By John H. Foote
The unpredictable New York Film Critics Circle announced their awards today, once again surprising us with some of their choices.
The Irishman won the Best Picture Award from the New York Film Critics, the most prestigious of the Critics groups passing out year-end awards. This marks the second consecutive year that a Netflix produced film has won the top award, as Roma won last year.
Best Director was a complete surprise going to Ben and Josh Safdie for the Adam Sandler acclaimed Uncut Gems. There was great speculation Sandler might take the prize for Best Actor.
Antonio Banderas was named Best Actor in Pain and Glory, which won the actor the Best Actor Prize at Cannes. Their winner does not always translate to an Oscar nomination though it likely puts them in the mix.
Lupita Nyong’o was a huge surprise as Best Actress in the horror film Us, released last spring. The smart money has been on Renée Zellweger in Judy.
After a decade away from the screen, Joe Pesci returned to win Best Supporting Actor in Martin Scorsese’s crime epic The Irishman.
Laura Dern was a popular choice for Best Supporting Actress in Marriage Story as the ferocious lawyer looking for blood.
Quentin Tarantino took the Best Screenplay Award for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, his dreamy journey through late sixties Hollywood.
Parasite, the enormously popular film took Best Foreign Language film as expected.
John H. Foote is a well-recognized Canadian film critic/historian who has been an active critic for 30 years. His deep love for the movies began at a very young age. He began his career as co-host of the popular TV show Reel to Real where he remained for nine years. While on TV he began dabbling in education, eventually ascending to Director of the Toronto Film School, where he also taught film history. After leaving the college to care for his wife, he returned to teaching at Humber College where he taught both Film History and Method Acting Theory. John has written two books: “Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker” and the upcoming “Spielberg – American Film Visionary”. He is currently working on two books, one about the films of the seventies and another on the films of Martin Scorsese. Through his career he has worked in TV, radio, print and the web. John has interviewed everyone in the industry (more than 300 interviews) except Jack Nicholson, he says sadly. Highlights include Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.