NYFCC Winners – ‘Lady Bird’ Wins Big, Sean Baker, Tiffany Haddish, and Timothée Chalamet Surprise

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The New York Critics Circle dealt out their favorites of 2017 earlier today and offered up plenty of shocks.

The big winner overall was Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” which took home two prizes including Best Picture.  Coming off a big day with the National Board of Review, the film is beginning to pick up steam and could be a serious contender in the top category.  Gerwig didn’t repeat her NBR director win as Sean Baker stunned by snagging honors for his work on A24’s “The Florida Project,” which also won two awards.

Two-time Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan won her second Best Actress prize in three years for her work in Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird.”  The last person to pull off such a feat was Meryl Streep when she took home prizes in 2009 for “Julie and Julia” and in 2011 for “The Iron Lady.”  Ronan is making a case for herself for not only the Golden Globe Award for Lead Actress (Comedy or Musical) but perhaps a possible Oscar win in the end, following her win earlier this week at the Gotham Awards.

Timothée Chalamet became the youngest winner of the Best Actor prize in NYFCC history for his towering work in Luca Guadgnino’s “Call Me by Your Name.”  In his race for an Oscar nomination, this has substantially helped his cause and it’ll be hard to bet against him.  It is worth noting that many of NYFCC’s Best Actor winners miss out on Oscar often as of late.  Only four of the last seven winners went on to Oscar nominations.  The ones who missed were Robert Redford for “All is Lost,” Timothy Spall for “Mr. Turner,” and Michael Keaton for “Spotlight.”  All were presumed to be in the hunt before missing out on key nominations later in the season.

One of the biggest shocks of the day was Tiffany Haddish taking the Supporting Actress honors for her brilliant work in Malcolm D. Lee’s “Girls Trip” from Universal Pictures.  Haddish was able to leapfrog some big contenders that included NBR winner Laurie Metcalf in “Lady Bird” and Allison Janney in “I, Tonya.”  Depending on your definition of “comedy,” she becomes the first comedian to win the prize since Lisa Kudrow in “The Opposite of Sex.”  She is the first African-American winner since 2009 when Mo’Nique won for “Precious.”

Willem Dafoe added another award to his mantle as he attained another Supporting Actor prize for his work in Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” from A24.  With two prizes in a row, he’s cemented himself in an Oscar race where it feels like it’ll come down to him and either Sam Rockwell in “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” or Armie Hammer in “Call Me by Your Name.”

Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” continues to show strength as the film remains under embargo as it won Best Screenplay, his first prize from the East Coast group.  Can he muscle his way into a very competitive Original Screenplay race?

One of the highlights of the day was Rachel Morrison taking home the Cinematography award for her gorgeous work on Dee Rees’ “Mudbound.”  This is the same group that gave prizes to Bruno Delbonnel for “Inside Llewyn Davis,” which is always a welcomed surprise.  Can she become the first female DP to be nominated at the Oscars?

Seemingly beginning its trajectory towards the Dolby Theatre, Pixar’s “Coco” won Animated Feature, just two days after winning the same prize at the National Board of Review.

As expected, Jordan Peele‘s satirical horror-comedy “Get Out” took home Best First Film, something that will likely be repeating all season long.

The French film “BPM (Beats Per Minute)” walked away with Best Foreign Language Film while “Faces Places” from Agnes Varda won Best Non-Fiction Film.

NYFCC also gave a Special Award for Career Achievement to Molly Haskell, an American feminist, film critic, and author, who has contributed to The New York Times, The Village Voice, New York Magazine, and Vogue.

This year’s ceremony will be dedicated to the memory of Richard Schickel.

The big omissions of the day were again Fox Searchlight Pictures who missed out on prizes for their films “The Shape of Water,” “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri,” and “Battle of the Sexes.”  Amazon Studios also came up empty handed with no mentions for “Last Flag Flying,” “Wonderstruck,” and “Wonder Wheel.”

FULL LIST OF NYFCC WINNERS

Best Film – “Lady Bird”
Best Director – Sean Baker, “The Florida Project”
Best Actor – Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Best Actress – Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Best Supporting Actor – Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Best Supporting Actress – Tiffany Haddish, “Girls Trip”
Best Screenplay – Paul Thomas Anderson, “Phantom Thread”
Best Animated Feature – “Coco”
Best Non-Fiction Film – “Faces Places”
Best Foreign Language Film – “BPM (Beats Per Minute)”
Best Cinematography – Rachel Morrison, “Mudbound”
Best First Film – Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
Special Achievement Award – Molly Haskell

CLICK THE CATEGORY TO SEE THE OSCAR PREDICTIONS (currently being updated):

MOTION PICTURE | DIRECTOR |
LEAD ACTOR | LEAD ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | 
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE |
PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND MIXING | SOUND EDITING | VISUAL EFFECTS |
ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG |
FOREIGN LANGUAGE | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE |