‘Boyhood’ Wins Best Picture from New York Film Critics Circle

Boyhood Lorelei Linklater

 

Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s ambitious coming of age drama, has been a critical favorite since it premiered at Sundance earlier this year. Now it is officially an awards season frontrunner: the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) has officially announced that Boyhood is their pick for the Best Picture of 2014.

Boyhood was filmed over the course of 12 years so that its stars, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, could age naturally over the course of the film, without relying on make-up or digital trickery. Writer/director Richard Linklater also earned the Best Director prize from the NYFCC for his work on Boyhood, and Patricia Arquette earned Best Supporting Actress. (Her win in the category should help solidify the debate over whether her performance qualifies as a lead or supporting role.)

Although not all of us here at CraveOnline think Boyhood is the best film of the year, it’s an undeniable achievement that seems to be building momentum during the year-end awards season, and certainly deserves acclaim for achieving its ambitious goals, and for its cast, who developed the same characters over more than a decade without a single slip up.

 

Boyhood Patricia Arquette

Related: Patricia Arquette Talks Boyhood, Momhood and Armpits (Exclusive Interview)

 

The Best Actor honors went to Timothy Spall for his lead performance in Mike Leigh’s biopic Mr. Turner, and Best Actress went to Marion Cotillard for her dual performances in The Immigrant and Two Days, One Night. Best Supporting Actor went to J.K. Simmons for his performance in Whiplash, another Sundance favorite that has remained a critical favorite since January.

Cotillard has not been viewed as an Oscar frontrunner, but her wins here might change that. Timothy Spall turns in his finest performance in Mr. Turner and it is heartening to see that he will be recognized in a crowded year for Best Actor. J.K. Simmons has been a Best Supporting Actor favorite since January, and damn it, he deserves to be. He gives a remarkable performance as a dangerous, intelligent, and – depending on your point of view – villainous or heroic figure.

Wes Anderson won Best Screenplay for The Grand Budapest Hotel (the NYFCC makes no distinction between original and adapted screenplays), Darius Khondji won Best Cinematography for lensing The Immigrant, and The LEGO Movie won the award for Best Animated Film. Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s animated comedy is expected to be the film to beat in the category this year, although some of us wonder whether some of The LEGO Movie‘s acclaim is due to the fact that it’s better than anyone could have anticipated, and not because it is necessarily the best animated feature film of 2014.

 

The Lego Movie Chris Pratt

Related: Selma, Birdman and Boyhood Dominate the Independent Spirit Award Nominations

 

The documentary Citizenfour won the NYFCC award for Best Non-Fiction Film (Documentary), Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida earned the Best Foreign Film Award, and Jennifer Kent took home the Best First Film honors for her horror movie The Babadook, which just opened in theaters this weekend, and is genuinely phenomenal. A special award was also granted to Adrienne Mancia, the curator of film preservation at New York’s Museum of Modern Art since 1964.

The New York Film Critics Circle saw fit to snub supposed Oscar frontrunners Birdman and Selma, but hey… someone has to lose these awards if anyone is going to win, right?

CraveOnline will return with more awards season coverage now that it’s officially heating up.

 


William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline’s Film Channel and the host of The B-Movies Podcast and The Blue Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.