Brow Beat

Spotlight and Tangerine Are Big Winners at the Gotham Independent Film Awards

The cast of Spotlight.

Image courtesy of Open Road Films.

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. But to win certainly doesn’t hurt a film’s chances, either, especially if you’re one like Spotlight (which is currently the front-runner in the Best Picture Oscar race and won Gotham’s Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and—the previously announced—Best Ensemble awards) or Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence. 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. 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.

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. Robot, and the latter went to the Web series Shugs and Fats.

The rest of the winners are in bold below.

Best Feature
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Heaven Knows What

Best Actor
Christopher Abbott, James White 
Kevin Corrigan, Results
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Peter Sarsgaard, Experimenter
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Blythe Danner, I’ll See You in My Dreams 
Brie Larson, Room
Bel Powley, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Lily Tomlin, Grandma
Kristen Wiig, Welcome to Me

*“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.”

Breakthrough Actor
Rory Culkin, Gabriel
Arielle Holmes, Heaven Knows What
Lola Kirke, Mistress America
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Tangerine
Mya Taylor, Tangerine

Best Documentary
Approaching the Elephant
Cartel Land
Heart of a Dog
Listen to Me Marlon
The Look of Silence

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Desiree Akhavan, Appropriate Behavior 
Jonas Carpigano, Mediterranea
Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
John Magary, The Mend 
Josh Mond, James White

Best Screenplay
Carol, Phyllis Nagy 
The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marielle Heller 
Love & Mercy, Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner 
Spotlight, Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer
While We’re Young, Noah Baumbach

Breakthrough Series, Longform
Jane the Virgin
Mr. Robot
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


Breakthrough Series, Shortform

Shugs and Fats
Bee and PuppyCat
The Impossibilities
You’re So Talented