×

Singular Choices as Always From Gotham Awards Committees

The Gotham Awards nominations announcement is a good annual reminder that smaller voting bodies will always yield more interesting selections than broader groups like the Academy.

While many often complain that the Oscar nominations lack excitement year in and year out, they fail to register the fact that across a massive group of 7,000 people, things can get boiled down pretty simply. But with something like the Gotham Awards, which presents just a handful of categories decided by separate small committees, you can easily break out of the circuit status quo.

The surprising omission throughout is Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land,” which has probably taken on too large an Oscar profile to be hip enough for the Gotham deciders. But in its place the best feature category found room for films like Kelly Reichardt’s “Certain Women,” Richard Linklater’s “Everybody Wants Some!!” and Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson.”

Sticking with simple best actor and best actress performance categories, rather than breaking out supporting separately, allows for interesting picks as well. In recent years, supporting performances like Michael Shannon’s in “99 Homes” and (arguably) Paul Dano’s in “Love & Mercy” have picked up nominations.

This year, Jeff Bridges’ stand-out work in “Hell or High Water” was recognized, which will be a nice feather in the cap of his supporting actor Oscar campaign. “Morris from America’s” Craig Robinson also got a notice.

The actress side of things was dominated by definitive leads: Kate Beckinsale in “Love & Friendship,” Annette Bening in “20th Century Women,” Isabelle Huppert in “Elle,” Ruth Negga in “Loving” and Natalie Portman in “Jackie.” All find themselves in the thick of a highly competitive Oscar hunt.

With the majority of the love going to “Manchester by the Sea,” which picked up four nominations this morning, the Gothams have solidified Kenneth Lonergan’s film as the early indie powerhouse of the season. And when Film Independent’s Spirit Award nominations land next month, don’t expect “La La Land” to come back with a vengeance to challenge that status — surprisingly enough, it’s not eligible due to exceeding the budget requirement.

One final honor of note: Distributor A24 was no doubt already delighted with the fact that six of the company’s films landed nominations. But Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” was also selected for a special Jury Award for ensemble performance. Last year’s winner of that prize? “Spotlight,” which went on to claim the best picture trophy on Oscar night.

Check out the full list of Gotham nominees here.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    Film Review: 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    In one of the intermittent revealing moments in “QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight,” a documentary about the films of Quentin Tarantino that’s like a familiar but tasty sundae for Quentin fans, we see Tarantino on the set of “Pulp Fiction,” shooting the iconic dance contest at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. As John Travolta and Uma [...]

  • Zombieland Double Tap

    Why Emma Stone Was Haunted by Fear of Vomiting While Shooting 'Zombieland: Double Tap'

    SPOILER ALERT: The following story contains a slight spoiler for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” The zombie slayers are back! Ten years after Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin first killed dead people walking in “Zombieland,” they’ve reunited for “Zombieland: Double Tap.” “You take stock of your life a little bit,” Stone says of [...]

  • Hereditary

    The Best Horror Films to Stream Right Now

    Good horror movies aren’t always easy to scare up, but with Halloween on the horizon, Variety has compiled a list of some of the best horror films available on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. NETFLIX Apostle Cult horror meets religious hypocrisy in this creepy gothic thriller, which follows prodigal son Thomas Richardson, who returns home [...]

  • Brett Gelman

    'Stranger Things' Star Brett Gelman Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse'

    Brett Gelman, best known for his scene-stealing roles in “Fleabag,” “Stranger Things” and “Love,” has joined Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse.” Jamie Bell and Jodie Turner-Smith are also on board. Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known as John Terrence Kelly, a former Navy SEAL who [...]

  • US director Francis Ford Coppola holds

    Francis Ford Coppola Honored With Prestigious Lumiere Prize by Thierry Fremaux, Bong Joon Ho

    Francis Ford Coppola took the stage to claim the Lumière Festival’s lifetime achievement honor, the Lumière Prize, in a stirring celebration that marked the festival’s 10th edition on Friday night in Lyon, France. The four-time Academy Award winner accepted the prize after a series of video tributes, musical performances and testimonials from family, friends and [...]

  • 'Human Capital' Sells to Vertical Entertainment,

    Liev Schreiber, Maya Hawke's 'Human Capital' Sells Rights to DirecTV, Vertical Entertainment (EXCLUSIVE)

    Vertical Entertainment and DirecTV have jointly acquired the North American distribution rights to “Human Capital,” an official selection of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival from director Marc Meyers. The film stars Oscar winner Marisa Tomei, Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard, and Maya Hawke. The ensemble drama follows numerous interconnected stories surrounding a hit and run, [...]

  • Robert Zemeckis

    Robert Zemeckis in Talks to Direct Live-Action 'Pinocchio' for Disney (EXCLUSIVE)

    Robert Zemeckis is in early talks to direct Disney’s live-action “Pinocchio.” Andrew Miano and Chris Weitz will produce through their company Depth of Field with Weitz penning the script. “Paddington” director Paul King had originally been tapped to direct but had to leave the project for unknown reasons at the beginning of the year. David [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content