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2021 Gotham Awards Wrap Up

Written by Alexander Reams

“Dread it. Run from it. Destiny arrives all the same.”

Well, folks, the time has come. Drink in the Movies is back, bringing you awards coverage for the 2021-2022 season, and tonight we begin with the 2021 Gotham Awards, the kickoff of almost every award season. 

Unlike most awards shows, I’ll give you the dessert first. After much confusion on who was leading the race here, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s debut, The Lost Daughter took home Best Picture, cementing its space in the tight Oscar race. Along with Best Picture, The Lost Daughter took home the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award for Maggie Gyllenhaal, Best Screenplay, also Gyllenhaal, and Best Lead Performance (it was a tie but we’ll get to that later) for Olivia Colman, bringing its grand total to 4 wins. 

Best Documentary Feature was a runaway win for Flee, who has been sweeping up wins in not only Best Documentary but also Best Animated and Best Foreign Film. Despite winning multiple awards in the latter category, Flee was not nominated for Best International Film. Instead, those nominees were more focused on the even smaller foreign films, with a few Oscar hopefuls, Drive My Car, The Worst Person in the World, and Titane being on the forefront of that category with the former winning here. Ryusuke Hamaguchi has been quietly sneaking away Best International Feature wins from the other frontrunners. Quietly building steam, until now. Now, there are many eyes on this film, so MAYBE IT CAN FINALLY PLAY IN WIDE RELEASE (I would greatly appreciate it). 

There was only one other film that had more than one win, CODA, Sian Heder’s Sundance darling, which despite its wins at Sundance, does little more than cloy for us audience members to feel bad for these characters and that includes Troy Kotsur, who won Best Supporting Performance for CODA. Who should’ve won? That is a question whose answer should be so clear I don’t have to ask it, alas I do. I digress, Reed Birney for Mass should’ve won, and not as much for him but to bring attention to the film so that attention is on the one person who should be nominated, Jason Isaacs. The brightest point of CODA is Emilia Jones’ performance, who in any other year would never win, but in a weak year for Breakthrough Performer, she takes home the gold, not much more to say on that. 

Before I get to the “So What?” Best Lead Performance was a tie, you know Olivia Colman won, and the other was Frankie Faison in The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain. I haven’t seen the film but I will definitely be keeping an eye out for it now. 

Now. So What? Well, the Gotham’s aren’t the most accurate when predicting Oscar nominations, so don’t rush to Gold Derby to change your predictions, but they can help with thinning out the crowds, and at least begin to eye in on possible nominees. I would recommend looking at The Lost Daughter a lot more, especially in the Adapted Screenplay category. Flee has been a lock for some time now, in one category or another. This is not the award show that should make you rush and change your ballot, in fact, I implore you not to. For now, we awards junkies should be celebrating the fact that awards season has returned, and this is only the beginning. 

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter. Or see more of his work on his website.

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