Toronto critics bask in the Moonlight

Toronto Film Critics Association spread the end-of-year movie love to Moonlight, Toni Erdmann and Manchester By The Sea How Heavy This Hammer, Operation Avalanche and The Stairs make shortlist for $100,000 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award


The Toronto Film Critics Association named Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight the best picture of 2016, with Manchester By The Sea and Toni Erdmann as the two runners-up. But none of the three went away empty-handed.

The TFCA (full disclosure: I’m a member) also gave Moonlight the best supporting actor prize, honouring Mahershala Ali for his performance as a drug dealer who becomes the surrogate father to a young boy in the projects of Miami.

Manchester By The Sea also won two awards: Michelle Williams was named best supporting actress and writer/director Kenneth Lonergan took screenplay.

And while Toni Erdmann didn’t go home with best picture, the epic German comedy was the day’s big winner with three awards: best foreign-language feature, best director for Maren Ade and best actress for Sandra Hüller, who stars as an overstressed corporate consultant whose overbearing father inserts himself into her working life. (The film opens in Toronto in January.)

Adam Driver was named this year’s best actor for his work as a poetically inclined bus driver in Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson. (It opens here in February.)

Walt Disney Studios’s Zootopia won best animated feature, and Robert Eggers’s 17th-century horror movie The Witch was named best first feature. And Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson – which opens at the Hot Docs Cinema this week – won the Allan King documentary award.

The TFCA also announced the nominees for this year’s Rogers Best Canadian Film Award: Kazik Radwanski’s How Heavy This Hammer, Matt Johnson’s Operation Avalanche and Hugh Gibson’s The Stairs.

The award carries a cash prize of $100,000. The winner will be announced at the TFCA’s awards gala on January 10, 2017.

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The full list of TFCA Awards winners and runners-up:

BEST PICTURE

Moonlight (Elevation Pictures)

Runners-up: Manchester By The Sea (Mongrel Media) Toni Erdmann (Mongrel Media)

BEST ACTOR

Adam Driver, Paterson

Runners-up: Casey Affleck, Manchester By The Sea Peter Simonischek, Toni Erdmann

BEST ACTRESS

Sandra Hüller, Toni Erdmann

Runners-up: Rebecca Hall, Christine Isabelle Huppert, Elle Natalie Portman, Jackie

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Runners-up: Ralph Fiennes, A Bigger Splash Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Michelle Williams, Manchester By The Sea

Runners-up: Viola Davis, Fences Naomie Harris, Moonlight

BEST DIRECTOR

Maren Ade, Toni Erdmann

Runners-up: Damien Chazelle, La La Land Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

BEST SCREENPLAY, ADAPTED OR ORIGINAL

Manchester By The Sea, written by Kenneth Lonergan

Runners-up: Moonlight, screenplay by Barry Jenkins from a story by Tarell Alvin McCraney Toni Erdmann, written by Maren Ade

BEST FIRST FEATURE

The Witch, directed by Robert Eggers

Runners-up: The Edge of Seventeen, directed by Kelly Fremon Craig Swiss Army Man, directed by Daniel Scheinert and Dan Kwan

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Zootopia (Walt Disney Studios)

Runners-up: Kubo And The Two Strings (Entertainment One) The Red Turtle (A-Z Films)

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM

Toni Erdmann (Mongrel Media)

Runners-up: Elle (Mongrel Media) The Handmaiden (Mongrel Media)

ALLAN KING DOCUMENTARY AWARD

Cameraperson (Films We Like)

Runners-up: Fire At Sea (Films We Like) The Stairs (Midnight Lamp Films)

ROGERS BEST CANADIAN FILM AWARD FINALISTS

How Heavy This Hammer, directed by Kazik Radwanski

Operation: Avalanche, directed by Matt Johnson

The Stairs, directed by Hugh Gibson

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