Casey Affleck wins critics’ Best Actor award, reads out all the nasty reviews critics gave him

Deliciously, they were written by the host of the awards ceremony

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The Independent Culture

It’s always been the elephant in the room at film critics organisation awards - being honoured by a group of people many of whom were actually quite mean about your film/performance.

Casey Affleck didn’t so much acknowledge this elephant as give it a flying dropkick on Tuesday night though, accepting a Best Actor award from the New York Film Critics Circle for his work on Manchester By The Sea and then, during his acceptance speech, reading out a list of stinging criticisms the host had written about his acting in the past.

“I like to read reviews,” Affleck prefaced the speech, particularly when they’re “informed without being esoteric, critical without being snarky or personal.”

But he went on to note that, while many New York critics had been kind about his performances, NFYCC chairman, New York Magazine reviewer and host of the ceremony, David Edelstein. had not.

He read out these Edelstein quotes (as per Deadline), and this list is not exhaustive:

“Affleck, though likable, doesn’t have a lot of variety and resorts to chewing gum to give his character through-lines.”

“Affleck’s line readings would be too mumbly and mulish even for the glory days of ’50s Method [acting] and he might as well be wearing a T-shirt that says ‘Shoot Me.’ Fortunately, he’s not the lead,”

“It’s looking like whenever I see Affleck’s name in a movie’s credits, you can expect a standard, genre B picture — slowed down and tarted up.”

Casey Affleck: Manchester By The Sea was a big emotional undertaking

Affleck’s speech apparently went down brilliantly with the audience, but not quite so well with Edelstein, who spent much of the rest of the evening defending himself.

The actor-director, who has always polarised critics - from the acclaimed The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford to the (unfairly, in my opinion) derided I'm Still here - has a good chance of landing an Academy Award for Manchester by the Sea next month.

Affleck's MBTS co-star Michelle Williams won Best Supporting Actress at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, while the night's biggest prizes went to La La Land (Best Picture), Barry Jenkins (Best Director for Moonlight) and Isabelle Huppert (Best actress for Elle and Things to Come).

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