Gotham goes with “Tree of Life,” “Beginners” in tie – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell And the winner at the Gotham Independent Film Awards, handed out Monday evening in New York City was … a pair of winners, actually.

Juror Natalie Portman, in a video statement, explained that the Gotham jurors could not choose between Mike Mills’ “Beginners” and Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life.” So they settled on a tie. It was the first of many surprises of the evening, several of which benefitted Focus Features.

Mills’ “Beginners” also took home the evening’s Ensemble Award, topping reported Oscar contenders “The Descendants,” “Margin Call,” “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and “Take Shelter.” Elsewhere, Dee Rees earned the Breakthrough Director trophy for her work on the Sundance hit “Pariah,” also a Focus release.

Earlier in the season, Christopher Plummer was honored by the Hollywood Film Awards for his turn in “Beginners.” Oscar trackers believe he has a very good chance at securing a nomination for his tender work. We’ll have more analysis on the evening’s winners, as well as coverage of the NYFCC winners on Tuesday.

Here are the full Gotham winners:

This year’s Gotham Award winners:

Best Feature: (tie) “The Tree of Life” and “Beginners”

Best Documentary: “Better This World”

Breakthrough Actor: Felicity Jones, “Like Crazy”

Breakthrough Director: Dee Rees, “Pariah”

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You: “Scenes of a Crime”

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