Adam Sandler and Lupita Nyong’o honored by the New York Film Critics Circle

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The New York Film Critics Circle Awards are a disconcerting reprieve from the midst of awards season. Nestled between the Golden Globes and the Oscars, the annual ceremony brings together A-list celebrities and standout filmmakers and writers to critique their work together in a no-gloves party where the actors trade blows with critics and followers.

“I’m tired of campaigning. I’m tired!” lamented Antonio Banderas, who accepted his best actor award for his role in “Pain and Glory” on stage at Tao Downtown in New York on Tuesday night. “I am not a politician. I am an actor. We wanted to go to the Cannes Film Festival, then we were in Toronto, then we were in New York. I’m going to Spain, and I can’t sleep because it’s New York time! What the hell am I thinking? I am not a politician!

Banderas, who received his award from Ethan Hawkewas joined by a host of Hollywood names, including other winners Lupita Nyong’o (best actress for “We”), Joe Pesci (Best Supporting Actor for “The Irishman”), Josh and Benny Safdie (best director for “Uncut Gems”), Bong Joon Ho (best foreign film for “Parasite”), Quentin Tarantino (best screenplay for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) and Martin Scorsese and robert de niro (best film for “The Irishman”).

For some, the ceremony was a unique opportunity to honor the special, often symbiotic relationship between artists and critics.

“As a young girl, learning film, I loved film criticism and especially New York film criticism, which is why it is a special honor for me tonight,” Laura Dern Told Variety on the red carpet. “The reviews here were really my college education in filmmaking,” she said.

As she accepted her Best Supporting Actress trophy onstage for “Marriage Story,” she echoed that sentiment.

“If it hadn’t been for, frankly, Pauline Kael or critics like her, I wouldn’t have realized the gift I had, because I didn’t understand what was going on. I went from 10th year to, like, brains splattered at my feet while being a virgin girl on set. It was really overwhelming and I turned to the critics who taught me about filmmaking.

Others took the opportunity to castigate some of the writers who had given them a hard time. Not the least was Tarantino, whose 10-minute acceptance speech was called by famed writer Peter Rainer.

“You’ve never given me a positive review in 30 years,” Tarantino teased from the stage. “Not to make you feel guilty, but I read you every weekend when you were writing for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, starting at age 15! Not only did I read you, but I still have those fucking Herald reviewers in my fucking office!

Tarantino wasn’t the only one berating the crowd.

“I know what you’ve said of me over the years,” Adam Sandler, whose dramatic turn in “Uncut Gems” earned him widespread acclaim, dryly told the assembled critics. “It’s good. I have two words for you: you’re mean.

Where the NYFCC has aligned expectations for awards on Oscar night in the past, its focus on craftsmanship and artistry may also surprise, delaying actors and performances noticeably left out by voting bodies. popular.

Such was the case this year, when the Circle honored Nyong’o, whose thrilling performance of not one, but two roles in a single film, struggled to retain front-runner status in the Oscar race. . The possible omission highlighted the mountain some actresses of color must climb for fair recognition.

In accepting the Best Actress award, Nyong’o owes her father’s indomitable love for Shakespeare her understanding of dramatic language and credited “We” writer and director Jordan Peele.

“He offered me a chance to exist in an imaginary world without context by the color of my skin or the content of my cultural history, and it is a radical, meaningful and liberating act,” she said. . “Jordan creates space for people like me to exist at the forefront in a narrative and a genre that has often kept us on the sidelines. He radicalizes the perspective on who the everyday man and woman become, and in doing so, he expands our collective consciousness.

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