It’s already been a big week for the 2014 awards season, as both the New York Film Critics Circle and now the Gotham Awards have announced their picks for best of the year. The Gotham Awards, celebrating their twenty-fourth year, are governed by the Independent Film Project and select their winners using a panel of industry professionals, film critics, and film festival organizers. A different team votes on each prize, prompting the Gothams to make fairly distinctive selections each awards season. This year, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Alejandro González Iñárritu’s fever dream comedy featuring Michael Keaton as a washed-up movie star hoping to rebound on Broadway, earned the top prize over a line-up that also included Richard Linklater’s Boyhood (NYFFC’s big winner), Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, Ira Sach’s Love Is Strange, and Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin.
Keaton also earned the Best Actor prize, while Julianne Moore won the Best Actress prize for her emphatic turn as a a linguistics professor diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s in Still Alice. While the Gothams tend to march to the beat of their own drum, Birdman and the performances given by Keaton and Moore are expected to loom large throughout the awards season – both were also nominated in the west coast equivalent of the Gothams, the Independent Spirit Awards. Last year the Gothams gave their top prize to Inside Llewyn Davis, and their acting prizes to Brie Larson for Short Term 12 and eventual Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club.
Full list of 2014 winners:
- BEST FEATURE: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
- BEST ACTOR: Michael Keaton, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
- BEST ACTRESS: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
- BEST DOCUMENTARY: Citizenfour
- BINGHAM RAY BREAKTHROUGH DIRECTOR AWARD: Ana Lily Amirpour, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
- BREAKTHROUGH ACTOR: Tessa Thompson, Dear White People
- GOTHAM INDEPENDENT FILM AUDIENCE AWARD: Boyhood
- SPECIAL JURY AWARD FOR BEST ENSEMBLE: The ensemble of Foxcatcher (Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo)
- TRIBUTES: Bennett Miller, Ted Sarandos, Tilda Swinton