CHICAGO FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION NAMES “MOONLIGHT” BEST FILM OF 2016

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“Manchester by the Sea”, “Jackie” and “The Handmaiden” also take home major awards

“Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins’s acclaimed drama following the journey of self-discovery taken by a young African-American man over the course of three key moments between adolescence and adulthood, was named the winner of the Chicago Film Critics Association’s award for the Best Picture of 2016 in a ceremony held tonight. The film, which went into the final round of balloting with 11 nominations, also earned Jenkins the prize for Best Director and Mahershala Ali received the Best Supporting Actor award for his performance as a neighborhood drug dealer who provides the young man with sanctuary from his abusive home life.

“Manchester by the Sea,” the wrenching drama about a troubled man returning home following the death of his brother, earned the most awards from the group, now in its 27th year. The prize for Best Actor went to Casey Affleck, Kenneth Lonergan won for Best Original Screenplay, newcomer Lucas Hedges was named Most Promising Performer and Michelle Williams received the award for Best Supporting Actress. In addition, three other films took home multiple prizes. “The Handmaiden,” the sexy and twisty thriller about a plot to defraud a heiress in 1930s-era Korea was named Best Foreign Language Film and won for Adapted Screenplay and Art Direction. Natalie Portman was named Best Actress for her performance in “Jackie,” the drama looking at the first few days following the assassination of John F. Kennedy through the eyes of his widow and the film also earned Mica Levi the prize for Original Score. The visionary musical “La La Land” was given awards for Best Cinematography and Best Editing.

Among the other winners, the innovative “Kubo and the Two Strings” beat out heavy competition to win the Best Animated Feature prize. The epic-length “OJ; Made in America” won the Best Documentary award. Finally, Robert Eggers was named Most Promising Filmmaker for his unnerving horror favorite “The Witch.”

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THE 2016 CHICAGO FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION AWARDS

BEST PICTURE: Moonlight
BEST DIRECTOR: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
BEST ACTOR: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
BEST ACTRESS: Natalie Portman, Jackie
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Manchester by the Sea by Kenneth Lonergan
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: The Handmaiden by Seo Kyung-Chung & Chan-wook Park
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: The Handmaiden
BEST DOCUMENTARY: OJ: Made in America
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Kubo and the Two Strings
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: La La Land, Linus Sandgren
BEST EDITING: La La Land, Tom Cross
BEST ART DIRECTION: The Handmaiden, Seong-hie Ryu
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Jackie, Mica Levi
MOST PROMISING PERFORMER: Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER: Robert Eggers, The Witch

BY THE NUMBERS

4 Awards—Manchester by the Sea
3 Awards—The Handmaiden, Moonlight
2 Awards—Jackie, La La Land
1 Award—Kubo and the Two Strings, OJ: Made in America, The Witch