moonlight

‘Moonlight’ leads 2016 Florida Film Critics Awards Nominations

moonlight

The Florida Film Critics Circle has announced its nominees for the best films and cinematic performances of 2016, and the much-loved, Miami-made Moonlight leads the field with 10 nominations. The film, nominated for best picture, focuses on a gay black man growing up in the hyper-masculine world of Miami’s crime-ridden neighborhood of Liberty City. The film’s protagonist is played by three actors at different stages of growth: a boy, a teenager and a young adult. Three supporting actors have been nominated, including André Holland, Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris. The film’s entire cast was also nominated for Best Ensemble. Director Barry Jenkins, who grew up in the neighborhood in which the film is mostly set, was also nominated for Best Director and Best Adapted screenplay, which is based on a story by Miami-local Tarell Alvin McCraney. The film also earned nominations for cinematography, score and earned Jenkins a breakthrough nom. It is his second film.

The only other films to come close to Moonlight were Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, a musical about two star-crossed lovers torn between one another and their dreams, and Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea, a movie about how profound loss can leave a family in disarray. The films earned eight and seven nods, respectively. Both will compete against Moonlight for Best Picture and Best Director. Both are also in contention for Best Original Screenplay prize. Casey Affleck, of Manchester by the Sea, and Ryan Gosling, of La La Land, are going head to head for lead actor. La La Land‘s Emma Stone is going for the lead actress prize. Meanwhile, Michelle Williams has been nominated in the supporting actress category for Manchester by the Sea, which is also going for a Best Ensemble prize, and Manchester’s Lucas Hedges was nominated for the Breakthrough prize. La La Land, on the other hand, was nominated in three other categories: Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction/Production and Best Score.

The rest of the nominations were spread across several other films. Two notable indies, The Lobster and Hell or High Water, received three nominations each. Both were nominated for Best Picture and the Best Original Screenplay prizes. The Lobster‘s director, Yorgos Lanthimos, was also recognized in the Best Director category, and Jeff Bridges got a Best Supporting Actor nod for Hell or High Water. Another indie, 20th Century Women, primarily received nominations for acting, with Annette Bening being recognized for Lead and Greta Gerwig for Supporting, along with the full Ensemble. Filmmaker Mike Mills is also competing for Best Original Screenplay.

Big studios did not show much strength in the top categories this year. Denzel Washington was nominated for his performance in his third directorial project, Fences. The latter was also recognized for its Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Performance by Viola Davis. The strongest showings were in the Visual Effects category, where Arrival, Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and The Jungle Book, were all nominated. Only Arrival and Fantastic Beasts got into the Best Art Direction/Production category against indies like Jackie, La La Land and Love & Friendship.

Though Disney’s latest Star Wars movie and its Jungle Book did not do more than get nominated in the effects category, the House of Mouse got two films into the animation category: Zootopia and Moana. Kubo and the Two Strings and Sausage Party are their competition.

This year marks the first year the FFCC will consider a prize for first film. The year was rich with possibilities, but nominees were whittled down to five. They include The Edge of Seventeen, Spa Night, Swiss Army Man, The Childhood of a Leader and The Witch.

Indies dominated the Best Documentary and Foreign Language Film categories. Most of the films are already on the Oscar shortlist. The Best Documentary category includes Cameraperson; I Am Not Your Negro; Life, Animated; Weiner and the epic-length ESPN documentary OJ: Made In America. The foreign language category includes two films on the Academy’s short list, The Salesman and Toni Erdmann, and one that was actually nominated the year before but not commercially released: Embrace of the Serpent. The FFCC nominated two films snubbed by the Oscars: Elle and The Handmaiden.

The Florida Film Critics Circle is an organization of 27 writers from Florida-based print and online publications. Founded in 1996, the FFCC strives to recognize outstanding work in film, further the cause of good movies, and maintain the highest level of professionalism among film critics in Florida. Bill Gibron of PopMatters.com and FilmRacket.com has served as chairman since March 2013.

A complete list of all the nominees can be found below. The winners will be announced on Friday, December 23rd.

2016 Florida Film Critics Circle Nominations

 

BEST PICTURE

Hell or High Water

La La Land

The Lobster

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

 

BEST DIRECTOR

Damien Chazelle – La La Land

Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Yorgos Lanthimos – The Lobster

Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea

 

BEST ACTOR

Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea

Joel Edgerton – Loving

Ryan Gosling – La La Land

Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington – Fences

 

BEST ACTRESS

Annette Bening – 20th Century Women

Isabelle Huppert – Elle

Ruth Negga – Loving

Natalie Portman – Jackie

Emma Stone – La La Land

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mahershala Ali – Moonlight

Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water

Ralph Fiennes – A Bigger Splash

André Holland – Moonlight

Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Viola Davis – Fences

Greta Gerwig – 20th Century Women

Lily Gladstone – Certain Women

Naomie Harris – Moonlight

Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea

 

BEST ENSEMBLE

20th Century Women

American Honey

Hidden Figures

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

20th Century Women

Hell or High Water

La La Land

The Lobster

Manchester by the Sea

 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Arrival

Fences

Love & Friendship

Moonlight

Nocturnal Animals

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Arrival

The Handmaiden

Jackie

La La Land

Moonlight

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Arrival

Doctor Strange

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The Jungle Book

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

 

BEST ART DIRECTION/PRODUCTION DESIGN

Arrival

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Jackie

La La Land

Love & Friendship

 

BEST SCORE

Arrival

Jackie

La La Land

Moonlight

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Cameraperson

I Am Not Your Negro

Life, Animated

O.J.: Made In America

Weiner

 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Elle

Embrace of the Serpent

The Handmaiden

The Salesman

Toni Erdmann

 

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Kubo and the Two Strings

Moana

Sausage Party

Zootopia

 

BEST FIRST FILM

The Childhood of a Leader

The Edge of Seventeen

Spa Night

Swiss Army Man

The Witch

 

BREAKOUT AWARD

Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea

 

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