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The New York Film Critics Circle Best Picture Winner Tár by Todd Field has drawn accolades since its Venice premiere, the latest a major rave by Martin Scorsese last night: “The clouds lifted when I experienced Todd’s film.”
“For so long now, so many of us see films that pretty much let us know where they’re going. I mean, they take us by the hand,” said Scorsese introducing NYFCC’s Best Picture at the Tao Downtown awards ceremony. “The very fabric of the movie you created doesn’t allow this…We don’t know where the film’s going. We just follow the character on her strange, upsetting road to her even stranger, final destination.” He admired “controlled, precise, dangerous, precipitous angles, the frame compositions, the shifts in locations, measured long takes “and edges geometrically kind of chiseled into a wonderful 2:3:5 aspect ratio of frame compositions reflecting the brutal architecture of her soul — Tár’s soul.”
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The movie, Field’s first return to the camera in 16 years, also saw star Cate Blanchett win Best Actress.
In a surprise appearances, her award was presented by Stephen Colbert. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert host recalled Blanchett’s “intensely feverish fight with the Dark Lord Sauron” as Lady Galadriel in Lord of the Rings. “I think we can both agree that Lydia Tár would have taken that f-cking ring.”
Seth Meyers introduced Colin Farrell, who tied himself with Best Actor for The Banshees of Inisherin and After Yang but couldn’t attend. “He is not here tonight. He wanted to tell you how fecking sorry his is,” said the host of Late Night With Seth Meyers, calling Farrell’s performances “intricate, layered, mesmerizing.”
“They make us feel what it is to be human. And he was also the Penguin in The Batman. He was great!”
Martin McDonaugh, who won Best Screenplay for Banshees, couldn’t be there either. Actress Kerry Condon, who stars with Farrell in Banshees, accepted awards for both.
Best Director went to S.S. Rajamouli, whose action-packed epic RRR crossed over to U.S. audiences. “In India, we watch films differently. On the first day you won’t hear the sound or see the picture” with all the popcorn throwing and “screams of joy.” When “I saw the same kind of reaction in New York in LA, in Chicago, initially I thought all of [the audience] or most were Indians.” But 90% were not, he said, “and they were reacting the same way. That is, I think, one of [my] biggest achievements. It’s the pure joy of watching the film in theaters.”
“You made a lot of people take notice,” he said, thanking the NYFCC. In a bit of a snub, India submitted Last Film Show as its Oscar entry for Best International Feature.
Nope director Jordan Peele introduced Keke Palmer, winner of Best Supporting Actress for the film. She spoke of her love for acting. “This craft has never judged me,” she said. “For you all to recognize me and recognize the heart and the spirit I put in the performance means the world to me.”
Jerzy Skolimowski, whose EO, shot through the eyes of a small grey donkey, won Best International Feature, spoke movingly of the need for “empathy for animals, whose fates have persistently been made invisible to us. There are millions of animals who we fail every day without even realizing it.”
“On a lighter note, on our last day of shooting, EO the donkey told me that his biggest dream was to make it on Broadway,” he added.
Jim Jarmusch introducing Skolimowski, suggested that in 2023 directors all try “to make films without humans as the main protagonists. I think we could all learn a lot. And please, no damn talking animals.”
The awards were announced in early December. They also included Venice Golden Lion winner All the Beauty and the Bloodshed by Laura Poitras, for Best Non-Fiction Film. David Byrne presented the award to Poitras.
Ke Huy Quan accept for Best Supporting Actor for the biggest arthouse hit of the year, Everything Everywhere All at Once, from its directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.
Dean Fleischer Camp and Jenny Slate won for Best Animated Film for Marcel the Shell with Shoes On; Best First Film went to Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun. Todd Solondz, who was her film professor at NYU, presented the award.
Oscar winner Claudio Miranda was named best cinematographer for Top Gun: Maverick.
The jailed Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi received a special award “for his dogged bravery as an artist, and for the humanity and beauty of a body of work created under the most oppressive circumstances.”
So did dGenerate Films for its invaluable work as a leading distributor of independent Chinese films.
Founded in 1935, the New York Film Critics Circle is the oldest critics group in the country. Membership includes critics from daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and online publications.
Last year, the group named Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car its Best Film, with the pic going on to win Best International Feature Film at the Oscars. Jane Campion last year received Best Director for The Power of the Dog, and went on to win Best Director at the Oscars.
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