'La La Land' Named Best Film by New York Film Critics Circle

La La Land Still - Publicity - H 2016
Courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival

'Manchester by the Sea' and 'Moonlight' each won three awards.

The New York Film Critics Circle has chosen La La Land as the best film of 2016. The critics group voted on its annual film winners on Thursday.

Although Damien Chazelle's musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone took the top prize, that was the only NYFCC award won by the Oscar frontrunner. Fellow frontrunners Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea won three awards each. Manchester took best actor (Casey Affleck), best screenplay (Kenneth Lonergan) and best supporting actress (Michelle Williams), who also was recognized for her work in Certain Women. Moonlight won best director (Barry Jenkins), best supporting actor (Mahershala Ali) and best cinematography (James Laxton).

Isabelle Huppert followed her surprising Gotham Awards win on Monday with the NYFCC's best actress prize, which recognized her work in both Elle and Things to Come. O.J.: Made in America continued its documentary winning streak, after nabbing a Gotham Award and NBR prize in the same category earlier this week. Zootopia was named best animated film. Toni Erdmann was selected as best foreign-language film, and best first film was a tie for the Hailee Steinfeld-starrer Edge of Seventeen and indie drama Krisha.

The New York critics failed to recognize a number of Oscar frontrunners, including Lion, Fences, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, Sully, Jackie and Patriots Day.

Two special awards were also announced: one for Martin Scorsese's longtime editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, and the other for Julie Dash's Daughters of the Dust 25th anniversary restoration.

Last year, Carol was the big winner among the NYFCC, with the Cate Blanchett-starrer taking four awards, including the top prize of best picture.

The full list of the NYFCC's 2016 winners follows.

Best film: La La Land

Best actor: Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea

Best actress: Isabelle Huppert for both Elle and Things to Come

Best director: Barry Jenkins for Moonlight

Best screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea

Best supporting actor: Mahershala Ali for Moonlight

Best supporting actress: Michelle Williams for both Manchester by the Sea and Certain Women

Best animated film: Zootopia

Best cinematography: James Laxton for Moonlight

Best first film (tie): The Edge of Seventeen and Krisha

Best foreign-language film: Toni Erdmann

Best documentary: O.J.: Made in America

Special awards: One for editor Thelma Schoonmaker, the other for Julie Dash's Daughters of the Dust 25th anniversary restoration

Founded in 1935, the organization's membership includes critics from daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines and qualifying online general-interest publications. Every December, the group meets in New York to vote on awards for the previous calendar year's films.

In addition to the regular categories, which include best picture, director, actor and actress, special stand-alone awards are given to individuals and organizations that have made substantial contributions to the art of cinema, including producers, directors, actors, writers, critics, historians, film restorers and service organizations.

The awards will be handed out in New York in January.