‘Winter’s Bone’ wins top Gotham Film Awards

“Winter’s Bone” beat out three hot Oscar prospects — “Black Swan,” “Blue Valentine” and The Kids Are All Right” — as well as “Let Me In” for Best Feature at the 20th annual Gotham Film Awards. The film also won the Best Ensemble Performance prize.

However, newcomer Jennifer Lawrenceranked third by our 18 experts for Best Actress at the Oscars — lost the Breakthrough Actor race to Ronald Bronstein (“Daddy Longlegs”). And “Winter’s Bone” lost the popular vote Audience Award to the documentary “Waiting For Superman.”

“The Oath” won Best Documentary but won’t be in contention at the Oscars as it failed to make the shortlist; one of its rival nominees — “Inside Job” — did. Kevin Asch (“Holy Rollers”) was named Breakthrough Director. And the last of the six juried awards — Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You — went to “Littlerock” which will now get a one-week run in New York.

Honorary awards were presented to Focus Features CEO James Schamus by Anne Hathway, who thanked him for casting her in “Brokeback Mountain”; director Darren Aronofsky by “Black Swan” leading lady Natalie Portman; Oscar winner Robert Duvall by “Get Low” co-star Bill Murray; and two-time Best Actress champ Hilary Swank by “Conviction” director Tony Goldwyn.

Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci presided over the awards which were once again handed out at Cipriani Wall Street. These kudos are the East Coast rival to the Indie Spirits which announce their nominations Tuesday morning for kudos that will be handed out on Oscar eve, Feb. 26.

Image: 20th Anniversary Gotham Awards Logo (IFP)

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