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‘Lady Bird’ wins best picture from New York Film Critics Circle

“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig’s funny and moving coming-of-age tale set in her native Sacramento, is off to a flying start in the award season, capturing the best picture prize from the New York Film Critics Circle.

The critics’ group, which voted Thursday, also bestowed its best actress honors on “Lady Bird” star Saoirse Ronan. The young Irish actress becomes a clear Oscar contender after winning the same prize earlier this week at the Gotham Awards.

Another critical favorite, “The Florida Project,” won two awards from the New York group.

Best director went to Sean Baker for the film, a nuanced, emotional look at lives on society’s fringes outside Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Best supporting actor went to Willem Dafoe for “The Florida Project” and his role in “The Florida Project” as the manager of a small motel who becomes entangled in the lives of his residents.

Otherwise, the New York group spread its awards among many films. Best actor went to 21-year-old Timothée Chalamet for the romantic drama “Call Me by Your Name.” This has been a big week for Chalamet, who also picked up a breakthrough actor award at the Gothams and breakthrough performance prize from the National Board of Review.

In what might be the most significant award of the day, best supporting actress went to Tiffany Haddish for “Girls Trip.” The comedy made more than $115 million at the box office, which would make it one of the most commercial films in play this awards season.

The recognition for Haddish could set her up for a continuing awards run similar to that which garnered Melissa McCarthy an Oscar nomination for her performance in the popular 2011 comedy “Bridesmaids.”

Best screenplay went to Paul Thomas Anderson for “Phantom Thread.” The film was among the last to screen for critics this season, and so it had been a mystery item when it came to many early predictions. Anderson is a four-time Oscar nominee for screenwriting.

Best cinematography went to Rachel Morrison for her work on Dee Rees’ period drama “Mudbound.” Morrison becomes the first woman to win the award from the New York critics’ group, and she could potentially also be the first woman ever nominated in the category at the Oscars.

Best animated film went to the Pixar film “Coco,” directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina. Best nonfiction film went to Agnès Varda’s “Faces Places.” Best foreign language film went to the French drama on the AIDS crisis, “BPM (Beats per Minute),” directed by Robin Campillo.

Best first film went to Jordan Peele’s blockbuster racially themed horror film “Get Out.” Both the movie and Peele are likely to be in the best picture and director races for the Oscars. Earlier this week, Peele was also awarded the best screenplay, breakthrough director and audience award at the Gothams. Peele also won directorial debut from the National Board of Review.

A special award for career achievement was given to critic Molly Haskell. This year’s NYFCC awards ceremony will be dedicated to critic, author and filmmaker Richard Schickel, who died in February.


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