The New York Film Critics’ Circle announced the winners of their 82nd annual kudos on Thursday (Nov. 30). These Gotham-based reviewers are the first critics group to weigh in with their picks for the top pic with their Los Angeles counterparts (LAFCA) due to chime in on Sunday.
The NYFCC is so determined to be one of the first groups to weigh in with its picks for the best of the year that the date of its decision-making keeps getting advanced. But how much influence does it have on the last group to be heard from — the motion picture academy which will reveal the Oscar winners 95 days from now on March 4, 2018? Over the years, these early kudos have previewed many Academy Awards champs.
Greta Gerwig‘s solo directorial debut “Lady Bird” won Best Picture. This coming-of-age tale, inspired by her own teenage years in Sacramento stars Saoirse Ronan who won the Best Actress award. These wins are a big boost for both at the Oscars. While Ronan is only 23, she would be the fourth youngest Best Actress Oscar winner, behind 21-year-old Marlee Matlin (“Children of a Lesser God,” 1987) and 22-year-olds Janet Gaynor (“Seventh Heaven,” 1929) and Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook,” 2013).
Sean Baker won Best Director for his sophomore film, “The Florida Project.” His film showcases veteran actor Willem Dafoe who is locked in one of the tighest Oscar races of the year. His Best Supporting Actor win here could help him pull past Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”).
Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name”) won the Best Actor award. At just 21, he is on track to being one of the youngest-ever Oscar nominees in that category. Were he to prevail, he would be the youngest winner by almost a decade; the current record holder is Adrian Brody (“The Pianist”).
“Girls Trip” scene stealer Tiffany Haddish won the Supporting Actress award. Six years ago, Melissa McCarthy paralyed a slew of critics awards, albeit not this one, into an Oscar nomination for her work in the female-driven comedy “Bridesmaids.”
Jordan Peele is on a roll with “Get Out,” winning the First Film award just a day after being haled by the National Board of Review for his directorial debut and four days after winning the breakthrough helming prize at the Gotham Awards.
Robin Campillo‘s “BPM (Beats Per Minute)” was named Best Foreign Language Film. His compelling film about the work of AIDS activists in the Paris of the early 1990s already reaped a bid at the Spirit Awards for Best International Film and looks likely to build on its success at Cannes, where it won both the Grand Jury and FIPRESCI prizes.
Gallic documentarian Agnes Varda, who was just feted with an honorary Oscar, won the Non-Fiction Film award for “Faces Places,” her entertaining travelogue in which she and JR visit French villages and towns.
No surprise that Pixar’s “Coco” claimed the Animated Feature award. According to the latest Gold Derby odds, this critically acclaimed film is the 8-to-5 favorite to win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, a category in which Pixar has won eight Academy Awards out of 10 nominations.
Rachel Morrison won the Best Cinematography award for her bravura work with light and images on “Mudbound.” She could well break the gender barrier at the Oscars and become the first female lenser to reap a nomination. Morrison would be only the third black person to contend in this category.
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.