Gotham Independent Film Awards 2017: Winners And What They Mean

It’s official, gang. Awards season has now begun. The Gotham Awards happened last night, which means it’s time for me to begin preparing you for everything that will lead up to the Academy Awards on March 4th. That’s only 96 days away, so it’s time to take some notes.

Obviously, the biggest takeaway is Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name winning Best Feature against some fairly heavy competition. Guadagnino’s film didn’t leave with just the one trophy though, as Timothee Chalamet won the award for Breakthrough Actor against the likes of Mary J. Blige and Kelvin Harrison Jr. from It Comes At Night.

While it didn’t walk away with the top prize, Get Out was still the biggest overall winner with three trophies in total. Jordan Peele’s self-described social thriller won the awards for Best Screenplay, Breakthrough Director, and the Audience Award.

The Yance Ford-directed Netflix film Strong Island won the prize for Best Documentary, while Mudbound (another Netflix film) was awarded the Special Jury Award For Ensemble Performance for a cast that features Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige, Rob Morgan, and Jonathan Banks. Saorise Ronan won Best Actress for her performance in Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird (which not only broke box office records but also became the best reviewed film on Rotten Tomatoes, retaining a 100% average with over 170 reviews), but the big surprise was James Franco’s win for The Disaster Artist.

What do the Gotham Independent Film Awards even mean when it comes to the Oscars? To be perfectly honest, more than most people give it credit for. Gotham has nailed the eventual Academy Award winner for Best Picture the last three years in a row with MoonlightSpotlight, and Birdman. Before that, the last correct film was The Hurt Locker in 2009. Last year also featured a screenplay win for Moonlight and Casey Affleck’s controversial Lead Actor win for Manchester By The Sea.

Absolutely look for films like Call Me By Your Name and Get Out to make some sort of impression on the Oscars, even it isn’t quite as heavy as on the independent awards scene. Hopefully, both Greta Gerwig and Saorise Ronan will receive recognition for Lady Bird, which I’m actively upset about not being able to see yet. The Florida Project has some potential as well, and Margot Robbie’s turn in I, Tonya is getting a lot of buzz as well.

It’s still a bit early (the season just started), but it’s fun to begin putting some dots on the map for what we’ll be discussing quite heavily in three months or so.

Have you seen any of these films yet? What are your favorites, and what are your very early Oscar predictions? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter or whatever!

Nick Potter

Co-founder of The Filmsmiths. Degree in Broadcast & Cinematic Arts with a minor in Cinema Studies from Central Michigan University. Pretty much the barbecue sauce of people but I'm doing my best.

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