Gotham Awards 2018 Results: The Rider Surprises with Best Feature

Awards season has kicked off with a bit of a shock.

The Rider movie

The Gotham Awards have recently shed some light on the Oscar race, having predicted three of the last five Best Picture winners correctly, but from first appearances, that will not be the case this year. In a surprising ending, The Rider took home the coveted Best Feature prize, a film that first played at the Cannes Film Festival in May of 2017, and was finally released stateside in April.

First Reformed led the nominations and took home two prizes: Best Actor for Ethan Hawke and Best Screenplay for writer/director Paul Schrader. Reformed has been creeping up the awards season ladder with nominations here and at the Independent Spirit Awards. At this rate, we can expect these two aspects of the film to be nominated at further awards shows.

Toni Collette was another surprise winner tonight for Best Actress for the horror film Hereditary. She has seemed to be an unconventional nominee in this field, and it’s a packed year for the Lead Actress category, but if she can get in at the Golden Globes or the Screen Actors Guild Awards, she might secure herself a slot at the Oscars as well.

Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade also took home two prizes for Breakthrough Actor Elsie Fisher and the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award for Burnham. Best Documentary was another upset tonight with the heavily-favored Won’t You Be My Neighbor being bested by Hale County This Morning, This Evening. Neighbor did win the Audience Award, though.

Two films who are heavier bets at the Academy Awards, The Favourite and If Beale Street Could Talk, both went home empty-handed tonight in the competitive categories. The Favourite was bestowed with the Special Jury Ensemble Performance Prize for the work done by Emma Stone, Olivia Colman, and Rachel Weisz. Leave No Trace, Madeline’s Madeline, Sorry to Bother You, Private Life, and Support the Girls were also multiple-nominated films that didn’t score any wins.

The awards season calendar is about to fill up. This week also sees the National Board of Review hand out their awards (Nov. 27) and the New York Film Critics Circle casts their votes (Nov. 29). We will have to see if this entire awards season will be representative of tonight’s upsets or if things will begin to go more as planned by the early prognosticators.