Beginners And Tree Of Life Tie For Top Gotham Independent Film Award

By Katey Rich 2011-11-29 06:16:05discussion comments
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Beginners And Tree Of Life Tie For Top Gotham Independent Film Award image
The first film awards show of the season is also among the smallest, but it's always good to kick off the back-patting and celebrating with the Gotham Independent Film Awards, which celebrate the kind of small-scale indies that typically get clobbered when the Oscars roll around. The prizes were handed out last night, and for the first time in the 21-year history of the Gothams, there was a tie for Best Picture. Both Beginners, Mike Mills's autobiographical dramedy about the death of his father, and Terrence Malick's Tree of Life shared the Best Picture prize, with Beginners also taking home the Best Ensemble trophy.

Though both Beginners and Tree of Life are in the hunt for Oscars, though possibly not for Best Picture, the rest of the Gothams went to films that likely won't factor there at all. Felicity Jones, who won the Best Actress prize at the Sundance Film Festival, added another trophy for that performance, taking home Breakthrough Actor for her indie Like Crazy, and beating out bigger names like Martha Marcy May Marlene's Elizabeth Olsen and The Descendants' Shailene Woodley in the process. Pariah director Dee Rees won Breakthrough Director, and Better This World, a documentary about two young American men arrested on terrorist charges, won Best Documentary. The award for Best Film Not Playing In A Theater Near You went to Scenes of a Crime, a documentary about police interrogation that played a series of festivals this year.

What's nice about the Gothams is that you don't really need to tie them into a larger awards narrative, or try to figure out how these awards might give people heat for the rest of awards season. These are just statues that reward good work, and with such a solid slate of nominees, every winner is more than deserving. You can check out a lot of the winning performances and films on DVD or in theaters right now too, so really, everybody wins.
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