One of the more prestigious but informal of the year’s awards shows went down Monday, as the New York Film Critics Circle ceremony was held here at a downtown restaurant. “Boyhood” and
The lack of cameras--and play-off music--at the NYFCC event is a double-edged sword: it makes the speeches a little less formal and rushed but also can lead to a kind of rambliness. There were some moments that would only happen at this event—Cotillard, winning what will almost surely be her only major actress prize of the season, giving a pair of speeches that might be generously described as low-key, and Bill Murray introducing the octogenarian MOMA curator Adrienne Mancia by making sex jokes.
Jon Stewart introduced best picture winner “Boyhood” by riffing that in hacked emails from
There was no sign of Armond White, the contrarian gadfly who was kicked out of the NYFCC after last year’s ceremony for heckling “12 Years a Slave” director
But plenty of winners were nonetheless warming up their acts that will continue with the National Board of Review on Tuesday night, spike at the Golden Globes on Sunday, continue further with guild awards over the weeks that follow and then culminate in the Oscars on Feb. 22. Here is a sampling.
Linklater. We'll likely be seeing a lot of him in the weeks to come, particularly at the big show, since he's sure to be nominated in three major categories—picture, director and original screenplay---and could well win one or more. Linklater is well-known for a kind of unassumingly ruminative style, and he didn't disappoint here. As he accepted the prize for best director, he began speaking of a critic, and an obscure one at that, in the late George Morris, whom few in the room were familiar with. Then he appeared almost sheepish about it, just saying that the critic was "on his mind" Monday night. It was a refreshingly different approach that seems to emanate from the same everyday thoughtfulness as his films. (Linklater was, it should be noted, wearing a suit, a contrast to the Western-shirt attire he typically dons in the rest of his life.)
Patricia Arquette. Another of the "Boyhood" clan, she spoke movingly and seriously about being a mother and how this film impacted that part of her life. Arquette is one of those interesting awards-contenders—someone who's been around a long time but we almost never hear in contexts like this. We'll almost certainly get plenty of chances in the weeks ahead as she starts racking up the wins. Judging by Monday's performance, they're going to be reach-for-your-Kleenex affairs.
Chris Miller and Phil Lord. The creative forces behind "The Lego Movie" began what will almost certainly be a long run of speeches (in fact, they're set to give another one at NBR on Tuesday for the same best animated prize). For their acceptance Monday, the guys did the kind of patter that comes from two people knowing and working with one another for a long time, not the jury-rigged, paired-presenter banter that comes from the met-10-minutes-ago NFL-playoff-refereeing school of teaming up that characterizes most award-show twosomes. Joking that they each wrote lines for the other to read that praised themselves, Lord then brought it home with what might turn out to be one of the gems of the season. "We'd also like to thank Pixar," he said, "for not releasing a film this year."