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.
One of Canada’s best-known film critics, he spent 10 years on TV as co-host of Reel to Real, and another 10 in education (still writing as a critic) as Director of the Toronto Film School, where he created the curriculum for three programs and taught film history. Film has always been his passion. He has written for magazines such as Toronto Life, Fashion and Hollywood North, been quoted in the Los Angeles and New York Times, as well as the major Toronto dailies. Online he has written for such sites as The Wrap, In Contention, Awards Circuit and The Cinemaholic. His first book Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker, was published in 2010. His second Steven Spielberg: American Film Visionary, a massive volume, has just found a publisher and he’s working on American Film Renaissance – 1967-2018 with Nick Maylor. As a critic, he has had the good fortune to interview directors and stars such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall, Emma Stone, Jane Fonda, and countless others. As he quips, “Everyone but Jack Nicholson!”