‘Past Lives’ Wins Top Prize at Gotham Awards

Acting awards go to Lily Gladstone, Charles Melton and Ali Wong

Greta Lee and Teo Yoo in "Past Lives"
Greta Lee and Teo Yoo in "Past Lives" (Credit: A24)

“Past Lives” has been named the best film of 2023 at the 33rd annual Gotham Awards, which took place on Monday night at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

Celine Song’s gentle drama won in a category whose other nominees were Ira Sachs’ “Passages,” Tina Satter’s “Reality,” Kelly Reichardt’s “Showing Up” and A.V. Rockwell’s “A Thousand and One.”

The most charged moment of the night came when Robert De Niro, introducing the award for “Killers of the Flower Moon,” realized that a highly political section of his speech had been cut from the teleprompter. After showing a film clip honoring “Killers,” he pulled out his phone and read lines highly critical of Donald Trump and the education system in Florida, then said he should thank the Gotham Awards and Apple (the company that released the film) but he didn’t feel like it after they tried to cut his speech.

This was the first year in which the Gothams’ budget cap was not in place, allowing films that could be defined as “filmmaking with a point of view” to qualify, regardless of how expensive they were to produce. But for the most part, the nominating committees stuck with the kind of low-budget films that are normally honored at the Gothams, with “Maestro,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Barbie” and “Ferrari” receiving special tributes or nominations in acting categories while being passed over for Best Feature.

Awards in the gender-neutral acting categories went to Lily Gladstone for “The Unknown Country” (a tiny indie that came out the same year as her starmaking vehicle, “Killers of the Flower Moon”) and Charles Melton for his supporting role in “May December.”

A.V. Rockwell won the Breakthrough Director Award for her drama “A Thousand and One.”

“Anatomy of a Fall” won the first two awards of the show, Best Screenplay and Best International Feature. The Tunisian film “Four Daughters” received the award in the Best Documentary Feature category.

In the television categories, awards went to the series “A Small Light” and “Beef” and to Ali Wong for her performance in the latter program.

This year’s tributes were awarded to “Maestro” (Cultural Icon & Creator Tribute), “Air” (Visionary Icon & Creator Tribute), “Rustin” (The Icon & Creator Tribute for Social Justice), “Ferrari” (Icon & Creator Tribute for Innovation), “Killers of the Flower Moon” (Historical Icon & Tribute Award) and “Barbie” (Global Icon & Creator Tribute).

Winners at the Gotham Awards are chosen by different juries in each category. In the 19 years the Gotham Awards have given out a Best Feature award, the Gotham winner has won the Oscar six times, most recently with “Everything Everywhere All at Once” last year and “Nomadland” in 2020.

In 12 of those 19 years, the Gotham winner has gone on to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.

The full winners’ list:

  • Best Feature: “Past Lives,” Celine Song, director; David Hinojosa, Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon, producers (A24)
  • Best International Feature: “Anatomy of a Fall,” Justine Triet, director; Marie-Ange Luciani, David Thion, producers (NEON)
  • Best Documentary Feature:  “Four Daughters,” Kaouther Ben Hania, director; Nadim Cheikhrouha, producer (Kino Lorber)
  • Breakthrough Director Award: A.V. Rockwell, “A Thousand and One” (Focus Features)
  • Best Screenplay: “Anatomy of a Fall,” Justine Triet, Arthur Harari (NEON)
  • Outstanding Lead Performance: Lily Gladstone, “The Unknown Country” (Music Box Films)
  • Outstanding Supporting Performance: Charles Melton, “May December” (Netflix) 
  • Breakthrough Series – Under 40 minutes: “Beef,” Lee Sung Jin, creator; Ravi Nandan, Alli Reich, Jake Schreier, Ali Wong, Steven Yeun, executive producers (Netflix)
  • Breakthrough Series – Over 40 minutes: “A Small Light,” Tony Phelan, Joan Rater, creator; Susanna Fogel, William Harper, Avi Nir, Tony Phelan, Joan Rater, Lisa Roos, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott, executive producers (National Geographic)
  • Outstanding Performance in a New Series: Ali Wong, “Beef” (Netflix)


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