Brow Beat

La La Land Waltzes Past Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea to Win New York Film Critics Circle’s Best Picture

La La Land
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling seem pretty happy about it.

Summit Entertainment

We’re still fairly early into the awards season, but we should just get used to Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea dominating the conversation and the accolades in the coming months. The New York Film Critics Circle voted on its annual awards today and gave three apiece to each movie: Best Director (Barry Jenkins), Best Cinematography (James Laxton), and Best Supporting Actor (Mahershela Ali) for Moonlight; Best Actor (Casey Affleck), Best Supporting Actress (Michelle Williams, who also won for Certain Women), and Best Screenplay (Kenneth Lonergan) for Manchester.


But lest we forget that there is a beloved modern-day musical starring charming actors Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling also campaigning vigorously for critical attention, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land snuck in at the tail end of voting to win Best Picture. The NYFCC has a tendency to align with closely with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—since 2000, all but five of the films named Best Picture here have gone on to be nominated in the same category at the Oscars. (Most recently, Carol’s win last year did not translate to a Best Picture Oscar nod.) While it may not be surprising that La La Land’s odds are pretty good for Oscar recognition—a movie about Hollywood; a director who’s already captured the hearts of academy voters before—the NYFCC win makes it even more of a sure bet. (La La Land and Moonlight also lead the way in Critics Choice Movie Award nominations, which were announced this morning.)


Like Michelle WiIliams, Isabelle Huppert, another favorite, also won for two performances: the buzzy Elle and the less buzzy (but still acclaimed) Things to Come. And O.J.: Made in America continues to make the rounds as the documentary to beat. Check out the full list of winners below.

Best Picture
La La Land

Best Actor
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Best Actress
Isabelle Huppert, Elle and Things to Come

Best Director
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Screenplay
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershela Ali, Moonlight

Best Supporting Actress
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea and Certain Women

Best Animated Film

Best Cinematography
James Laxton, Moonlight

Best First Film (tie)
Kelly Fremon Craig, The Edge of Seventeen
Trey Edward Shults, Krisha

Best Foreign Language Film
Toni Erdmann

Best Nonfiction Film (Documentary)
O.J.: Made in America

Special Award
Thelma Schoonmaker
Julie Dash, Daughters of the Dust 25th Anniversary Restoration

Read more of Slate’s coverage of the Oscar race here.