2018 New York Film Critics Circle Awards: ‘Roma’ is the top winner

November 29, 2018

by Carla Hay

With three prizes, including Best Picture, “Roma” was the top winner of the 2018 New York Film Critics Circle Awards, which were announced on November 29.  The movie, which is inspired by writer/director Alfonso Cuarón’s childhood in Mexico, also won the awards for Best Director and Best Cinematography. Cuarón is also the movie’s cinematographer and one of the producers. The awards will be presented at New York City’s Tao Downtown on January 7, 2019.

The New York Film Critics Circle tends to award independent art-house movies instead of movies from major studios. That might explain why the New York Film Critics Circle completely snubbed Warner Bros. Pictures’ “A Star Is Born” and Universal Pictures’ “Green Book,” which have been racking up awards elsewhere, such as the National Board of Review Awards. In fact, the only movie from a major studio that the New York Film Critics Circle  awarded for 2018 is Sony/Columbia Pictures’ “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which won the prize of Best Animated Film. The “Spider-Man” victory is somewhat of an upset for Pixar’s “Incredibles 2,” which has been the presumed frontrunner in all the awards for animated films released in 2018.

Other big surprises: “Support the Girls” star Regina Hall won for Best Actress, in a race that many people have predicted would be dominated by Lady Gaga for “A Star Is Born.” The NYFCC Award is the first big prize for Hall’s role in “Support the Girls,” a little-seen comedy in which she portrays the no-nonsense manager of a Hooters-style restaurant. Richard E. Grant, who plays a charming con artist in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” won the prize for Best Supporting Actor. It’s his first major award for his role in the movie, and the prize comes at a time when many Oscar pundits have named “Green Book’s” Mahershala Ali as a Best Supporting Actor frontrunner. Although Hall and Grant were nominated for IFP Gotham Awards for their respective movies, they didn’t win at that award show.

“First Reformed,” a drama about a clergyman and his secrets, won two prizes: Best Actor (for Ethan Hakwe) and Best Screenplay (for writer/director Paul Schrader). Other winners of the 2018 NYFCC Awards include “If Beale Street Could Talk” co-star Regina King (Best Supporting Actress); writer/director Bo Burnham’s “Eighth Grade” (Best First Feature); and director Bing Liu’s skateboarder documentary “Minding the Gap” (Best Nonfiction Film).

Click here for an updated tally of major awards won by movies that have a 2018 U.S. release date.

2018 returning NYFCC chairman Eric Kohn, who is IndieWire’s chief film critic, commented in a press release: “Our membership expanded this year and so did the sheer volume of great movies worth voting on. We’re so thrilled to spread the love with these terrific films and performances, all of which deliver fresh, exciting visions of the world. From the poetic heights of ‘Roma’ to the haunting paranoia of ‘First Reformed’ and the mind-bending visual sophistication of ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,’ every single winner this year features a complex, unpredictable vision. Conventionality is for conventional awards shows. Our January dinner will certainly not fall into that category.”

Founded in 1935, the New York Film Critics Circle consists of critics from several media outlets. The organization meets in New York every year to vote for its awards, which honor films that were released in the U.S. in that calendar year.

A full list of voting members is below:

Eric Kohn (Chair)
IndieWire

Alison Willmore (Vice Chair)
BuzzFeed

Marshall Fine (General Manager)
Freelance

MEMBERS:

Sam Adams
Slate

John Anderson
Freelance

Melissa Anderson
FourFrames

Michael Atkinson
The Village Voice

Richard Brody
The New Yorker

Dwight Brown
NNPA Syndication

Kameron Austin Collins
Vanity Fair

Bilge Ebiri
The Village Voice

David Edelstein
New York Magazine

David Ehrlich
IndieWire

Kate Erbland 
IndieWire

David Fear
Rolling Stone

Graham Fuller
Culture Trip

Owen Gleiberman
Variety

Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine

Steven Greydanus
The National Catholic Register

Rafer Guzman
Newsday

Jordan Hoffman
The Guardian

Caryn James
BBC

Stuart Klawans
The Nation 

Richard Lawson
Vanity Fair

Tomris Laffly 
Time Out New York

Violet Lucca
Film Comment

Joe Morgenstern
The Wall Street Journal

Sheila O’Malley
Rogerebert.com

Nick Pinkerton
Freelance

Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor

Rex Reed
New York Observer

Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York

Alan Scherstuhl
The Village Voice

Matt Zoller Seitz
Rogerebert.com

David Sims
The Atlantic

Matt Singer
ScreenCrush

Kyle Smith
National Review

Dana Stevens
Slate

Sara Stewart
New York Post

Amy Taubin
Artforum

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

Keith Uhlich
Freelance

Elizabeth Weitzman
The Wrap

Stephen Whitty
The Star-Ledger

Alissa Wilkinson
Vox

Emily Yoshida 
New York Magazine 

Stephanie Zacharek
Time Magazine

Here is the complete list of winners of the 2018 New York Film Critics Circle Awards:

Best Film: “Roma”

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”)

Best First Film: “Eighth Grade” (Bo Burnham)

Best Actor: Ethan Hawke (“First Reformed”)

Best Actress: Regina Hall (“Support the Girls”)

Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)

Best Supporting Actress: Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)

Best Non-Fiction Film: “Minding the Gap” (Bing Liu)

Best Screenplay: “First Reformed” (Paul Schrader)

Best Cinematography: “Roma” (Alfonso Cuarón)

Best Foreign Language Film: “Cold War” (Pawel Pawlikowski)

Best Animated Film: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman)

Special Award: Kino Classics Box Set “Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers”

Special Award: David Schwartz, stepping down as Chief Film Curator at Museum of the Moving Image after 33 years