Award season is officially underway. In November, the Hollywood Film Awards kicked things off with a televised event honoring Gone Girl, Michael Keaton, and Julianne Moore among others. And during a ceremony at the Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, the 24th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards handed the first competitive trophies of the season.
Birdman took the top prize for Best Feature beating out Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Love is Strange, and Under the Skin. The dark comedy, with Michael Keaton as a former Hollywood superhero, also earned the 63-year-old star the award for Best Actor.
Taking home the Audience Award was Boyhood. Directed by Richard Linklater (Dazed & Confused, Before Midnight), the film is a coming-of-age drama that literally tracks 12 years of newcomer Ellar Coltrane’s life and has been celebrated for its ambitious achievement development. The movie was also named Best Film by the New York Film Critics Circle.
The other acting prizes went to Julianne Moore for Best Actress in Still Alice and Tessa Thompson took home Breakthrough Actor for Dear White People. Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum were jointed awarded a special Gotham Jury prize for their ensemble performance in the Foxcatcher. All three stars have been earning rave reviews and talks of Oscar since the film first premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
While the Gotham Awards unpredictable marker of the Academy Awards, they do give Keaton, Moore, and Boyhood the first of many expected honors of the season.
A complete list of winners:
BEST FEATURE: Birdman
BEST DOCUMENTARY: Citizenfour
BEST ACTOR: Michael Keaton (Birdman)
BEST ACTRESS: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
BINGHAM RAY BREAKTHROUGH DIRECTOR: Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night)
BREAKTHROUGH ACTOR: Tessa Thompson (Dear White People)
AUDIENCE AWARD: Boyhood
SPECIAL GOTHAM JURY AWARD: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher)