The Gotham Awards on Monday named Netflix’s The Lost Daughter its Best Feature during a ceremony in lower Manhattan honoring the best independent films of 2021 with a vaccinated, Covid-tested, in-person ceremony at its longtime Cipriani Wall Street home. The drama written and directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal swept to a leading four wins overall.
Gyllenhaal had already won twice tonight for Lost Daughter, for Breakthrough Director and Best Screenplay. There have also been two ties: In the gender-neutral, 10-nominee Outstanding Lead Performance category, The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain star Frankie Faison and Lost Daughter star Olivia Colman both won, while in Outstanding Performance in a New Series both Thuso Mbedu for The Underground Railroad and Ethan Hawke for The Good Lord Bird had their names called.
Emilia Jones took the Breakthrough Performer award for her starring role in Apple’s CODA, a movie that also scored the Outstanding Supporting Performance trophy tonight for Troy Kotsur, the first two awards of the season for the pic Apple Studios acquired back in January at the Sundance Film Festival for an eye-popping $125 million.
In the nonfiction categories, Denmark’s Oscar entry, the animated Flee, won for Best Documentary, while PBS’ Philly D.A. from Topic and Independent Lens won a new award, for Breakthrough Nonfiction Series. Drive My Car, the Cannes screenplay winner and Japan’s submission to the International Feature Oscar race, won Best International Film.
Lost Daughter and Rebecca Hall’s Passing, also from Netflix, swept the top nominations, which were announced last month in 12 categories. In an interesting shift by organizer Gotham Film & Media Institute (formerly IFP), the acting awards are no longer defined by gender; the Best Actress and Best Actor categories are now combined in Outstanding Lead Performance and Outstanding Supporting Performance with double the nominees – to 10, from five.
Hawke, presenting a tribute to Peter Dinklage just after his own win, praised the gender neutral performance nods. “Directors don’t get recognized by gender. I never understood why actors do,” he said onstage. But some present regretted the reduced ability to spread the awards wealth: The number of nominees rose but the number of awards is cut in half, noted one director in the audience.
In the series TV categories, Netflix’s Squid Game won its first major U.S. award since its record launch on the streamer, taking the honor tonight for Breakthrough Series – Long Format (over 40 minutes).
“When I wrote this script 12 years ago in 2009 I did my best but no one liked it — they said it was too violent, absurd, weird,” Squid Game‘s creator Huwang Dong-hyuk said onstage accepting the trophy. Once it aired, he said, “it tool less than 12 days to become the No. 1 show on the planet.”
In the Breakthrough Series – Short Format (under 40 minutes) category, FX on Hulu’s Reservation Dogs took the prize.
The show also recognized an array of independent talent with honorary awards including Magnolia Pictures’ Eamonn Bowles, Industry Tribute; Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog), the Directors Tribute;…