Entertainment & Arts

Moonlight hailed as 'masterpiece' at New York Film Critics Circle awards

Moonlight Image copyright David Bornfriend
Image caption Moonlight is tipped as an Oscars frontrunner

Moonlight was hailed as a "masterpiece" as it won three prizes at the New York Film Critics Circle awards.

The film took home best director, best cinematography and best supporting actor for Mahershala Ali.

Veteran director Jonathan Demme, who gave the best director award to Barry Jenkins, said Moonlight "enters our heart and soul and takes root there".

He described the film, which is also an Oscars frontrunner, as a "brilliant masterpiece".

Moonlight: Small budget, big impact

The movie, which stars Ashton Sanders and Naomie Harris, is about a young gay black man growing up in an impoverished part of Miami.

La La Land and Manchester By The Sea took home the night's other big prizes.

The panel which decided on the winners is made up of 37 New York-based critics.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Casey Affleck won best actor for his role in Manchester By The Sea

Manchester By The Sea won best original screenplay and best actor for Casey Affleck, while his co-star Michelle Williams was named best supporting actress.

In his acceptance speech, Affleck playfully referred to the fact critics have not always held him in high regard.

"I've been singled out by this organisation before in a less flattering way, but you got to take your lumps, you know, if you're going to enjoy the sugar," he said.

"So it's nice to be in this room and to know that at least a majority of them appreciated the job I did in this movie."

Image copyright AP
Image caption Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star in La La Land

Musical La La Land only took home one prize, but it was for the biggest award of the night - best film.

Other winners included Isabelle Huppert, who was named best actress, Zootopia, which won best animated film, and Toni Erdmann, which won best foreign language film.

The winners were announced on 1 December but only formally collected their prizes at a ceremony on Tuesday evening.

The full list of winners is available on the New York Film Critics Circle website.

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