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“Spotlight” sweeps the 25th Gotham Awards

spotlight michael keaton mark ruffalo
Last night, the 25th annual Gotham Awards held their ceremony in New York City and made an early claim to setting the precursor tone. As often the first group to not only put out nominations but announce their winners, they more or less can establish very early frontrunners when the titles in contention are already Oscar hopefuls. That’s the case this year, as films like Carol, Grandma, I’ll See You in My Dreams, Love & Mercy, Room, and Spotlight were already Academy Award players. Spotlight turned out to be the main victor last night, winning in every category it was nominated in, so if you believe in momentum, the early momentum decidedly favors it, with other precursors still to come this week, and even later on today.

The big winner, of course, was Spotlight, as the movie took Best Feature, Best Screenplay for Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, as well as a special Jury Prize for the ensemble cast (announced as Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and Brian D’Arcy James). Spotlight seems like the one to beat across the board, though again, it’s early. My hunch is that something else emerges as a main challenger, but the precursors will continue to heavily cite it as the year moves forward. McCarthy didn’t have a Director category to win here, though Feature more or less counts towards it, but bet on him doing very well when those do exist with other groups. If you want to take something else away from Gotham, it’s that Paul Dano is a looming threat in Best Supporting Actor for Love & Mercy. He won Best Actor here and I’ll be writing more about him soon, so just keep him in mind. Other winners here included Bel Powley pulling a surprise win in Best Actress for The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Mya Taylor winning Breakthrough Actor for Tangerine, and more. Overall, a very interesting night…

Here now is the full list of winners (as well as nominees) at the 25th annual Gotham Awards:

Best Feature

Carol
Todd Haynes, director; Elizabeth Karlsen, Tessa Ross, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley, producers (The Weinstein Company)

The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Marielle Heller, director; Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit, Miranda Bailey, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

Heaven Knows What
Josh and Benny Safdie, directors; Oscar Boyson, Sebastian Bear-McClard, producers (RADiUS)

*Spotlight* Winner
Tom McCarthy, director; Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Blye Pagan Faust, producers (Open Road Films)

Tangerine
Sean Baker, director; Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou, Marcus Cox & Karrie Cox, producers (Magnolia Pictures)

Best Documentary

Approaching the Elephant
Amanda Rose Wilder, director; Jay Craven, Robert Greene, Amanda Rose Wilder, producers (Kingdom County Productions)

Cartel Land
Matthew Heineman, director; Matthew Heineman, Tom Yellin, producers (The Orchard and A&E IndieFilms

Heart of a Dog
Laurie Anderson, director; Dan Janvey, Laurie Anderson, producers (Abramorama and HBO Documentary Films)

Listen to Me Marlon
Stevan Riley, director; John Battsek, RJ Cutler, George Chignell, producers (Showtime Documentary Films)

*The Look of Silence* Winner
Joshua Oppenheimer, director; Signe Byrge Sørensen, producer (Drafthouse Films)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Desiree Akhavan for Appropriate Behavior (Gravitas Ventures)

*Jonas Carpigano for Mediterranea (Sundance Selects)* Winner

Marielle Heller for The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)

John Magary for The Mend (Cinelicious Pics)

Josh Mond for James White (The Film Arcade)

Best Screenplay

Carol, Phyllis Nagy (The Weinstein Company)

The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marielle Heller (Sony Pictures Classics)

Love & Mercy, Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner (Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment)

*Spotlight, Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (Open Road Films)* Winner

While We’re Young, Noah Baumbach (A24)

Best Actor

Christopher Abbott in James White (The Film Arcade)

Kevin Corrigan in Results (Magnolia Pictures)

*Paul Dano in Love & Mercy (Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment)* Winner

Peter Sarsgaard in Experimenter (Magnolia Pictures)

Michael Shannon in 99 Homes (Broad Green Pictures)

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett in Carol (The Weinstein Company)

Blythe Danner in I’ll See You in My Dreams (Bleecker Street)

Brie Larson in Room (A24 Films)

*Bel Powley in The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)* Winner

Lily Tomlin in Grandma (Sony Pictures Classics)

Kristen Wiig in Welcome to Me (Alchemy)

Breakthrough Actor

Rory Culkin in Gabriel (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Arielle Holmes in Heaven Knows What (RADiUS)

Lola Kirke in Mistress America (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Kitana Kiki Rodriguez in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures)

*Mya Taylor in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures)* Winner

-The 2015 Best Actor/Best Actress nominating panel also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award jointly to Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and Brian D’Arcy James for their ensemble work in Spotlight. (Open Road Films)-

Breakthrough Series – Long Form

“Jane the Virgin,” Jennie Snyder Urman, Creator (The CW)

*“Mr. Robot,” Sam Esmail, Creator (USA Network)* Winner

“Transparent,” Jill Soloway, Creator (Amazon)

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, Creators (Netflix)

“UnREAL,” Marti Noxon, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, Creators (Lifetime)

Breakthrough Series – Short Form

“Bee and PuppyCat,” Natasha Alllegri, Creator (Cartoon Hangover)

“The Impossibilities,” Anna Kerrigan, Creator (seriesofimpossibilities.com)

“Qraftish,” Christal, Creator (Blackgirldangerous.com)

*“Shugs and Fats,” Nadia Manzoor and Radhka Vaz, Creator (ShugsandFats.TV)* Winner

“You’re So Talented,” Sam Bailey, Creator (Open TV)

Stay tuned to see if Spotlight continues to do this well on the precursor circuit!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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