No big surprise was Best Picture winner Moonrise Kingdom – Gotham has always loved Wes Anderson, and they proved it again this year. And since the other nominees – Bernie, The Loneliest Planet (REALLY? For BEST PICTURE? Come On…), The Master, and Middle Of Nowhere – can’t muster the cult following that Anderson’s film has, it was no big surprise.
The big surprise of the evening was the Audience Award, voted on by fans, who picked the little-seen doc Artifact over critical darling and favorite Beasts Of The Southern Wild among other films.
And the ensemble award went to, of all things, Your Sister’s Sister, which delighted the crowd at the awards, who usually love being surprised. Especially seeing how this quirky little indie beat out Oscar fave The Silver Linings Playbook AND Moonrise Kingdom for the award, along with Bernie and Safety Not Guaranteed.
The Gothams are usually too far afield to be a harbinger for Oscar nominations, and this year is no different. Given that three of the Gotham’s five choices for Best Picture noms aren’t even in the Oscar buzz for ANYTHING, let alone that prestigous category, I doubt we’ll see much repeat there.
The full list of winners:
Best Feature – Moonrise Kingdom
Best Documentary – How To Survive A Plague
Best Ensemble Performance – Your Sister’s Sister
IFP Calvin Klein Female Filmmaker Award – Stacie Passon, Concussion
Bingham Ray Award (New this year, dedicated to the late indie film champion who died of a stroke at Sundance last year) – Benh Zeitlin, Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Best Film Not Playing At A Theater Near You - An Oversimplification Of Her Beauty
Breakthrough Actor Award: Emayatzy Corinealdi, Middle Of Nowhere
IFP Breakthrough Director Award - Benh Zeitlin, Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Audience Award Winner: Artifact
And so the first “major” awards are out of the way, and no doubt they’ll make more sense of sorts next week, when the always amusing National Board Of Review list is released…
Today, the big ones start with the Film Independent Spirit Award nominations being announced. The Spirit Awards have a history of really playing fast and loose with their own rules – how else can you explain The Descendants and The Artist getting multiple noms last year? Still, I expect several films to do well here and boost their chances for Oscar buzz, including Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Killer Joe, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, and the aforementioned Moonrise Kingdom and Middle Of Nowhere. We’ll see…hopefully we’ll get a list of truly deserving nominees this year…