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Saturday
Jan072017

NSFC Gives Isabelle Huppert the Critical Triple

The National Society of Film Critics have spoken. The last important critics prizes of each season is sometimes idiocyncratic but not this year. They've gone with the the leaders in every single category (in terms of past critics prizes from all over the nation) except Best Cinematography. That award has varied from groups to groups and here it goes to Moonlight.

Most importantly they've given Isabelle Huppert the rare triple crown of film critic prizes. She'd previously won both New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. To show you how infrequently that happens a list of the previous winners of all three after the jump...

The only previous women to the win the Holy Trinity of US Critics "Best Actress" Prizes
* not nominated for the Oscar | performance in blue won the Oscar as well

Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine (2013) 
Sally Hawkins - Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)*
Helen Mirren - The Queen (2006)
Imelda Staunton - Vera Drake (2004)
Michelle Pfeiffer - The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)
Holly Hunter - The Piano (1993)
Emma Thompson - Howards End (1992)
Meryl Streep - Sophie's Choice (1982)
Sissy Spacek - Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
Sally Field - Norma Rae (1979) 

 

THE NSFC WINNERS FOR 2016
Best Picture: Moonlight
Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Best Actress: Isabelle Huppert, Elle and Things to Come
Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Best Director: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Best Cinematography: James Laxton, Moonlight
Best Foreign Language Film: Toni Erdmann
Best Nonfiction Film: O.J.: Made in America
Film Heritage Award: Kino Lorber's Pioneers of African-American Cinema

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Reader Comments (39)

So Hupppert's chances just got a huge boost or is she set to be another Sally Hawkins.

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMARKGORDONUK

I'd be shocked not to see her among the nominees now. There is the Sally Hawkins factor but I'd say the odds are hugely in her favor.

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

I don't think we need to worry about the Sally Hawkins comparison. Sally was a relative unknown whereas Huppert has a legendary reputation and resume.

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Rech

A huge shoutout to Barry Jenkins. He's now won all four critics prizes (NBR, NYFCC, LAFCA, NSoFC).

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

It looks like the winners of the trifecta are Barry Jenkins, Isabelle Huppert (for both films, no less), Mahershala Ali, and James Laxton for cinematography.

I assume Ali will be the only one to transfer over to Oscar. Right now I'm still predicting Chazelle to win director unless Jenkins wins the DGA, actress to be a battle between Stone and Portman with the edge to Natalie, and La La Land for cinematography easily.

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterdoughyjunn

This year, I have to say: Sandra Hüller > Isabelle Huppert.

And I know I am not the only one mystified by Ali's sweep. There is no way he should be such a runaway train. No way. He's not even the best supporting actor in that movie.

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

I wish Rebecca Hall had won one of the major critics' prizes for 'Christine.' She's brilliant in the film and I'm not a fan of sweeps, especially in years as rich as this one.

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMike

And I know I am not the only one mystified by Ali's sweep. There is no way he should be such a runaway train. No way. He's not even the best supporting actor in that movie.

Most disagree who was best in show from the ensemble. I believe Ali and Holland gave the most polished performances. Their training was on display. A left of craft missing from the other performers. Harris has an excuse since she had three days for her scenes and learned about addicts from watching You Tube videos.

Monae is a novice actress and the child actors of act one are newcomers too. The teen actors were excellent but the reality for young male talent is that it does not matter to the powers that be. I think Ali felt like a lead for all of act one and his presence was felt in the rest of the movie despite never seeing him on screen again.

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

There's no reason to be mystified by Ali's streak so far, even if you think Rhodes or Holland or whoever was better. It's never just about the performance, and the stars have been perfectly aligned for Ali this season. I just hope he (and Jenkins and Huppert) pull it out all the way to Oscar night.

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Even the critics went for Mirren in The Queen? Good lord, with a year that rich? That's just embarrassing.

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMorganB

@ Jonathan

I realized Ali has now won three of the major critics prizes (prev. NYFCC and LAFCA) which surprised me since this has been such a competitive Supp. Actor year.

I'm disappointed that he's been the only male Moonlight actor getting traction. I thought back in September it would've been a The Help-like situation in which multiple actors would be competing against each other. Andre Holland was the standout imo but geez not even Trevante Rhodes or Ashton Sanders has gotten any recognition (outside of an ensemble nod).

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

MorganB - I believe the one deviation from Mirren's reign was Ellen Page winning Austin Film Critics for Hard Candy.

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

I hope this means Huppert is in! It won't be necissarily a surprise but my God will I cheer on nomination morning if it happens. It would be so richly deserved for an incomparable actress.

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

The fact that critics groups can give someone awards for two films together, like they have here with Huppert, but Oscar cannot, might mean Huppert's chances aren't locked in after all. I do hope she makes it to the Oscar final five, though.

