The New York Film Critics Circle announced their winners on Friday, December 18, and Kelly Reichardt‘s period drama “First Cow” was their surprise choice for Best Picture. However, it must be noted that these awards followed the calendar year ending December 31, and not the extended eligibility calendar the Oscars set ending on February 28, so NYFCC didn’t consider films that are coming out in the next two months including “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie,” “Falling,” “French Exit,” “Joe Bell,” “The Little Things,” “The Mauritanian,” “Pieces of a Woman,” “Supernova,” “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” and “The White Tiger.” Keep that in mind when making or updating your Oscar predictions.
NYFCC spread the wealth across categories. Best Picture was actually the only award for “First Cow,” and no other film won more than twice. Best Director went to “Nomadland” helmer Chloe Zhao, but the Gotham journos didn’t pick that film’s leading lady Frances McDormand for Best Actress. Instead, they went with Sidney Flanigan for her breakthrough performance as a teen seeking an abortion in “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” which is largely set in New York City. That film was also awarded Best Screenplay.
“Da 5 Bloods” took two other acting honors. Delroy Lindo claimed Best Actor, while the late Chadwick Boseman won Best Supporting Actor. Boseman could’ve won Best Actor for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” but critics voted for that category first, so having given that to Lindo, perhaps they still wanted to pay posthumous tribute to the star who unexpectedly died of colon cancer earlier this year. Boseman has a relatively brief role in “Da 5 Bloods” as a beloved troop leader who died during the Vietnam War and is seen in flashbacks.
Rounding out the acting prizes was Maria Bakalova for her breakthrough role as the title character’s teenage daughter in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.” She has gotten raves for her scene-stealing turn in the film, and New York critics might also have wanted to give her the nod to sympathize with her for having to be in the same room as New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. See who else took home prizes below.
BEST FIRST FILM
Radha Blank, “The 40-Year-Old Version”
Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland”
Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Chadwick Boseman, “Da 5 Bloods”
Eliza Hittman, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
BEST ANIMATED FILM
BEST NONFICTION FILM
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“Small Axe” (All Films)
Kino Lorber — For their creation of Kino Marquee, a virtual cinema distribution service that was designed to help support movie theaters, not destroy them
Spike Lee — For inspiring the New York community with his short film “New York New York” and for advocating for a better society through cinema
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