’s legitimate, personally. But obviously, there are those who think he’s the lead, and if anyone has to be considered a lead, he makes the most sense. Nevertheless, this only pumps more fuel into his supporting hopes. He’s been at the top of our chart all season long.

Best Director: Todd Haynes (“Carol”)
Not really a surprise as it’s clear the film is strong with the group (and critics in general). Haynes won this back in 2002 for “Far From Heaven,” which also won best film. A sign of things to come shortly?

Best Film: “Carol”
Apparently so. In my discussions, not a lot of Academy voters have watched Haynes’ film yet. This is what critics groups can do. Push that issue. But by the way, the last time Haynes and his film swept best director and best film, “Far From Heaven” failed to make the cut in either category at the Oscars. How will it pan out for “Carol?” Time will tell.

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  1. a davis says:

    Guess they didn’t get to a screening of The Hateful Eight and considered Rooney Mara as a lead. What about Vikander? Is she up for lead also? So was it only Stewart left?

    • ellie says:

      Go look at Peter Travers’ instagram. He promised her awards a year ago. His last sentence saying it’s good to have the last laugh gives him away as being influenced in some way imo. He’s a very influential member of the NY critics himself. Hmmmmmm. Wonder what jennifer jason Leigh and others would have to say about it

      • ellie says:

        Forgot to add. I wonder if he got a ride in her minicooper too? *justkidding..not. it’s afairquestion*

  2. Mary says:

    Wasn’t Cloud of Sils Maria last year? Why is Stewart being awarded for this year? Rooney Mara should have won for supporting actress by the way. Rooney was magnetic.

    • Erica says:

      No, it was released in the US in April 2015, even though it made the festival rounds and premiered internationally in 2014. As for Mara, critics don’t buy her performance as supporting. She and Blanchett split votes in lead.

      • Mary says:

        Mara is being considered for supporting actress by the critics. There’s a lot of articles stating that Rooney is considered for supporting. Before someone accuses me of being an anti-Stewart, I like Stewart’s performance in Sils Maria, but Rooney was far more superior. I know Mara won Best Actress in Cannes but if you’ve seen the movie, Blanchett’s performance is clearly the lead and Mara the supporting.

  3. Sophie says:

    Wonderful winners, Carol, Timbuktu, Son of Saul, Inside Out, Mark Rylance, Kristen Stewart, and especially Saoirse Ronan, magnificent work in Brooklyn. So the Oscar for Best Actress is between her and Brie Larson, good for me.

  4. Marlene says:

    Happy for Michael Keaton but I don’t see this lasting. Mr. I suffered for my art and a bear is going to win, regardless of whether he gave the best performance or not.

  5. Awards pundit says:

    The entire cast of Spotlight is excellent but it’s Mark Ruffalo’s film. He is the standout and the emotional center of the story.

    • Aidan says:

      This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Michael Keaton is far and away the standout in this film and the emotional center of the film.

      Yes, Ruffalo shouts a couple of times but the central protagonist is Keaton and his performance was absolutely perfect.

  6. Iván el Terrible says:

    It will be a sad day for cinema each time the SJW propaganda known as Carol wins awards.

  7. LAguy says:

    Carol is an exquisitely made film and probably deserving of honors, but my issue with the film is that Rooney Mara’s
    character is so mousy and uninteresting that I had a hard time understanding why Cate Blanchett was so obsessed with her. Maybe I need to see it again. And I agree that Cate gives a much more powerful and award worthy performance in “Truth”. As for Kristen Stewart, anyone who saw that film will agree that she’s quite deserving. I didn’t love the film (too much navel gazing about the “art” of acting) but she was riveting. You couldn’t take your eyes off of her.

  8. ali says:

    Good for Kristen. Now if only she’d call out her racist fans for their online racist abuse of FKA Twigs because they can’t move on from Twilight. It doesn’t look good on her tin my opinion hat she hasn’t called them out especially since one of her closest friends made comments about monkeys the day after FKATwigs was photographed with Rob Pattinson first. Coincidence? Hmmm
    C’mon Kristen do the right thing.

