Gotham Awards Give Boosts to ‘The Lost Daughter’ and ‘CODA’ – What Does It Mean for the Academy?
Art and Experience:
The Gotham Awards are usually the first stop on the awards season trail. This year, the Nov. 29 dinner was also the first in-person awards ceremony in New York City since the pandemic changed everything nearly two years ago. So what did we learn from the show?
The two big winners of the night were streaming movies: “The Lost Daughter” from Netflix and “CODA” from Apple Original Films. For the first time in the show’s 31-year history, the two prominent acting awards were not separated by gender, which is better in theory than in practice.
“The Lost Daughter,” a Netflix drama from debut writer and director Maggie Gyllenhaal, walked away with four awards out of five nominations: best feature, breakthrough director, screenplay and outstanding leading performance for Olivia Colman, who tied with Frankie Faison from Kino Lorber’s “The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain.” Gyllenhaal’s film, which is an adaptation of the Elena Ferrante novel, is poised to be a formidable challenger in adapted screenplay at the Oscars, with Colman once again a strong contender for best actress after winning for “The Favourite” (2018) over Lady Gaga. Although the Gotham winners are determined by a small group of five voters in each category, winning an award at an industry dinner attended by hundreds helps in the campaign for best picture.
Apple received a nice bump for “CODA,” its heartwarming summer release that debuted at Sundance. With Troy Kotsur winning for supporting performance, becoming the first deaf actor to receive an acting prize at the show, his chances for supporting actor recognition have increased significantly, in what could be a trajectory similar to Paul Raci’s for “Sound of Metal” at the 2021 Oscars. In addition, “CODA” co-star Emilia Jones picked up the breakthrough performance award. But she’s an underdog in the best actress race, which is stacked this year.
Going into the evening, Netflix’s other feature, “Passing,” from debut writer and director Rebecca Hall, co-led the nomination tally with five but walked away empty-handed, including for stars Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson. There are two months until nomination voting opens, so adapted screenplay and the acting categories still are within the film’s reach.
The Gothams are a fun and entertaining event, with celebrities and guests drinking throughout the evening, but the run time seemed to rival the Oscars’. A near four-hour ceremony for 11 categories is too long for both attendees and viewers on YouTube. The length was padded by multiple tributes and special awards given throughout the night to honorees like director Jane Campion for “The Power of the Dog,” lead actress Kristen Stewart for “Spencer,” lead actor Peter Dinklage for “Cyrano” and the cast of “The Harder They Fall,” hoping for some SAG love down the line.
With the event taking place at the same time as the world premiere of Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story,” which opened to rave reviews, much of the chatter dissipated quickly. But a win is a win — and something every campaign can use.
With the National Board of Review winners out today, the race continues to heat up gradually, if not more accurately, intensely.