The New York Film Critics Circle, one of the country’s oldest film critic organizations made their selections for the best of film from 2018. The east coast organization offered plenty of jaw-droppers and propelled certain films and performances into the thick of the awards race.
On top was Alfonso Cuaron‘s deeply personal “Roma” which walked away with three citations including Best Picture, Director, and Cinematography. As the DP of his own film, Cuaron is the first director to shoot his own film and win this prize in the history of NYFCC. The love for the Mexican submission for Foreign Language film was to be expected. The surprises came elsewhere.
Going in with the same playbook as last year, as in making a statement for a particular film or performance, the New York crowd awarded Regina Hall the Best Actress prize for her work in Magnolia Pictures’ “Support the Girls.” Hall, who was also nominated at the Independent Spirit Awards and Gothams, seems to have a strong following and could manage more critical citations throughout the season, notably the Golden Globe Awards in the Comedy or Musical category.
A24’s tentative gut feeling to wait before jumping in Phase 1 with both feet may have saved plenty to their bottom line, with the independent distributor letting the critics do their bidding at the moment with minimal effort. Paul Schrader‘s “First Reformed” walked away with two prizes today for Best Screenplay and Best Actor for Ethan Hawke. This is Schrader’s first win from the group after being named one of the runner-ups in 1998 for “Affliction” in the Director category. This is also Hawke’s first win after being named a runner-up in 2013 for his collaboration with co-writer Julie Delpy on “Before Midnight.”
With not even a hiccup, Richard E. Grant expectedly won the Supporting Actor category for his work in Marielle Heller’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” while Regina King added another trophy to her mantle for her work in “If Beale Street Could Talk” in Supporting Actress, solidifying her status as the frontrunner for the Oscar.
The creative and visionary “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” won the Animated Feature prize, something that could happen given the resounding love for the film (we LOVE it). “Minding the Gap” bounced back for the Documentary Feature Oscar with a win in Best Non-Fiction.
“Roma” took home the Best Picture prize but NYFCC looked elsewhere in Foreign Language, awarding Poland’s “Cold War” the award. Director Pawel Pawlikowski won in 2014 for “Ida,” which went on to win the Academy Award.
“Eighth Grade” from Bo Burnham snagged Best First Film while David Schwartz, the Chief Film Curator at Museum of the Moving Image for 33 years of service, following his retirement announcement. The group also paired it with Kino Classics Box Set of “Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers” with the same statue.