Gotham Awards: ‘Spotlight’ scores best feature, Paul Dano wins best actor

1 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Gotham Awards 2015: Spotlight, Tangerine top the winners list.

The investigative journalism procedural “Spotlight” won best feature at the 25th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards, landing the first of what could be a string of awards for Tom McCarthy’s acclaimed newsroom drama.As I wrote when nominations were announced in October, the Gotham Awards can’t be viewed as a reliable predictor of what the rest of the awards season will look like—films that didn’t already have some hefty Oscar buzz aren’t likely to get a boost from a nomination or a win.

The film, about the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting on sex abuse by Catholic priests, also was honored for its screenplay by McCarthy and Josh Singer, and it was given a special award for its ensemble cast that includes Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams. Sure, last year’s best feature Gotham winner, Birdman, went on to win the best picture Oscar, and this year’s, Spotlight, might well do the same. (That’s two Michael Keaton movies, for those of you counting at home!) But it’s important to understand why that sort of thing is coincidental, as opposed to correlative. The Diary of a Teenage Girl led this year’s nominees with four nods, and in an upset took home one award: In an upset, Bel Powley beat out Brie Larson, Cate Blanchett, Lily Tomlin, Kristen Wiig, and Blythe Danner for Best Actress. With regards to the former, consider it the kick off to a long (and likely fruitful) awards season run—though I still wouldn’t bet on it taking Best Picture at the Oscars just yet. Fans of Tangerine, a film that follows two transgender best friends on a particularly eventful Christmas Eve, will be happy to learn that it got some big love this evening: Mya Taylor won the Breakthrough Actress award, and the film won the Audience Award.

That said, it can’t hurt to be recognized as a Gotham nominee or, better yet, as a winner, at a time when Academy members — some of whom attend the Cipriani Wall Street affair — still are deliberating about which movies to see and vote for, and that is why so many of the contenders turn up for the event. It still seems like a long shot for other major awards nominations being announced over the next couple of weeks, but at the very least, it still appears to resonate with audiences and voters since its world premiere at Sundance earlier this year. In other words, it’s clearly great to win at the Gothams, if only for momentum’s and perception’s sake, but it’s far from the end of the world to lose. And in recognition of television’s continued dominance as a creative force, the awards this year featured an inaugural category for Breakthrough Series, long-form and short-form: The former went to Mr.

It felt good, obviously,” said Redford. “I realized that when you have success, you want to be a little careful because success has two sides to it. Robot, and the latter went to the webseries Shugs and Fats. *“The 2015 Best Actor/Best Actress nominating panel also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award jointly to Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and Brian D’Arcy James for their ensemble work in Spotlight.” Second, the indie community really loves the actor — and, more importantly to them, Sundance godfather — Robert Redford and the actress Helen Mirren.

But it also wanted to spread its love between New York’s two principal indie distributors, Sony Pictures Classics (which is distributing Truth, in which Redford plays Dan Rather, which is why Rather presented Redford with his honor) and The Weinstein Co. (which is distributing Woman in Gold, the mid-year release for which it hopes Mirren will be remembered by voters). And fourth, the doc feature The Look of Silence is a formidable contender — as are the films it vanquished en route to its Gotham prize, which is the same one awarded to Josh Oppenheimer’s previous and related doc, 2012’s The Act of Killing, which wound up with a best doc feature Oscar nom. (This year’s Academy documentary feature shortlist will be announced within a matter of days.) The bottom line?

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