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDanno

So, I think Emma Stone and Natalie Portman are over ranked. Huppert is locked like a bullet and Adams seems like she might be the only other contender with "win level" support. As for Sally Hawkins missing? That was always going to be an extremely awkward prospect, even if it wasn't 2008. 80-90% of the most laudatory parts of Hawkins' performance was tied to movement, not facial expressions and definitely not line readings, and a lot of the acting establishment isn't necessarily oriented around recognizing physicality as performance. And THEN throw around 2008 being The Year of Winslet in Lead Actress and Hawkins was basically done for. Even those rare actors who were accepting of Hawkins' greatness? They weren't going to risk Winslet NOT winning AGAIN.
Danno: Except Elle is generally way more loved (and for actress specific reasons) than Things to Come, even if neither is disliked.

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

@Danno - She's still primarily been cited for Elle, and the film has a much bigger profile than Things To Come does, especially since Elle was France's Foreign Film gambit. Its Globe nods probably solidify that that's her vehicle, even if it being left off the Oscar's semi-finalist list was such a weird shock. Then again, so were most of the presumed contenders so. Who knows.

I'm so psyched for Ali. I'm definitely in the camp that's for Holland and Rhodes, but Ali's still incredible, and Juan really gets to haunt the film in a way that makes him such a vivid memory even though he's only in Act One. He's surely getting pushed for the role, the way he seeps into the film, and to dodge having to pick a Chiron among the three, but God his work in Moonlight is really fantastic, and so many of his scenes really could be "Oscar clips". Teaching Chiron to swim, their first meeting, his big scene with Naomi Harris (which may also be her best scene), and that final talk with Chiron, it's all such lovely work, especially with Hibbert. I'm also in the "Jeez why does one person have to win literally everything" camp, but damn Ali's earned it.

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNick T

Volvagia, when has someone in Stone's position (young, well-liked/previous nominee, star of a box office hit that is a best picture frontrunner) missed a nomination? Portman, I can buy, in a Dennis Quad/FFH or Albert Brooks/Drive sorta way.

The Moonlight men - yeah, as much as I really liked his performance, it's a little mystifying that no other performer is getting any traction. /3rtful articulates why well enough and the ensemble really is peerless anyway.

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

I was among the last folks here who watched Moonlight. But Mahershala Ali is deserving of the awards and recognition he has gotten as of late. His delineation of Juan as a flawed but impactful character in the eyes of Chiron is masterful and effortless and all the more admirable because of the naturalness he imbues the Juan character. Trevante Rhodes and Ashton Sanders are also heartbreaking. But Ali's Juan manages to convey so much despite his short appearance in this 3-act domestic opera.

Deliriously happy for Huppert's win. I so wanted her to be Oscar-nominated now but having accomplished as much as she did with her LAFCA, NYFCC and NSFC wins, I think she already made it. But an Oscar nomination will allow her to work with other auteur. Excited for her future filmic projects like Eva, Mme Hyde, Happy End and Barrage.

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterOwl

Great winners!!! & here are the runner-ups <extracted by NSFC's webpage>:

BEST ACTOR
*1. Casey Affleck (65) – Manchester by the Sea
Denzel Washington (21) – Fences
Adam Driver (20) – Paterson

^^ I tink Affleck is gonna nab the gold, bad press be damned!


BEST ACTRESS
*1. Isabelle Huppert (55) – Elle and Things to Come
Annette Bening (26) – 20th Century Women
Sandra Hüller (26) – Toni Erdmann [tied with Bening]

^^So glad Bening was also warmly loved!! Strange that Portman get no major critics' luv, same fate as her Black Swan, snubbed by all the major critics


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
*1. Mahershala Ali (72) – Moonlight
Jeff Bridges (18) – Hell or High Water
Michael Shannon (14) – Nocturnal Animals


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
*1. Michelle Williams (58) – Manchester by the Sea
Lily Gladstone (45) – Certain Women
Naomie Harris (25) – Moonlight

^^ Guess the critics din buy Viola as a supp player

BEST PICTURE
*1. Moonlight (54)
Manchester by the Sea (39)
La La Land (31)


BEST DIRECTOR
*1. Barry Jenkins (53) – Moonlight
Damien Chazelle (37) – La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan (23) – Manchester by the Sea


FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
*1. Toni Erdmann (52)
The Handmaiden (26)
Elle (19) and Things to Come (19) tied

January 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

Imelda Staunton was nominated for Vera Drake

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaolo

And even Pfeiffer in Baker Boys

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaolo

Paolo: the asterisk (*) represents not nominated. Imelda and La Pfeiffer were nominated for but did not win the Oscar. The others (in blue) did.

That singular little asterisk is a terrible reminder of how much the Sally Hawkins snub hurt. Such a towering achievement unencumbered by the 'importance' of mimicry and heavy subject matter denied the nomination (and tbh win) it so richly deserved.

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTim

RE Sally they did make it up to her with her 2013nomination but it as lesser work but 08 Jolie,Winslet & Streep for what I consider to be their worst/miscast work.

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMARKGORDONUK

Ali made me openly weep twice watching Moonlight . He more than deserves all the praise.

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRami

This feels like it's about advocacy to me. They wanted her to get an Oscar nod. It worked for Cotillard and Rampling (who didn't even win the Triple Crown). Who will be next year's European actress in a SPC film to get a boost from critics?

