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“Manchester By The Sea” is By Far the Year’s Most Frustratingly Overrated Film

For months I’ve been hearing nonstop talk about Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester By The Sea, which seemed to be the only film out of Sundance that could, at the time, find any coverage outside of Nate Parker’s Birth Of A Nation. As the year has gone on, Manchester has chugged along and slowly been building steam as one of the three Oscar heavyweights. It was named Best Picture by the National Board of Review, with lead actor Casey Affleck winning Best Actor honors from both the Gotham Independent Awards and New York Film Critic’s circle.

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New York Critics Name “La La Land” Best Pic, Spread the Wealth Between”Moonlight” and “Manchester By The Sea”

The New York Film Critics announced their slate of winners today, the first of the critics groups and organizations that announce awards ahead of groups like the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild. And while they don’t hold the influence guilds like SAG do (seeing as they are members of the Academy and not just critics), they can be important to many Oscar hopefuls in jump starting a campaign or adding fuel to one’s tank.

The big story here is that Manchester By The Sea and Moonlight went head to head with one another, each earning three awards while the group went and named La La Land as the year’s Best Film. As three of the highest rated films of the year, that’s not exactly a surprise; it may just come down to these three films when all is said and done.

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National Board of Review Names “Manchester By The Sea” Best Film, Barry Jenkins Best Director

After winning big at last night’s Gotham Awards, Moonlight picked up two more wins with the National Board of Review for director Barry Jenkins and Naomie Harris’ supporting performance.

The big winner here was Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester By The Sea, which won big in the Best Film, Actor, Original Screenplay and Breakthrough Performance (Male) categories. Other winners include Jeff Bridges from Hell or High Water in Supporting Actor (which remains an extremely wide-open race) and Amy Adams for her outstanding performance in Arrival. With the Actress race so extremely competitive, any sort of precursor award helps those contenders who are on the bubble for those fourth and fifth slots (Adams, Ruth Negga, Isabelle Huppert, Taraji P. Henson and Meryl Streep).

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Hidden Figures, which opens in limited release Christmas Day, grabbed the Best Ensemble Award, Kubo and the Two Strings won in Animated Feature and the largely unseen Silence won an Adapted Screenplay award.

The NBR is known for their sometimes out of left field choices; they’re famous for choosing to vote for what they like rather than consensus favorites. And while many of the films/performances they choose to honor do go on to at the very least be nominated for the Oscars, they don’t have the accuracy in being “predictive” that other non-industry groups like the Broadcast Film Critics do. So take these wins with a grain of salt as we start reading the tea leaves and hearing from more groups this weekend.

Read the full list of winners below.

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Watch the New, Powerful “Fences” Trailer

We’re still about a month away from the premiere of Denzel Washington’s Fences, but Paramount isn’t wasting any time getting the film out in front of people.

After a splashy premiere at the AFI fest and several industry screeningsFences has moved up into the Oscar race in a big way.With so much of the Academy comprising of actors, Fences should have no problem raking in a bunch of nominations. The only question now is just how big will Fences be? And can it win Washington a Best Actor Oscar, making it his third trophy?

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“Moonlight” leads Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Moonlight and American Honey were the leaders of the Independent Spirit Award nominations with a total of 6 nods each. Manchester By The Sea trailed behind with 5 while Jackie raked in 4.

Moonlight missed out in categories such as Best Supporting Male (Mahershala Ali, Andre Holland, or any of the actors who played Chiron) and Best Supporting Female (Naomie Harris and Janelle Monáe). The entire cast, however, is being recognized with the Robert Altman Award, which will also honor director/writer Barry Jenkins. The cast’s inclusion in this award bars them from being nominated in the separate acting categories.

Best Actress features four of the five presumed frontrunners for the Oscars, with only Emma Stone being absent (La La Land is probably not eligible here). This is probably Natalie Portman’s to lose, while Huppert has a nice boost to land her first ever career nomination.

Best Actor, on the other hand, features only one of the frontrunners; Casey Affleck will most likely be taking this one. Machester‘s Lucas Hedges and Other People‘s Molly Shannon got a nice boost to their campaigns with notices in the Supporting categories.

Take a look at the full list of nominations below.

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“Arrival” Is Timely, Fascinating and a Showcase For Amy Adams’ talents

It’s been hard to muster any kind of enthusiasm, or any kind of feeling besides grief, hopelessness and rage since Tuesday night. No matter what song I put on, what channel I flipped to or what episode of Portlandia I streamed on Netflix, I just wanted to melt into a puddle. I could not stop thinking about the next four years, and they mean for black, latinx and LGBTQ Americans. So when I sat down for my screening of Arrival last night, I was looking to just escape my mind for a minute; I wanted to turn off the thoughts so that I could come back fully reenergized to figure out how I was going to tackle fighting the racism, bigotry and intolerance that is now America’s President-elect.

Arrival is the escapist entertainment I was seeking. Even if it was for two hours, director Denis Villeneuve’s excellent sci-fi character study manages to transport and astound in every frame.

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