‘Past Lives’ Wins Best Film Award from National Society of Film Critics (Updating Live) – TheWrap

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Celine Song’s “Past Lives” just landed a major victory, being crowned the National Society of Film Critics’ Best Picture in a majorly competitive film awards year. Writer-director Song also placed as a first runner-up in the Best Screenplay category.

The A24 release has also been named Best Picture by the Gotham Awards and a Top 10 Films choice by the National Board of Review this season and was the Best First Film selection by New York Film Critics Circle. With Oscar nominations dropping on Jan. 23, this represents a healthy boon for the indie darling.

Following very closely behind “Past Lives” were Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” with the former taking the Best Director prize with latter as a second runner-up after “May December” helmer Todd Haynes.

“Oppenheimer” did not claim the top kudos in any category, however, was a runner-up an impressive five times over, indicating the blockbuster’s strong support has not waned over the last six months.


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Recent TheWrap cover subject Sandra Hüller was recognized for both of her impressive 2023 performances in the Best Actress category, in Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall” and “The Zone of Interest,” further solidifying her Oscar chances, though first runner-up Emma Stone only had a five-point trail to claim those honors for Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things.”

Andrew Scott continues his surprising spike in awards popularity for his Best Actor prize for Andrew Haigh’s “All of Us Strangers,” and enjoyed a 13-point lead over first runner-up Jeffrey Wright in Cord Jefferson’s “American Fiction.” This will likely be the one of the most competitive Oscar categories, so it remains to be seen if Scott will stick the landing.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph continued her awards steamroll for her deeply moving turn in Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers,” handily winning Best Supporting Actress. Randolph has now won New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association and National Board of Review (not a critics’ organization, but considered a precursor barometer.)

Hers is the rare performance to sweep all four in one season, notable examples of those who have accomplished this in the last 20 years are Oscar nominees Willem Dafoe in “The Florida Project,” Forest Whitaker in “The Last King of Scotland,” Regina King for “If Beale Street Could Talk,” and Helen Mirren in “The Queen” the latter three of whom went on to win the Academy Award.

In the first major acting appearance for Michael Mann’s “Ferrari” this season, Penélope Cruz took first runner-up honors for her fiery turn in the period drama in the Supporting Actress category.

After a surprising BAFTA longlist category snub this week where he did not appear in the supporting categories but costar Julianne Moore did, Charles Melton soared back into the conversation for his impressive, decorated turn in Todd Haynes’ “May December.” He has already picked up New York Film Critics and Gotham prizes for the film.

The National Society of Film Critics consists of more than 60 critics from the United States. It has been giving out awards since 1966, and in that time its choice for the year’s best movie has gone on to win the Best Picture Oscar only nine times. But the two groups have agreed more often in recent years: “Spotlight,” “Moonlight,” “Parasite” and “Nomadland” all won both awards within a six-year stretch between 2015 and 2020.

Last year’s winner, Todd Field’s “Tár,” was nominated for Best Picture but did not win.

The winners and runners-up (with point totals):

BEST PICTURE
1. “Past Lives” (51 points)
2. “The Zone of Interest” (49 points)
3. “Oppenheimer” (44 points)

BEST DIRECTOR
1. Jonathan Glazer, “The Zone of Interest” (65 points)
2. Todd Haynes, “May December” (42 points)
3. Christopher Nolan, “Oppenheimer” (41 points)

BEST ACTOR
1. Andrew Scott, “All of Us Strangers” (52 points)
2. Jeffrey Wright, “American Fiction” (39 points)
3. Cillian Murphy, “Oppenheimer” (29 points)

BEST ACTRESS
1. Sandra Hüller, “Anatomy of a Fall” and “The Zone of Interest” (61 points)
2. Emma Stone, “Poor Things” (56 points)
3. Lily Gladstone, “Killers of the Flower Moon” (44 points)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. Charles Melton, “May December” (51 points)
2. Robert Downey Jr., “Oppenheimer,” and Ryan Gosling, “Barbie” (tie) (31 points)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Da’Vine Joy Randolph, “The Holdovers” (58 points)
2. Penélope Cruz, “Ferrari” (32 points)
3. Rachel McAdams, “Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.” (23 points)

BEST SCREENPLAY
1. Samy Burch, “May December” (53 points)
2. Celine Song, “Past Lives” (50 points)
3. David Hemingson, “The Holdovers” (36 points)

BEST FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

BEST NONFICTION FILM

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
1. Rodrigo Prieto, “Killers of the Flower Moon” (55 points)
2. Łukasz Żal, “The Zone of Interest” (45 points)
3. Hoyte van Hoytema, “Oppenheimer” (44 points)

BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM
“Trailer of a Film That Will Never Exist: Phony Wars” (Jean-Luc Godard)

SPECIAL CITATION OF A FILM AWAITING U.S. DISTRIBUTION
“Close Your Eyes” (Victor Erice)

FILM HERITAGE AWARDS
Criterion Channel, for an adventurous, wide-ranging, finely curated selection of films, ranging from American independents to world cinema to short films to classic Hollywood, making readily available the kind of repertory cinema that every city should have, and Facets, Kim’s Video, Scarecrow Video and Vidiots, for maintaining wide-reaching libraries of films on disc and tape and making those libraries available to the general public.

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