Last night the Gotham Awards were handed out. The Gothams are unique in that journalists pick the nominees but the winners are chosen by a panel of five actor actors and/or filmmakers. As a barometer of future success, it’s a bit narrow. For example, last year’s Best Feature winner, The Rider, wasn’t even nominated for Best Picture, nor was its selection for Best Actor (Ethan Hawke for First Reformed) or Best Actress (Toni Collette for Hereditary). That doesn’t mean the Gothams don’t have value, but rather it’s the start of a very long awards season and the Academy has only become more unpredictable as its membership has diversified.
With all that in mind, last night’s big winner was Marriage Story, which won Best Feature, Best Screenplay (Noah Baumbach), Best Actor (Adam Driver), and the Audience Award. Does this mean that Marriage Story could take off this awards season? Possibly, but keep in mind that Netflix is also pushing The Irishman heavily and that seems to have more buzz right now than Marriage Story, although that could certainly change once Baumbach’s movie hits the streaming service on Friday.
So what does this mean for the awards race? It’s difficult to say. New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association will be weighing in soon plus we’ll have the Golden Globe nominees (although you can buy off the HFPA easily, so those don’t really count), and it will be interesting to see who emerges as a front-runner and if it even matters. It’s not like Green Book made a run in the critics awards last year but it still ended up as the Best Picture winner, so who knows.
Best Picture: Marriage Story
Best Actor: Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Best Actress: Awkwafina, The Farewell
Best Documentary: American Factory
Breakthrough Director: Laure De Clermont-Tonnerre, The Mustang
Best Screenplay: Marriage Story
Breakthrough Actor: Taylor Russell, Waves
Breakthrough Series (Long Format): When They See Us
Breakthrough Series (Short Format): PEN15
Audience Award: Marriage Story