“Birdman” was the big winner at the Gotham Awards on Monday, as Alejandro G. Iñarritu’s black comedy scored the top prize of best feature and star Michael Keaton took the actor honor.
“I did this film for all of us that in our age are still wandering and questioning what ... life is about, what’s the point of all this,” Inarritu told the audience as he accepted the prize.
"Birdman,” which centers on a washed-up actor who played a superhero (Keaton) as he tries to mount a Broadway show, beat out favorite “Boyhood” in what observers said entering the evening was a closely contested race. The Richard Linklater coming-of-age pic, which was also nominated for best feature, did take the audience award at the Gothams, after winning top honors from the New York Film Critics Circle earlier Monday.
Keaton, meanwhile, bested Ethan Hawke in the actor category, as the jury recognized his turn as the tormented, ambitious Riggan Thomson.
Julianne Moore took the actress prize for her role as a professor stricken with early-onset Alzheimer’s in “Still Alice.”
And Laura Poitras’ Edward Snowden film, “Citizenfour,” took the prize for documentary, capping a twofer after earlier being named top nonfiction picture by the New York Film Critics Circle.
Though decided by a five-person jury -- this year’s included Jane Fonda and Jon Hamm -- the best feature prize for “Birdman,” along with Keaton’s win, has the potential to vault the film’s awards hopes after “Boyhood" had established itself as a front-runner in recent weeks.
It was Keaton who had some of the best lines of the night. After poking fun at the room’s genuflection to Netflix executive Ted Sarandos, he nodded wryly to his past. “I want to thank the fine folks at Gotham,” he said. “It’s good to be back home.”