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‘Marriage Story’ Wins Best Feature at Gotham Awards – Variety

December 2nd, 2019

“Marriage Story,” a drama about a painful divorce between a loving Hollywood couple, won best feature at the Gotham Awards in downtown Manhattan on Monday night.

The annual event in early December, hosted by the Independent Filmmakers Project, resembles the Iowa caucus, as the first stop on the long and tangled road of awards season. And like in Iowa, many campaigners put on a brave face–in the middle of a snowstorm–as they delivered carefully scripted speeches.

The biggest winner of the night was Netflix, which released “Marriage Story.” The streaming Goliath managed to wrestle away six trophies on a night that is largely devoted to independent story tellers.

“Marriage Story” won four of those prizes. In addition to best feature, the movie also won best actor for Adam Driver, best screenplay for Noah Baumbach and the audience award, decided by IFP members.

Indeed, Netflix seemed to dominate the evening in more ways than one. Executives had bought up three of the VIP tables closest to the stage, relegating indie distributors from other companies to the back of the Cipriani Wall Street ballroom.

During one of his many trips to the podium, Baumbach thanked Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos (who was in attendance) for financing his movie and saving the Paris Theatre, the historic one-screen venue in midtown Manhattan that will now cater to Netflix productions. The moment, of course, was scripted, a testament to just how formidable Netflix could be — with other titles such as “The Irishman,” “The Two Popes” and “Dolemite Is My Name” — in this year’s upcoming Oscars season.

Awkwafina won best actress for “The Farewell.”

Rain, snow and sleet couldn’t stop the Independent Filmmaker Project from handing out its annual Gotham Awards on Monday night in New York City.

Up for best picture this year are “The Farewell,” “Hustlers,” “Marriage Story,” “Uncut Gems” and “Waves.” Willem Dafoe (“The Lighthouse”), Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”), Aldis Hodge (“Clemency”), André Holland (“High Flying Bird”) and Adam Sandler (“Uncut Gems”) are competing for best actor. Awkwafina (“The Farewell”), Elisabeth Moss (“Her Smell”), Mary Kay Place (“Diane”), Florence Pugh (“Midsommar”) and Alfre Woodard (“Clemency”) are up for best actress.

Gotham Awards winners don’t always go on to take home Oscar gold, but a win at the New York event could help build awards-season momentum for an indie.

Actors Laura Dern and Sam Rockwell, director Ava DuVernay and FilmNation founder-CEO Glen Basner are all receiving individual tributes during the gala.

Here’s the full winners list, which is being updated live as awards are announced.

Best Feature
“Marriage Story” (Netflix)

Best Actress
Awkwafina in “The Farewell” (A24)

Best Actor
Adam Driver in “Marriage Story” (Netflix)

Breakthrough Series – Long Format (over 40 minutes)
“When They See Us” (Netflix)

Breakthrough Series – Short Format (under 40 minutes)
“PEN15” (Hulu)

Breakthrough Director
Laure De Clermont-Tonnerre for “The Mustang” (Focus Features)

Audience Award
“Marriage Story” (Netflix)

Breakthrough Actor
Taylor Russell in “Waves” (A24)

Best Screenplay
Noah Baumbach, “Marriage Story” (Netflix)

Best Documentary
“American Factory” (Netflix)

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