NYFCC: Kristen Stewart Is Relieved to Get an Award Not from MTV

Kristen Stewart New York Film Critics
Stephen Lovekin/Variety/Rex Shutterstock

The New York Film Critics Circle gala usually offers its share of highbrow speeches (just ask presenter Tony Kushner gushing over “Carol’s” screenplay), but this year’s celebration included an unexpected reference — to the MTV Movie Awards. One of the early winners at the dinner at TAO Downtown was Kristen Stewart. No, she hasn’t made another “Twilight.” The NYFCC recognized her as best-supporting actress for her turn in the little-seen Cannes drama “Clouds of Sils Maria,” where she plays an assistant.

“I’ve received a lot of MTV Popcorns and stuff like that,” Stewart said. “This is a little different.” Her speech — which began with a laid-back salutation (“hey guys”) — was characteristically short. “The movie is thoughtful and quiet and kind of diagonal and not extreme in any way,” she said. “It came out a year ago. This is nuts.”

Stewart was introduced by her “Still Alice” co-star Julianne Moore, who was grateful their category arrived early in the evening. “I thought I was going to get too drunk before I got up here,” Moore joked. Although the critics’ group is largely male, one of the themes that dominated the evening was girl power. As it’s been said many times, 2015 was a strong year for women at the movies, and the NYFCC winners reflected that. “Carol,” a lesbian romance set in the 1950s (between Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara), picked up best film, best director (Todd Haynes), best cinematographer (Ed Lachman) and best screenplay (Phyllis Nagy). But the only curveballs of the night came in the form of the presenters, which included Nathan Lane, Susan Sarandon and Bennett Miller, since the winners had all been announced in advance.

Kristen Stewart and Julianne Moore at TAO Downtown for the New York Film Critics Circle gala
Henry Lamb/Photowire/BEI/Rex Shutterstock

Liam Neeson introduced Saoirse Ronan as best actress for “Brooklyn,” comparing the young starlet to the late Irish legend Maureen O’Hara. Ronan revealed that she moved to the Ireland when she was only 3, after she was born in the Bronx. “‘Saoirse from the Block’ is what they called me,” she said, nodding to the lyrics from a Jennifer Lopez song. “A lot like Miss Lopez. A little more attitude, though.”

Best actor went to Michael Keaton for playing a journalist in the drama “Spotlight.” Keaton, who landed his share of prizes during awards season 2015 for “Birdman,” gave a speech that seemed to stop, before he kept rambling on—in what’s become his trademark style. “Look man, I’m a blessed dude,” Keaton said. “I work hard. I deserve it. It took me a long time to get there.” He thanked the reporters at The Boston Globe who broke a 2001 story about sex abuse in the Catholic Church. “This is for all the survivors of the horrific situation,” Keaton said.

“Spotlight’s” Michael Keaton and “Brooklyn’s” Saoirse Ronan
Stephen Lovekin/Variety/Rex Shutterstock

George Takei awarded Pixar’s box office juggernaut “Inside Out” with best animated film, noting that one of the first films he ever saw was “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” at age 5, in a Japanese internment camp. “It moved me, and I wanted to get beyond the fence where people like that could live,” Takei said. Director Pete Docter told how the story about a young girl with conflicted emotions was based on his own 11-year-old daughter. “It’s very personal.” He said he held animated films to the same standards as live-action films — “to tell a good story and to move people,” he explained.

Alec Baldwin made a surprise appearance to present Haynes with the best director prize. When the night’s emcee — Star Magazine critic Marshall Fine — introduced him, tongue-in-cheek, as a future governor of New York, Baldwin shot down his political prospects. “That’s never going to f–king happen,” Baldwin said, before he read a lengthy interview from Haynes, where the director talked about making movies about strong female characters.

When he took the stage, Haynes, who grew up in Los Angeles, recalled visiting New York for the first time at 9. “It was 1970,” he said. “I remember the force of the cab ride.” He later came back for college, where he matured as a young gay filmmaker. “It’s hard to imagine my career taking place outside of this place,” he said.

Kushner, who awarded Nagy with best screenplay, offered a passionate salute to “Carol.” He said that when he read Patricia Highsmith’s “The Price of Salt,” on which “Carol is based, he kept turning to the title page, thinking: “Holy s–t, she wrote this in 1952.”

Producer Elizabeth Karlsen, who accepted the best picture prize with her co-producers Stephen Woolley and Christine Vachon, reminisced about the 10-year-journey to bring “Carol” to the big screen. She said that when Harvey Weinstein, who distributed the film, saw an early cut, he turned to the film’s director and said: “Don’t change a thing.” She went on to thank the film’s distributors in Turkey, the Middle East and Russia, for showing “Carol” despite laws in the region that are intolerant of LGBT rights.

David Hyde Pierce recognized Mark Rylance as best supporting actor for “Bridge of Spies.” But Rylance wasn’t at the dinner, because he was rehearsing a play in Boston. “Years from now,” Pierce said, “when Mark Rylance is gone, and all of us have passed away, someone will watch ‘Bridge of Spies’ and say, ‘Look at that man. He glows.’”

