The critics kick off awards season with their annual meet-ups to vote on their choices for the best of the year, and so far, the pickings have been surprisingly varied and unexpected. I wouldn’t say that gone are the days when readily accepted Oscar Bait ran the gamut from start to end, sweeping the board, but it is a refreshing change to see these awards be spread out a little more evenly. It makes it harder for hot takes merchants such as myself to predict the ultimate winners, but hey, that’s fine by me.
Yesterday, the New York Film Critics Circle convened to decide their winners in what I assume was a very secretive and scandalous meeting. I for one shall be headlining the Dundee Film Critics Circle awards meeting, but it’ll just be me in my bedroom with blocks of cheese and a bottle of prosecco ranting to nobody about how everyone is ignoring Lady Macbeth and Logan. Membership now open! Anyway, NYFCC made some damn fine choices that wouldn’t have been the first selections predicted by any awards prognosticator: Lady Bird for Best Film; Timothee Chalamet and Saoirse Ronan taking home the big acting awards; Sean Baker snatching up Best Director for The Florida Project; and Mudbound’s Rachel Morrison becoming the first woman to win Best Cinematography in the group’s history. True fact: No woman has ever been nominated for a Best Cinematography Oscar, let alone won it.
But the surprise of the night came in the form of Best Supporting Actress, a choice which was rightfully awarded to Tiffany Haddish for her scene stealing work in Girls Trip. This one has been a critics’ dream for a few months now but has generally been considered a long-shot, since comedic performances don’t tend to fall under the consideration of awards worthy. Yet it’s hard to deny how freaking good Haddish is in that film, so why not include her as a true contender? One of the best things about this awards season, as evidenced by the NYFCC choices, is how more people seem willing to put aside archaic notions of worthiness and are focusing on the stuff they liked. Frankly, it’s how things should always be done. So hell yes we’re throwing our weight behind Tiffany Haddish for Best Supporting Actress. Make it happen!