Hot on the heels of the New York Film Critics Circle naming Boyhood as the Best Film of 2014 and its director Richard Linklater Best Director, the Gotham Awards gave their equivalent crowns to director Alejandro G. Inarritu and his drama Birdman. Birdman star Michael Keaton also nabbed the Best Actor award for his work in the film, while Boyhood won the Gotham’s Audience Award. Julianne Moore took the award for Best Actress as a college professor suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease in Still Alice. Director Laura Poitras’ Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour was the only film to win its category in both the Gotham Awards and the New York Film Critics Circle .
The Gotham Awards are presented annually by the Independent Feature Project.
Taking the stage to accept his award for playing an actor struggling to break free from the public’s conception of him typecast as the lead of a trilogy of superhero films he did decades before, Keaton took advantage of the unique setting to poke fun at his own past work in two Batman films saying “I want to thank the fine folks at Gotham. It feels good to be back home. Not to toot my horn, but when was the last time you saw the Penguin or the Joker cause any problems?”
Given that the Gotham Awards are determined by a panel of five judges for each category rather than voted on in toto by an organization’s membership, the awards aren’t looked at as any sort of bellwether for eventual Academy Award wins. Still, a double win for Birdman does help raise awareness of the film in the minds of Oscar voters as they start to think about the ballots they will be casting next month.
The 24th Annual Gotham Independent Film Award recipients are:
Best Feature: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Best Documentary: CITIZENFOUR
Gotham Independent Film Audience Award: Boyhood
Best Actor: Michael Keaton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Best Actress: Julianne Moore in Still Alice
Breakthrough Actor: Tessa Thompson in Dear White People
Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director: Ana Lily Amirpour for A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
Special Jury Award: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum—for their ensemble work in Foxcatcher
euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ Grant: Chloé Zhao, director, Songs My Brothers Taught Me