Moonlight named Best Picture by National Society of Film Critics

Ahead of the Golden Globes on Sunday, Barry Jenkins' Moonlight was named Best Picture by the National Society of Film Critics for the organization's 51st annual meeting on Saturday.

The film is a coming-of-age tale written and directed by Jenkins in three movements, chronicling the young Chiron as he comes to terms with his sexuality amid the backdrop of Miami during the War on Drugs. The NSFC also honored the film with Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali's performance as Chiron's father-figure, Best Cinematography for James Laxton, and Best Director for Jenkins.

Manchester by the Sea also won big: Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams were named Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, while director Kenneth Lonergan received the Best Screenplay honor. Isabelle Huppert was recognized for her performances in both Elle and Things to Come with Best Actress.

Largely snubbed was La La Land, the musical masterpiece starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. However, the film earned runner-up honors for Best Picture, Best Director (Damien Chazelle), and Best Cinematography (Linus Sandgren).

See the main list of winners below.

Best Picture: Moonlight

Runners up: Manchester by the Sea, La La Land

Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Runners up: Denzel Washington, Fences; Adam Driver, Paterson

Best Actress: Isabelle Huppert, Elle and Things to Come

Runners up: Annette Bening, 20th Century Women; Sandra Hüller, Toni Erdmann

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Runners up: Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water; Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Runners up: Lily Gladstone, Certain Women; Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Best Director: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Runners up: Damien Chazelle, La La Land; Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Best Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Runners up: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight; Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water

Best Cinematography: James Laxton, Moonlight

Runners up: Linus Sandgren, La La Land; Rodrigo, Prieto, Silence

Best Foreign Language Film: Toni Erdmann

Runners up: The Handmaiden, Elle, Things to Come

Best Nonfiction Film: O.J.: Made in America

Runners up: I Am Not Your Negro, 13th

© David Bornfriend

'Moonlight' wins National Society Of Film Critics poll

The drama prevailed in Saturday’s vote, earning best picture, director for Barry Jenkins, supporting actor for Mahershala Ali and cinematography for James Laxton.

Manchester By The Sea earned three prizes for Casey Affleck in the best actor race, Michelle Williams as best supporting actress and Kenneth Lonergan for his screenplay.

Isabelle Huppert was named best actress for Elle and Things To Come, while Toni Erdmann took best foreign-language honours and O.J.: Made In America prevailed in the non-fiction contest.

The Society held its 51st annual awards vote at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Center as guests of the Film Society Of Lincoln Center in New York.

The weighted voting system produced mostly runaway winners, although there were ties for second and third place in the lead actress and foreign-language categories.

Fifty-four members were eligible to vote and to qualify, entries must have opened in the US during 2016.


Best Actor

1. Casey Affleck (65) – Manchester By The Sea
2.  Denzel Washington (21) – Fences
3.  Adam Driver (20) – Paterson

Best Actress

1. Isabelle Huppert (55) – Elle and Things To Come
= 2. Annette Bening (26) – 20th Century Women
= 2.  Sandra Hüller (26) – Toni Erdmann

Best Supporting Actor

1. Mahershala Ali (72) – Moonlight

2. Jeff Bridges (18) – Hell Or High Water

3. Michael Shannon (14) – Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress

1. Michelle Williams (58) – Manchester By The Sea
2. Lily Gladstone (45) – Certain Women
3. Naomie Harris (25) – Moonlight

Best Screenplay

1.  Manchester By The Sea (61) – Kenneth Lonergan
2. Moonlight (39) – Barry Jenkins
3. Hell Or High Water (16) – Taylor Sheridan

Best Cinematography

1.  Moonlight (52) – James Laxton
2.  La La Land (27) – Linus Sandgren
3. Silence (23) – Rodrigo Prieto

Best Picture

1. Moonlight (54)
2. Manchester By The Sea (39)
3. La La Land (31)

Best Director

1. Barry Jenkins (53) – Moonlight
2. Damien Chazelle (37) – La La Land
3. Kenneth Lonergan (23) – Manchester By The Sea

Foreign-Language Film

1. Toni Erdmann (52)
2. The Handmaiden (26)
= 3. Elle (19)
= 3 Things To Come (19) tied

Best Non-Fiction Film

1. O.J.: Made In America (64)
2. I Am Not Your Negro (36)
3. 13th (20)

Special Citation for a film awaiting American distribution
Sieranevada (Romania), Cristi Puiu

Film Heritage Award
Kino Lorber’s 5-disc collection, Pioneers Of African-American Cinema

National Society of Film Critics begin announcing winners

"Moonlight," the coming-of-age story of a gay black boy named Chiron living in Miami, was named the best picture winner by the National Society of Film Critics on Saturday.

In the acting categories, "Manchester by the Sea" star Casey Affleck took the award for best actor, while Isabelle Huppert won the actress prize for her performances in both "Elle" and "Things to Come." Affleck's "Manchester" co-star Michelle Williams scored the prize for supporting actress, and "Moonlight" standout Mahershala Ali nabbed the award for supporting actor. "Manchester" also won the best screenplay award, while "Moonlight" won for cinematography.

This year the group had 27 people vote from around the country. The society announced Friday that for the first time in addition to its New York meetings, critics would cast their votes in real time from L.A., Chicago, Seattle, Denver and more cities. This year the group welcomed new members MTV's Amy Nicholson and the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips into the fold.

Variety will update the list of winners below as they are announced:

Best Picture: "Moonlight"
Runners-up: "Manchester by the Sea"; "La La Land"

Best Actor: Casey Affleck, "Manchester by the Sea"
Runners-up: Denzel Washington, "Fences"; Adam Driver, "Paterson"

Best Actress: Isabelle Huppert, "Elle" and "Things to Come"
Runners-up: Annette Bening, "20th Century Women"; Sandra Huller, "Toni Erdmann"

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, "Moonlight"
Runners-up: Jeff Bridges, "Hell or High Water"; Michael Shannon, "Nocturnal Animals"

Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams, "Manchester by the Sea"
Runners-up: Lily Gladstone, "Certain Women"; Naomie Harris, "Moonlight"

Best Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan, "Manchester by the Sea"
Runners-up: Barry Jenkins, "Moonlight"; Taylor Sheridan, "Hell or High Water"

Best Cinematography: James Laxton, "Moonlight"
Runners-up: Linus Sandgren, "La La Land"; Rodrigo Prieto, "Silence"

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