The first staging post of a truncated awards season delivered a resounding victory for Netflix on Monday night (December 2), as the streaming giant took six prizes at the 2019 IFP Gotham Awards in New York including four for best feature winner Marriage Story.
The acclaimed divorce drama also earned gongs for lead actor Adam Driver, screenwriter Noah Baumbach (who also directed), and the audience award.
Awkwafina won best actress for The Farewell, one of two for A24 alongside breakthrough actor winner Taylor Russell for Waves. Laure De Clermont-Tonnerre won the breakthrough director category for The Mustang, distributed by Focus Features in the US.
American Factory won best documentary and When They See Us was named best in class in the breakthrough series – long form, to round out a successful night for Netflix that bodes well for the remainder of awards season.
Marriage Story poses a major threat to all comers across multiple categories in the coming months, and then there are its Netflix stablemates The Irishman and Two Popes, which are likely to make an impact as successive awards bodies cast their votes. Despite nominations for critical darlings The Lighthouse, Uncut Gems, Clemency, and Midsommar, each emerged empty-handed. The first three are fronted by heavyweight performances and are expected to remain in the conversation as the season draws on.
In special tributes, there was recognition for industry figure and FilmNation founder Glen Basner, actors Laura Dern and Sam Rockwell, and Ava DuVernay for directing.
Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Laure De Clermont-Tonnerre, The Mustang
Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Awkwafina, The Farewell
Taylor Russell, Waves
Breakthrough Series – Long Form
When They See Us
Breakthrough Series – Short Form