The UK’s leading critics spread the love among a range of films at the 37th Critics’ Circle Film Awards on Sunday night at The May Fair Hotel in London. Hosted by actor-filmmakers Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, the star-studded black-tie ceremony saw Damien Chazelle’s musical La La Land crowned Film of the Year, with top prizes going to films from Ireland, France, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Australia and the USA.
In a surprise move, Director of the Year was won by Hungarian filmmaker Laszlo Nemes for his Oscar-winning drama Son of Saul. Screenwriter went to Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea, which also won Actor of the Year for Casey Affleck. Moonlight was presented with both supporting acting categories, for Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali, who tied with Love & Friendship‘s Tom Bennett. Bennett’s costar Kate Beckinsale was on hand to claim the British/Irish Actress prize, while Andrew Garfield won British/Irish Actor for his performances in both Hacksaw Ridge and Silence.
Iconic French actress Isabelle Huppert also took home two awards. She was presented the prestigious Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film before going on to win in the Actress of the Year category for her performance in Mia Hansen-Love’s Things to Come.
Maren Ade’s acclaimed Toni Erdmann added to its global accolades as it was named Foreign-Language Film of the Year, while Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at Sea took the Documentary honours. And Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake won The Attenborough Award for British/Irish Film of the Year.
Other winners included A Monster Calls‘ 14-year-old star Lewis MacDougall, named Young British/Irish Performer of the Year, and writer-director Babak Anvari, who won The Philip French Award for Breakthrough British/Irish Filmmaker for his feature debut Under the Shadow. Cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grovlen claimed the Technical Achievement Award for his bravura work on the one-take German thriller Victoria.
For the fifth year running, The May Fair Hotel hosted the event, with winners Beckinsale, Harris, Loach, Bennett, MacDougall and Anvari among an array of stars on the red carpet. Guests at the ceremony included George MacKay, Emma Greenwell, Morfydd Clark, Mica Levi, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Sennia Nanua, Ben Cohen, Kristina Rihanoff and filmmakers John Carney, Otto Bell and Mia Hansen-Love.
The Critics’ Circle Film Awards are sponsored by The May Fair Hotel and Suqqu, along with Millbank Casting & Management, Cooper Searle Personal Management, Audi, Remy Martin, Sacred, Voss, 31 Dover and Cameo Productions.
The full list of winners for the 37th London Critics’ Circle Film Awards:
FILM OF THE YEAR
La La Land
FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR
Fire at Sea
BRITISH/IRISH FILM OF THE YEAR
I, Daniel Blake
ACTOR OF THE YEAR presented by Millbank and Cooper Searle
Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
ACTRESS OF THE YEAR presented by Suqqu
Isabelle Huppert – Things to Come
SUPPORTING ACTOR OF THE YEAR (tie)
Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
Tom Bennett – Love & Friendship
SUPPORTING ACTRESS OF THE YEAR presented by Cameo
Naomie Harris – Moonlight
DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
László Nemes – Son of Saul
SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge, Silence
Kate Beckinsale – Love & Friendship
YOUNG BRITISH/IRISH PERFORMER presented by The May Fair Hotel
Lewis MacDougall – A Monster Calls
BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH/IRISH FILMMAKER
Babak Anvari – Under the Shadow
BRITISH/IRISH SHORT FILM
Sweet Maddie Stone – Brady Hood
Victoria – Sturla Brandth Grovlen, cinematography
DILYS POWELL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN FILM