Female Directors Win Big at NYFCC Awards. What Does It Mean for the Oscars?

A24’s “First Cow” was the big winner at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, taking home best film. In predicting the Academy Awards, the top prize from NYFCC has an astounding correlation to the Oscars. Since 1935, the NYFCC winner for best film has never failed to receive any Oscar nominations in its respective year. More importantly, no film that has won the top prize from NYFCC has failed to be nominated in any major Oscar categories, including picture, director, acting and screenplay.

A slower burn for the average cinema-goer, “First Cow” can show strength in categories like best adapted screenplay, which Reichardt co-wrote with author Jonathan Raymond. Reichardt herself, a runner-up at Boston Film Critics last weekend, could be vying for one of the five spots in the best director, which may present an interesting scenario down the line. Could we be in store for a directing lineup where the women outnumber the men? With Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”), Regina King (“One Night in Miami”) and Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”), who won the also at NYFCC, the “year of the female director” seems to be the narrative of the award season formulating. To date, only five women have been nominated for best director in the 92-year history of AMPAS.

To go further, the best director lineup could have one or two filmmakers of color. Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods” won honors for Delroy Lindo in best actor and the late Chadwick Boseman in supporting actor. Lee himself was being honored with a special award for his short film “New York New York.” The film could be getting a second wind from its June release, resulting in Lee becoming the first Black director to be nominated a second time at the Oscars. To date, only six Black men (and no Black women) have been nominated for best director, none of which have been selected again following their first nod.

Then there’s “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” from Focus Features and the momentum that’s building for its debut star Sidney Flanigan. Also a winner at Boston, Flanigan could become a critical darling, but the question is, how far does it take her? For two consecutive years, the NYFCC winner for best actress has not received an Oscar nomination (Lupita Nyong’o for “Us” and Regina Hall for “Support the Girls”). With the film also winning screenplay earlier on Friday, this indie drama can only add to the female filmmaker’s narrative.

Maria Bakalova’s win for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” is just what her awards campaign needed, in a category that has been very friendly to comedic performances (examples: Marisa Tomei in “My Cousin Vinny” and Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”). The supporting actress is wide open at the moment with no established frontrunner.

In this unconventional awards year, will the group have the same impact? With the National Board of Review and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, which announces on Sunday, this precursor trifecta typically has the most influence on the awards season, from a critic’s standpoint. Normally, Oscar voters would be grabbing DVDs from their screener pile and packing them up for their holiday binge. With not as many screeners out (although many are available on the Academy streaming platform), it’s still unknown what the typical Oscar voter will be doing over the holiday break.

Visit THE AWARDS HUB to see the full list of contenders by category.

  • 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture
  • 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Director
  • 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Actor
  • 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Actress
  • 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actor
  • 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actress
  • 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Screenplay
  • 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Adapted Screenplay

Source: Read Full Article