Manchester by the Sea was chosen as the Best Film of 2016 by the Kansas City Film Critics Circle, the second oldest critics group in the country. MediaMikes film critics Michael Smith and Jeremy Werner are members of the group. Smith also serves as the groups secretary and is a member of the governing board. The film was also recognized with the Robert Altman Award for Direction and the film’s star, Casey Affleck, was chosen as the year’s Best Actor. The winners were announced today during a ceremony for the 51st Annual James Loutzenhiser Awards at the Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet Theatre in Kansas City.
Manchester by the Sea led all films with three wins, while Arrival, Hell or High Water and Moonlight each received two awards. Natalie Portman was named Best Actress for her portrayal of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in Jackie while Jeff Bridges was awarded Best Supporting Actor for his work as a grizzled Texas Ranger in Hell or High Water. For the 13th time at least one category resulted in a tie when Viola Davis (Fences) and Naomie Harris (Moonlight) tied in the Best Supporting Actress category. Zootopia was named the year’s Best Animated Feature.
This year the group also awarded the inaugural Tom Poe Award for Best LGBT Film. A beloved associate professor of film and media arts in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Poe, who passed away in November at the age of 70, was a long-time member of the Critics Circle. His reviews were inevitably astute and well-informed yet just as naturally considered and kind, in keeping with his sympathies for both filmmaker and audience. It was Poe’s belief that “great film reviews give rise to thinking about films.” As such, he supported many members of KCFCC through encouragement and dialogue. Tom Poe was our colleague and friend, and it is our intention that this annual award honor his legacy as an advocate for LGBT rights and promote his desire for justice by way of accurate and beneficial representation. The inaugural recipient is Moonlight.
The full list of winners is below:
Manchester by the Sea
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea
Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
Natalie Portman – Jackie
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Viola Davis – Fences and Naomie Harris – Moonlight
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Taylor Sheridan – Hell or High Water
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Eric Heisserer – Arrival
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Handmaiden – South Korea
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
OJ: Made in America
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
VINCE KOEHLER AWARD FOR BEST SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY or HORROR FILM
TOM POE AWARD FOR BEST LGBT FILM