Well everyone, we finally have an Oscar race. The first major critics group, the New York Film Critics Circle, has named their best films of the year, and in a mostly unsurprising move, they have named Roma as the Best Film of 2018, as well as Alfonso Cuarón the Best Director and Best Cinematographer.
Roma has been sweeping the critical awards so far, and will likely appear on most Top Ten lists this season, so it is exciting to see its domination start early. Meanwhile, New York also acted like the attention whores they are by filling the rest of the awards with (deserving) nominees centered in the Big Apple. Specifically, First Reformed, If Beale Street Could Talk, and Can You Ever Forgive Me? found themselves in the warm glow of their home turf. Richard E. Grant and Regina King’s wins in Best Supporting Actor and Actress were fairly unsurprising, but the big news is the love held for First Reformed. Not only did the film win Best Screenplay for Paul Schrader, but Ethan Hawke beat out stiff competition to win Best Actor for his portrayal of Father Ernst Toller. These are crucial wins for the little indie film that could, and the film has just gotten a major boost when it comes to Oscar contention. Meanwhile, the acting race did round out with something of a shock: Best Actress, which had stiff competition between Yalitza Aparicio, Glenn Close, Melissa McCarthy, and Olivia Colman, went to Regina Hall for Support the Girls. This award seemingly comes out of nowhere, but you’ll find no complaints here: Hall’s performance in the film is easily one of the best, most compelling of the year. It’s a great way to shake up what can often be a fairly predictable awards race.
Other major awards ranged from the unsurprising – Minding the Gap and Bo Burnham winning Best Non-Fiction Film and Best Directorial Debut, respectively – to the slightly out there – Cold War beat out some great competition to win Best Foreign Language Film, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse kicked off its coming-out party with a win in Animated Film. And as for the special awards, David Schwartz received an Award for his dedication to the Museum of the Moving Image, where he served as curator for 33 years, while Kino Classics received an award for their box set Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers. Each of these wins will have an impact on the awards race going forward, and will serve as an honor for those awarded here tonight. The 2018 New York Film Critics Awards will be handed out sometime in January 2019, and you can see the full list of winners below.
Best Film: Roma
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
Best Actor: Ethan Hawke – First Reformed
Best Actress: Regina Hall – Support the Girls
Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
Best Screenplay: First Reformed
Best Cinematography: Roma
Best Non-Fiction Film: Minding the Gap
Best Foreign Language Film: Cold War
Best Animated Feature: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Best First Film: Bo Burnham – Eighth Grade
Special Award for Career Achievement: David Schwartz, Chief Film Curator at Museum of the Moving Image for 33 years
Special Award: Kino Classics Box Set Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers