Moonlight, the story of a young man coming to age in Miami amidst the “War on Drugs,” won top honors Saturday from the National Society of Film Critics.
Barry Jenkins, who adapted the script from an unproduced play by Tarell Alvin McCraney, also was tapped as best director, and the film earned the best cinematography prize for lenser James Laxton, as well.
Meanwhile, writer/director Kenneth Lonergan’s family drama Manchester by the Sea scored honors for best screenplay, actor (for Casey Affleck) and supporting actress (for Michelle Williams).
The NSFC committee is made up of some of the nation’s top film critics with the Los Angeles Times’ Justin Chang acting as the current chair. Founded in 1966, the NSFC elects its members from publications all over the country, including The New Yorker, NPR and The Christian Science Monitor. This year marks the 51st annual meeting of its voters.
The complete list of winners is below.
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