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'Marriage Story' Dominates Gotham Awards For Strong Start To Award Season

By Kristy Puchko | Film | December 3, 2019 |

By Kristy Puchko | Film | December 3, 2019 |


Award season has officially begun. Guilds of screenwriters, directors, actors, critics, and more are casting ballots to declare the best films and performances of the year. The path to Oscar is often paved by accumulating these honors along the way. To that end, last night’s Gotham Independent Film Awards proved a great start for Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, winning all four of the awards for which it was nominated, including Best Feature.

Written and directed by Baumbach, Marriage Story stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as married parents going through a bitter divorce. At Independent Filmmaker Project’s awards ceremony, the Netflix offering won Best Feature, Best Actor (Adam Driver), Best Screenplay, and the Audience Award, a category that combines the nominees of Best Feature, Best Documentary, and Breakthrough Director.

This might give Baumbach and Driver the edge on the competition. However, big-budget studio movies can’t compete in the Gothams. So, it’s unclear how the landscape might change once this intimate drama—while critically heralded—faces up against films like Ford v Ferrari, Little Women, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, 1917, and Joker.

There were thrilling wins outside the Oscar conversation as well. Ava DuVernay’s riveting mini-series about the Central Park Five, When They See Us, won for Breakthrough Series - Long Format. In Breakthrough Series - Short Format, there was stiff competition between Lisa Hanawalt’s imaginative animated series Tuca & Bertie, Leslye Headland’s mind-bending time-loop tale Russian Doll, and Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle’s coming-of-age comedy series PEN15, but it was the last of these that pulled out the win.

Here’s the full list of Gotham Independent Film Awards winners and nominees.

Best Feature

Marriage Story (WINNER)
Noah Baumbach, director; Noah Baumbach, David Heyman, producers (Netflix)

The Farewell
Lulu Wang, director; Daniele Melia, Marc Turtletaub, Peter Saraf, Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz, Jane Zheng, Lulu Wang, Anita Gou, producers (A24)

Lorene Scafaria, director; Jessica Elbaum, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Jennifer Lopez, Benny Medina, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, producers (STXfilms)

Uncut Gems
Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie, directors; Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Sebastian Bear McClard, producers (A24)

Trey Edward Shults, director; James Wilson, Kevin Turen, Trey Edward Shults, producers (A24)

Best Documentary

American Factory (WINNER)
Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, directors; Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, Jeff Reichert, Julie Parker Benello, producers (Netflix)

Apollo 11
Todd Douglas Miller, director; Todd Douglas Miller, Thomas Baxley Petersen, Evan Krauss, producers (NEON and CNN Films)

The Edge of Democracy
Petra Costa, director; Petra Costa, Tiago Pavan, Joanna Natasegara, Shane Boris, producers (Netflix)

Midnight Traveler
Hassan Fazili, director; Emelie Mahdavian, Su Kim, producers (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

One Child Nation
Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, directors; Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, Christoph Jörg, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn, producers (Amazon Studios)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Laure De Clermont-Tonnerre for The Mustang (Focus Features) (WINNER)
Kent Jones for Diane (IFC Films)
Joe Talbot for The Last Black Man in San Francisco (A24)
Olivia Wilde for Booksmart (United Artists Releasing)
Phillip Youmans for Burning Cane (ARRAY Releasing)

Best Screenplay

Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach (Netflix) (WINNER)
The Farewell, Lulu Wang (A24)
High Flying Bird, Tarell Alvin McCraney (Netflix)
The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Jimmie Fails, Joe Talbot, Rob Richert (A24)
Midsommar, Ari Aster (A24)

Best Actor

Adam Driver in Marriage Story (Netflix) (WINNER)

Willem Dafoe in The Lighthouse (A24)
Aldis Hodge in Clemency (NEON)
André Holland in High Flying Bird (Netflix)
Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems (A24)

Best Actress

Awkwafina in The Farewell (A24) (WINNER)
Elisabeth Moss in Her Smell (Gunpowder & Sky)
Mary Kay Place in Diane (IFC Films)
Florence Pugh in Midsommar (A24)
Alfre Woodard in Clemency (NEON)

Breakthrough Actor

Taylor Russell in Waves (A24) (WINNER)
Julia Fox in Uncut Gems (A24)
Aisling Franciosi in The Nightingale (IFC Films)
Chris Galust in Give Me Liberty (Music Box Films)
Noah Jupe in Honey Boy (Amazon Studios)
Jonathan Majors in The Last Black Man in San Francisco (A24)

Breakthrough Series - Long Format

When They See Us (WINNER)
Ava DuVernay, creator; Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King, Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro, Berry Welsh, Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, executive producers (Netflix)

Craig Mazin, creator; Craig Mazin, Carolyn Strauss, Jane Featherstone, executive producers (HBO)

David Makes Man
Tarell Alvin McCraney, creator; Mike Kelley, Melissa Loy, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Denitria Harris-Lawrence, Michael B. Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, executive producers (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)

My Brilliant Friend
Saverio Costanzo, creator; Domenico Procacci, Mario Gianani, Guido De Laurentiis, Elena Recchia, Jennifer Schuur, Paolo Sorrentino, executive producers (HBO)

Susannah Grant, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, Lisa Cholodenko, Ayelet Waldman & Michael Chabon, Katie Couric, Richard Tofel, Neil Barsky, Robyn Semien, Marie, executive producers (Netflix)

Breakthrough Series - Short Format

Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Sam Zvibleman, creators; Anna Konkle, Sam Zvibleman, Debbie Liebling, Gabe Liedman, Marc Provissiero, Brooke Pobjoy, Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, Akiva Schaffer, Becky Sloviter, Shelley Zimmerman, Brin Lukens, Jordan Levin, executive producers (Hulu)

Ramy Youssef, Ari Katcher, Ryan Welch, creators; Ramy Youssef, Jerrod Carmichael, Ravi Nandan, Bridget Bedard, Ari Katcher, Ryan Welch, executive producers (Hulu)

Russian Doll
Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland, Amy Poehler, creators; Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland, Amy Poehler, Dave Becky, Tony Hernandez, Lilly Burns, Allison Silverman, executive producers (Netflix)

Tuca & Bertie
Lisa Hanawalt, creator; Lisa Hanawalt, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Noel Bright, Steven A. Cohen, Tiffany Haddish, Ali Wong, executive producers (Netflix)

Kate Purdy, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, creators; Kate Purdy, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Noel Bright, Steven A. Cohen, Tommy Pallotta, executive producers (Amazon Prime Video)

Audience Award

Marriage Story (WINNER)
American Factory
Apollo 11
Burning Cane
The Edge of Democracy
The Farewell
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Midnight Traveler
The Mustang
One Child Nation
Uncut Gems

Tribute awards were bestowed upon Ava DuVernay, Sam Rockwell, Glen Basner, Laura Dern, and Jason DaSilva.

Source: THR

Kristy Puchko is the film editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.

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