National Society of Film Critics Votes 51st Annual Awards

The National Society of Film Critics chose MOONLIGHT as Best Picture of the Year 2016.

The Society, made up of many of the country’s most distinguished movie critics, held its 51st annual awards voting meeting at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Center as guests of the Film Society of Lincoln Center.  

Fifty-four members are eligible to vote, though a few disqualify themselves if they haven’t seen almost every film. Any movie that opened in the U.S. during the year 2016 was eligible for consideration. There is no nomination process; members meet, vote (using a weighted ballot), and announce all.

The National Society of Film Critics counts among its members many of the country’s leading film critics.  Its purpose is to promote the mutual interests of film criticism and filmmaking. Founded in l966, the Society differs from other critical associations in a number of significant ways. In the first place, it is truly national. Secondly, membership is by election. The 54 members include the critics from major papers and outlets in Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Its members also include critics not just of “The Wall St. Journal”, “The L.A. Times” and “The New Yorker”, but also of “The Village Voice”, “The Christian Science Monitor” and “NPR”.

The Society represents movie criticism in the United States by supplying the official critic delegate to the National Film Registration Board of the Library of Congress and abroad as the official American representative in FIPRESCI, the international federation of members of the film press.

Besides responding to specific issues, such as imprisoned filmmakers, film preservation, or the ratings system, the Society regularly meets early in January to vote on the Society’s awards for the finest film achievements of the year.

The Society’s most recent anthologies are “The B List: The National Society of Film Critics on the Low-Budget Beauties, Genre-Bending Mavericks, and Cult Classics We Love”; “The X List: The National Society of Film Critics’ Guide to the Movies That Turn Us On”; and “The A List: 100 Essential Films”. In the 1990’s, the Society published “Produced and Abandoned: The Best Films You’ve Never Seen”; “Foreign Affairs”, its counterpart for foreign films; “Love and Hisses”, a guide to the most controversial films and issues; “They Went Thataway: Redefining Film Genres”; and “Flesh and Blood: The National Society of Film Critics on Sex, Violence, and Censorship”. Earlier, the Society published six volumes of annual reviews, as well as “The National Society of Film Critics on Movie Comedy” and “The National Society of Film Critics on the Movie Star”. The group can genuinely be said to represent the best of contemporary American film criticism.


SPECIAL CITATION for a film awaiting American distribution: “Sieranevada” (Romania), Cristi Puiu

FILM HERITAGE AWARD:  Kino Lorber’s 5-disc collection “Pioneers of African-American Cinema”

*1. Casey Affleck (65) – Manchester by the Sea
2.  Denzel Washington (21) – Fences
3.  Adam Driver (20) – Paterson

*1. Isabelle Huppert (55) – Elle and Things to Come
2. Annette Bening (26) – 20th Century Women
2.  Sandra Hüller (26) – Toni Erdmann  [tied with Bening]

*1. Mahershala Ali (72) – Moonlight
2. Jeff Bridges (18) – Hell or High Water
3. Michael Shannon (14) – Nocturnal Animals

*1. Michelle Williams (58) – Manchester by the Sea
2. Lily Gladstone (45) – Certain Women
3. Naomie Harris (25) – Moonlight

*1.  Manchester by the Sea (61) – Kenneth Lonergan
2. Moonlight (39) – Barry Jenkins
3. Hell or High Water (16) – Taylor Sheridan

*1.  Moonlight (52) – James Laxton
2.  La La Land (27) – Linus Sandgren
3. Silence (23) – Rodrigo Prieto

*1. Moonlight (54)
2. Manchester by the Sea (39)
3. La La Land (31)

*1. Barry Jenkins (53) – Moonlight
2. Damien Chazelle (37) – La La Land
3. Kenneth Lonergan (23) – Manchester by the Sea

*1. Toni Erdmann (52)
2. The Handmaiden (26)
3.  Elle (19)
3 Things to Come (19) tied

*1. O.J.: Made in America (64)
2. I Am Not Your Negro (36)
3.  13th (20)

Source: National Society of Film Critics