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Arkaan: I didn't specify HOW over-ranked Nat has them. Portman probable but not "locked" anymore (#4), Stone still LOCKED (#3) for the nom, but no longer in the "win fight", which looks like it'll boil down to Adams v. Huppert this year. Which, considering the films involved? NO ONE would have been able to see that coming.

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I dun tink the critics had a deliberate agenda to push a foreign actress to a oscar nom every yr. They r jusr awarding who they felt best in show regardless whether she is in a foreign or eng lang performance

To be fair to Nat, all Oscars predictions r currently putting Stone n Portman at the first two spots, w Adams a distant 3rd. Huppert is still fighting for the last two spots w Bening n Meryl

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

Adams, Bening, Portman, Stone, Streep

* Isabelle Huppert, not nominated for the Oscar

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMinerva

Minerva: That's not happening. Someone who's won all three of those has, 7/10 times, taken the big prize, and only ONCE not been nominated. And the one time they didn't get nominated? That was a weird year for Lead Actress because the category was tied up in an overdue narrative, something that happens more often in Lead AcTOR. Adams, Huppert and Stone (the first two of those probably fighting for the win) are basically LOCKED at this point, Portman is probably still happening but not in the win hunt (just watch: Adams takes SAG, Huppert and Stone take the Globes) and Bening, Streep, Blunt, Henson and Negga are fighting for that last slot or two.

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

The analogy may be that Huppert and Hawkins are foreign born actresses who would have to bump out a more well loved actor who appears in a more well embraced film. But we will find out soon enough whose crystal ball has the best outlook. Use caution when crossing the street at night.

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMinerva

I too do not get the hype of M. Ali as Best Supporting. If anything, the older Chiron, as portrayed by T.Rhodes, really outshines anything from Ali. I was somewhat letdown after Ali's performance ended. Was that it? Guess society would rather reward a role that telegraphs to the world that needs it (especially after the Facebook torture video that the world experienced in disgust) that children need a father in their lives over an adult gay male reconnecting with a lost love.

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

This could actually be a weird year for Best Actress. I think the nominations will likely not have any jaw-dropping surprises, but I could see a number of different women end up winning. Adams seems the obvious choice, but there will be those not wanting to give Best Actress to somebody in an "aliens from outer space movie". That could benefit Emma Stone who everybody seems to adore. I could also see it going to Bening or even Huppert as "lifetime achievement" nods, though those seem to happen less often than they did. But in a close four way race, it could split a number of different ways. I think at this point V. Davis should be kicking herself (or her advisors) for not running in the lead race. She would have been the odds on favorite, in my opinion.

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDanno

Danno: Yeah, if Davis changes her mind NOW and rejects the fraud? She'd still win, and all five lead actress slots (Adams, Davis, Huppert, Portman, Stone) would be as close to locked down as possible.

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Despite the fact that I think it was a mistake to go supporting, I don't think Viola would be assured a win in either category, at this point. There are a lot of competing narratives this year, and #OscarsSoWhite is already covered by Moonlight (and possibly Hidden Figures and Loving). Sorry, I'm cynical sometimes.

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

And possibly 13th and I Am Not Your Negro...

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I stay cynical when it comes to Hollywood and their treatment of women and nonwhite talent. However, I think Davis getting an Oscar in supporting first will build her narrative greater for runs in the Best Actress category since she'll likely become only the second nonwhite actress to win the category and the first nonwhite actress to become an Oscar perennial by earning multiple wins and nominations. They're going to hold onto like she were Denzel or Morgan.

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I dunno, 3rdful. Davis is 51, and roles for women of any race get rarer (certainly lead roles). This, tragically, may turn out to have been her one great shot at Oscar for Actress in a Leading Role. I think she's as sure of winning as anybody of color this year. Only Ali for MOONLIGHT is as far ahead in his race.

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDanno

I agree that Huppert is probably good to go for the nomination - not just based on the merits of her performance, but given what an outstanding career she's had and the significance of her place in global cinema. She could have just as easily been recognized for Violette Noizere, The Story of Women, La Ceremonie, The Piano Teacher or any of a dozen other films you could name off the top of your head, and few would argue it would have been undeserved. To play devil's advocate - because that's what your truly has been trained to do - I have spoken to many people, who while having nothing but praise for Huppert as an actress, were deeply uncomfortable with some of the film's attitudes towards sexual assault and the depiction of that very sensitive subject matter. This topic has certainly been a big part of the national conversation this year, and I imagine there are some voters in the Academy - and not just women - who were angered or disturbed by that aspect of what they were seeing. I don't say I agree or disagree with that perspective, but I can certainly understand where that particular response is coming from. This is certainly not the first time Verhoeven has courted controversy in his depiction of women or sexual violence, so it will be interesting if respect for Huppert and admiration for her work will override reservations people may have about the film as a whole.

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJosh R

Huppert just won the Golden Globe. Consider her locked and loaded, taking aim.

January 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

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