Richard Kind, Christine Vachon and “Carol” director Todd Haynes
Stephen Lovekin/Variety/Rex Shutterstock
“The Hateful Eight’s” Samuel L. Jackson and Walton Goggins
Stephen Lovekin/Variety/Rex Shutterstock

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  1. ADavis says:

    Saoirse is so talented.

  2. mary says:

    So the critics who happily bashed her for years fell for the Cesar award where she beat 2 semi professional and one non professional unknown french actors. And Chanel (her fashion deal) were sponsoring the awards. LOL
    It’s amazing what a good PR team gets you !
    Reminds me of that joke How many critics can you get in a minicooper? Or was it directors…or producers?? Anyway the answer is Ask Kristen Stewart

  3. mary says:

    Aah she took a dig at MTV what an ungrateful pos

    • Brenda says:

      There was nothing ungracious about Kristen’s MTV quip. It was humble or as some writer more articulate than me wrote self-effacing. It was also funny because it is true that this is a new experience for her.

  4. Al says:

    Now if only Kristen Stewart would call out her racist fans for their constant online abuse of FKA Twigs in her name……….. wait…….. crickets. Your silence is taken as your approval Kristen. But hey two of her best friends made racist remarks in their tweets when Twigs and Rob were first seen together.
    Awards don’t make her or her friends nice people tho .

  5. Deborah King says:

    Hooray for Kristen Stewart

  6. Kristen.earned.it.her.career,is.climbing.she.has.proven.to.the.heaters.that.she.has.what.it.takes.I.support.kristen

  7. hawk says:

    I love how she’s so down to earth and stay as humble and exudes the perfect French charm. A refreshing change from HW goes from Kristen. She’s great actress and I will believe for chance in HW, when she is in the films, I have the guarantee that I will see a great performance and film’s quality.
    Nice compliment from Julianne Moore hear it say to Kriste Stewart. Beautiful ladies.

  8. Edward Cullen says:

    I married a girl that looked like K. Stew once. She was a vegantarian… very vegalicious!

  9. Wynn says:

    A bit of a home week for Stewart tonight — beside Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin, ‘Carol’ producer Christine Vachon worked on Still Alice too, and Carter Burwell, who did the music, also worked on 3 of the Twilight films. Plus Todd Haynes is an exec producer for her upcoming Reichardt film, ‘Certain Women’. She’s been in a lot of good films, glad to see her finally get some recognition.

  10. Marie says:

    MTV: What you got against us Kristen!?

    • Lulu says:

      She has nothing against MTV but the Twilight fans do as to how they dissed the last film knowing it would have won awards. How she was up for the Best Kiss with Robert for BD2 was just plain wrong. MTV turned their backs on her last film of the franchise. She may not have a problem with that but her fans do.

      • ellie says:

        Ummmm Kristen spoiled the last movie for many fans because of her affair and cheap cheating behaviour with that director. She was very lucky that Rob Pattinson was a complete professional during the movie”s promo or she would have fared a lot worse with fans . She was heavily booed at most cinemas.

  11. Jenny says:

    Let the poor girl make a funny quip without trying to twist it into something that will bring her Internet hate. I really thought Variety was better than that.

  12. Tom says:

    You’re headline makes her sound ungrateful

  13. Meredith says:

    I am so glad she is getting the support from critics. She was mesmerizing in Clouds of Sils Maria. Too bad the distributor didn’t campaign, but I still hope she gets a nomination.

  14. zelda says:

    Not sure why Kristen is surprised about critics awards. After the French gave her a Cesar so they could get publicity, her PR rep shoved that award down everyone’s throat all last year, and many critics fell for it. She played herself in Sils Maria, she has no range, she’s very limited as an actress. As long as she stays in her lane, some people are impressed.

    She can’t do an accent, she can’t create a character outside of her limited self. At least she’s never done so convincingly on screen. She’s making the most of her Twilight name recognition, but she still can’t attract an audience at the box office. Many people wonder how she keeps getting cast in anything.

    • Lulu says:

      Zelda id s known hater. Ignore.

    • Graycliffer says:

      Stupid headline. Much deserved award for superb Kristen Stewart.

      • Graycliffer says:

        I didn’t mean to post my comment as a reply to Zelda, but here’s a PS to Zelda: you’re pathetic.

    • Mia says:

      Lady you have a serious problem. Posting the same comments over and over again under different names is honestly a bit crazy.
      We get it, you don’t rate KStew much as an actress and that is fair enough but you don’t have to inundate the comment section under each article.

      • erniecrx says:

        In fact many people say that she looks like JMalone but the difference is that Jena is a much better actress with range and she can do different accents especially from the South, so i don’t hate Kristen but she’s to me a mediocre actress.

    • Bobby says:

      Well well the obsessed fan still mad…ignored her if you dont like her movies focus to your idol and his porn gf lol

    • Jess says:

      Truthy, you’re maaaddd! You’ve been yammering away with your bitterness for years now, the same recycled garbage over and over again, and she keeps proving you wrong. I can’t fathom what it must be like to have a celebrity be constantly under your skin like that. She probably drinks your tears for breakfast, so keep crying! ;)

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