'Moonlight' Named Best Film by Toronto Film Critics

Moonlight Still - Publicity - H 2016
David Bornfriend

German comedy 'Toni Erdmann' was the night's other big winner, earning three awards.

Moonlight was named this year's best picture by the Toronto Film Critics Association. The German comedy Toni Erdmann and Manchester by the Sea were runners-up in the best film category.

The Canadian critics voted on their annual film competition on Sunday and live-tweeted their winners. Barry Jenkins' drama Moonlight, about a gay black man coming of age in a rough Miami neighborhood also earned Mahershala Ali the best supporting actor prize.

The group last year named the lesbian drama Carol as best film. Ali beat out Ralph Fiennes in A Bigger Splash and Michael Shannon in Nocturnal Animals as runners-up in the best supporting actor competition.

Leaving the Oscar front-runner La La Land by Damien Chazelle and starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone without any prizes in this year's competition, the TFCA on Sunday tapped Toni Erdmann's Maren Ade as best director and the pic's lead Sandra Huller as best actress, while also naming the German comedy the best foreign-language film of the year.

Huller beat out Rebecca Hall in Christine, Isabelle Huppert in Elle and Natalie Portman in Jackie as runners-up in the best actress category. And the best director tally ended with La La Land's Chazelle and Moonlight's Jenkins as runners-up to Maren Ade.

In the remaining acting categories, Adam Driver was chosen as best actor for playing a poetic bus driver in Paterson, with runner-ups in the category being Casey Affleck for Manchester and Peter Simonischek for Toni Erdmann

Elsewhere, Manchester's Michelle Williams was named the best supporting actress prize. Viola Davis for Fences and Naomie Harris for Moonlight were runners-up in the best supporting actress competition.

Manchester also earned best screenplay honors for writer/director Kenneth Lonergan. And Toronto critics tapped Zootopia best animated feature, and Robert Eggers' The Witch as best first feature.

The TFCA also named three indie movies to challenge for the best Canadian movie of 2016: Kazik Radwanski's How Heavy This Hammer, Matt Johnson's Operation Avalanche and The Stairs, directed by Hugh Gibson.

The awards will be formally handed out in January in Toronto.