Birdman topped nominees leader Boyhood for Best Feature at the 24th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards, which were handed out tonight at Cipriani Wall Street in NYC. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu accepted the award from presenter Jon Hamm, who cracked self-deprecatingly wise before announcing the nominees. Birdman’s Michael Keaton took home Best Actor, and Julianne Moore won Best Actress for Still Alice. The Edward Snowden pic Citizenfour was named Best Documentary.
Uma Thurman hosted the event, which featured presenters including Meryl Streep, Scarlett Johansson, Jon Hamm, Will Arnett, Amy Schumer, Ethan Hawke and many others. The Independent Filmmaker Project, which hands out the Gothams to “worthy independent films,” calls this the “kickoff to the film awards season” — take that, Hollywood Film Awards. Trophies were handed out in six categories, plus the Audience Award, culled from the 15 nominees for Best Feature, Best Documentary and Breakthrough Director. Streep presented the previously announced Special Jury Award for Ensemble Performance, which went to Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher. Only Carell was on hand to accept. Foxcatcher director Bennett Miller received a tribute during the ceremony, presented after a long-winded speech by his Capote actress and former roommate Catherine Keener. Tributes also went to Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton, presented by a profane but well-received Schumer, and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, presented by a rather fawning Arnett.
Earlier today, the New York Film Critics Circle presented its Best Picture award to Boyhood. Next stop on the yellow brick road known as awards season: The National Board of Review, whose winners will be unveiled Tuesday morning. Let’s see if an early front-runner emerges.
Meanwhile, here is the complete list of Gotham Award winners:
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, director; Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Julianne Moore in Still Alice (Sony Pictures Classics)
Michael Keaton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Laura Poitras, director; Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky, producers (RADiUS, Participant Media, and HBO Documentary Films)
Gotham Independent Film Audience Award
Richard Linklater, director; Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, producers
Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Ana Lily Amirpour for A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (Kino Lorber)
Tessa Thompson in Dear White People (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)