La La Land is Oscars frontrunner after Best Film win at New York Film Critics Circle

Accolades were also given to Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea and Barry Jenkins' Moonlight

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The Independent Culture

Though many of the Oscar frontrunners have yet even to hit the UK's shores, the awards season race is already solidifying into place. 

Critic awards are part of the early process of honing in on the year's major winners, with the New York Film Critics Circle Awards a crucial early stepping-stone in the race, and a fairly reliable predictor of what will win big with the Academy itself. 

So, get comfortable with hearing a whole lot about La La Land in the coming months, as Damien Chazelle's dazzling modern musical picked up Best Film at the NYFCC, cementing its status as the one to beat on Oscar night. 

A follow-up to Chazelle's 2014 sleeper hit Whiplash, La La Land pairs Ryan Gosling's spirited jazz musician and Emma Stone's struggling actress; in a neon-soaked, nostalgic take on the classic Golden Age musical, all big-hearted romance tinged with a little modern reflection. 

NYFCC also highlighted other major contenders in the race: with Casey Affleck's win for Manchester by the Sea securing him as a favourite for the Best Actor Oscar, and several accolades for Barry Jenkins' stunning Moonlight - including Best Director - making it one of La La Land's biggest challengers. 


You can check out the full list of winners below.

Best Film: La La Land
Best Director: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight 
Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Best Actress: Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea and Certain Women

La La Land - Trailer 2

Best Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan
Best Animated Film: Zootopia
Best Cinematography: Moonlight, James Laxton
Best First Film: (tie) Kelly Fremon Craig’s The Edge of Seventeen and Trey Edwards Shults' Krisha 
Best Foreign Film: Toni Erdmann (Germany)
Best Non-Fiction Film (Documentary): O.J.: Made in America

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