The National Society of Film Critics have picked its top films of 2016, and the big winner today is writer-director Barry Jenkins’ acclaimed coming of age drama Moonlight, which has won the NSFC’s top honor, Best Picture, as well as Best Director for Jenkins. Moonlight beat out runners-up Manchester By The Sea and La La Land to take both prizes.
But that’s not all. Surprising no one, Moonlight also nabbed a Supporting Actor win for Mahershala Ali, widely considered since the film’s debut to be the front runner in the category at the Academy Awards. Ali faced strong competition, with Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water) and Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals) coming in as runners up. And finally, Moonlight has won for Best Cinematography, beating out Silence and, yep, La La Land.
Meanwhile, Manchester By The Sea came in a strong second with three NSFC awards, for Best Screenplay (writer-director Kenneth Lonergan), Best Actor (Casey Affleck), and Best Supporting Actress (Michelle Williams). That’s a solid haul for both Moonlight and Manchester as Oscar season really kicks off this weekend (the Golden Globes is of course tomorrow).
OJ: Made In America won for Best Nonfiction Film, fending off stiff competition from runners-up I Am Not Your Negro from director Raoul Peck, and the Ava DuVernay-directed 13th.
And finally, of particular interest today, Isabelle Huppert has ticked off a threepeat this season, replicating her New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association victories by being named Best Actress by the NSFC for both Elle and Things To Come.
The full winners list is below (updated as new winners are announced).
Special Citation for a Film Awaiting American Distribution: Cristi Puiu’s SIERANEVADA
Film Heritage Award: Kino Lorber’s five-disc collection PIONEERS OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CINEMA
Best Nonfiction Film (winner): O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA
Best Nonfiction Film (runners-up): I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO and 13TH
Best Foreign-Language Film (winner): TONI ERDMANN
Best Foreign-Language Film (runners-up): THE HANDMAIDEN, ELLE and THINGS TO COME
Best Director (winner): Barry Jenkins, MOONLIGHT
Best Director (runners-up): Damien Chazelle, LA LA LAND, and Kenneth Lonergan, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Best Picture (winner): MOONLIGHT
Best Picture (runners-up): MANCHESTER BY THE SEA and LA LA LAND
Best Cinematography (winner): James Laxton, MOONLIGHT
Best Cinematography (runners-up): Linus Sandgren, LA LA LAND, and Rodrigo Prieto, SILENCE
Best Screenplay (winner): Kenneth Lonergan, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Best Screenplay (runners-up): Barry Jenkins, MOONLIGHT, and Taylor Sheridan, HELL OR HIGH WATER
Best Supporting Actress (winner): Michelle Williams, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Best Supporting Actress (runners-up): Lily Gladstone, CERTAIN WOMEN, and Naomie Harris, MOONLIGHT
Best Supporting Actor (winner): Mahershala Ali, MOONLIGHT
Best Supporting Actor (runners-up): Jeff Bridges, HELL OR HIGH WATER, and Michael Shannon, NOCTURNAL ANIMALS
Best Actress (winner): Isabelle Huppert, ELLE and THINGS TO COME
Best Actress (runners-up): Annette Bening, 20TH CENTURY WOMEN, and Sandra Hüller, TONI ERDMANN
Best Actor: Casey Affleck, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Best Actor (runners-up): Denzel Washington, FENCES, and Adam Driver, PATERSON