Todd Haynes‘ lesbian drama “Carol” was named the best film of 2015 by the New York Film Critics Circle on Wednesday. The film also won awards for director Haynes, cinematographer Edward Lachman and screenwriter Phyllis Nagy.
The victories provided a measure of vindication for the Weinstein Company’s subtle ’50s-set film starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, which was shut out at Monday night’s Gotham Awards. At that show, it lost the best-picture award to Open Road’s “Spotlight.”
The critics did give their Best Actor award to Michael Keaton, a member of the “Spotlight” ensemble. The Oscar campaign for Keaton is positioning him as a Best Supporting Actor candidate, rather than Best Actor.
Saoirse Ronan was named best actress for Fox Searchlight’s “Brooklyn.”
Kristen Stewart claimed Best Supporting Actress for the drama “Clouds of Sils Maria,” a role which made her the first American actress to win France’s top acting prize, the Cesar, also for supporting actress. Mark Rylance took Best Supporting Actor for his role as a Russian spy in “Bridge of Spies.”
Pixar’s “Inside Out” was named Best Animated Film. “Timbuktu,” an Oscar nominee last year, was named Best Foreign Language Film, while this year’s foreign-Oscar frontrunner, Laszlo Nemes’ “Son of Saul,” was named Best First Film.
Special awards were given to film composer Ennio Morricone and, posthumously, to William Becker and Janus Films.
The NYFCC currently consists of 35 critics for New York-based newspapers, magazines and websites.
In the last 20 years, the group’s winner has gone on to win the Best Picture Oscar only four times: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” in 2004, “No Country for Old Men” in 2008, “The Hurt Locker” in 2009 and “The Artist” in 2012.
Other recent NYFCC winners include “American Hustle,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “The Social Network,” “Milk,” “United 93” and last year’s winner, “Boyhood.”
Four of last year’s winners in other categories, however, did go on to win the Oscar: supporting actor and actress J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette, documentary “Citizenfour” and foreign-language film “Ida.”
The awards will be handed out at the NYFCC’s annual dinner on Jan. 4, 2016.
Below is the complete List of 2015 NYFCC Winners:
Best Film: “Carol”
Best Director: Todd Haynes, “Carol”
Best Actress: Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”
Best Actor: Michael Keaton, “Spotlight”
Best Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”
Best Supporting Actress: Kristen Stewart, “Clouds of Sils Maria”
Best Animated Film: “Inside Out”
Best Screenplay: Phyllis Nagy, “Carol”
Best Cinematography: Edward Lachman, “Carol”
Best Nonfiction Film: “In Jackson Heights”
Best First Film: “Son of Saul”
Best Foreign Film: “Timbuktu”
Special Awards: Composer Ennio Morricone, posthumous honor for William Becker and Janus Films