    • Ginny says:

      She took a picture with a sock monkey. Do you have any clue what a sock monkey is? You might want to go after depatment stores now because they carry Sock Monkey ornaments. There is a town that actually has a Sock Monkey festival. Sock Monkey’s are well loved and celebrated.
      (google sock monkey). I get you don’t like Kristen no big deal, but your comments are way over the top. You are way too invested in their personal lives if you have to follow and look for clues in their friends IG pictures. If you are worried about racism go into your own neighborhood and do all you can to make difference. Complaining on a this site does nothing. Complaining about what others do to troll on the internet does not make a difference. Go make a difference. Be the difference.

    • Marlene says:

      Lordy, You Rob Pattinson fans need to chill. Neither he nor KStew is responsible for some of the insane, homophobic racist twihards. Not to mention it was an obvious showmance, and you sound tin foil hat worthy with the rest of your rantings.

      • ali says:

        There’s no denying her best friend’s ‘monkey’ remarks. A friend she uses as a personal assistant on some of her movies, Clouds of Sils Maria being one of them I believe.
        I think Kristen herself made sure everyone knew it wasn’t a showmance when she issued her public apology for her ‘momentary indiscretion’ with Rupert Sanders.
        You Kristen Stewart fans need to chill and quit jumping on people for stating facts. She is who she is. Her friends and her fans are who they are. I just hoped she’d make it known that she didn’t agree with their remarks. I interpret her silence as her clearly not caring

    • Wanda says:

      Not gonna happen. You missed the one in Paris. That behavior says all you need to know about her. She is a reflection of her fans and vice versa.

  9. David Goldsmith says:

    Inside/Out is “probably” a masterpiece? Spoken like a true snob. Nothing probably about it.

  10. Chris says:

    Nothing special in carol. Cate blanchett is so much better in TRUTH. Rooney Mara is good in this movie but again nothing particularly great in this movie.

  11. Inside Out isn’t even Top 5 Pixar.

  12. Bill B. says:

    All of these categories could have easily gone to others as there is a lot of quality out there. I wish they would announce the runners up in the voting like they used to do and like some other groups do. Surprised by the Keaton win and stunned by the Stewart win. Keaton & the rest of the cast wanted to be treated as equals. Not sure he is going to appreciate being pointed out about his fellow co-stars, but I doubt he’ll turn it down.

    • Jake says:

      Why would he not appreciate it? Haha. Ruffalo is actually better here.

    • Tender Puppy! says:

      I was initially hoping to see Keaton and Ruffalo both nominated in supporting, as it hasn’t occurred since 1991’s Bugsy. At the same time, I wouldn’t mind it since lead actor is far less stacked and it would give a supporting contender the opportunity to make the cut.

  13. red_wine says:

    Toldja about NY and Carol! ; – )

    I think LA is between Carol and Mad Max, maybe the latter but their members adore Carol too.

    It will be THE critics film this year for American critics I think, Top 10 mentions leader etc. you name it. Will the academy bite? I wonder about that.

  14. Tender Puppy! says:

    Great crop of winners. I’m actually kind of thrilled to see Keaton listed as lead. Makes me wonder if potentially the Academy will pull a Winslet/Reader on him and bump him up. (Hopefully, both he and Mara have enough concentrated support to each make one category and not vote-split.) Plus, it would certainly pave the way for someone like Jacob Tremblay, perhaps, to sneak into supporting. Or whomever else. Will be interesting to see if subsequent critics awards follow this trend or not.

    Also glad to see this support for Carol! Yes, FFH missed out. But perhaps the Academy will embrace this picture more. Haynes would be a deserving nominee. As of now, I’m predicting him. Can’t wait for the Globes and DGA now, to see if the love is as rampant.

  15. Zoe says:

    NY critics were always going to go for Carol, it`s right up their alley.Be interesting to see if the other boards follow suit.

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