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New York Film Critics Circle picks "Roma" as Best of 2018

NEW YORK - "Roma," Alfonso Cuarón's semi-autobiographical story of a middle-class family in Mexico in the early 1970s dissolving in divorce, as their young housekeeper responsible for keeping the family functioning becomes pregnant, was named Best Film of 2018 by the New York Film Critics Circle. 

Cuarón was also honored as Best Director. Serving as his own director of photography, Cuarón was also recognized for his pristine and elegant black-and-white cinematography.

Ethan Hawke in Paul Schrader's "First Reformed." A24

Ethan Hawke was named Best Actor for his performance in Paul Schrader's "First Reformed," as a pastor questioning his spiritual path as well as the moral responsibility of his church. Schrader also received the award for Best Screenplay.

In one of several surprises, Regina Hall was named Best Actress for the comedy "Support the Girls," as the manager of a Hooters-style restaurant. 

Richard E. Grant, as an accomplice who helps Melissa McCarthy sell forged letters from literary luminaries in "Can You Ever Forgive Me?," was named Best Supporting Actor. 

Regina King won Best Supporting Actress as the mother of a young pregnant woman in "If Beale Street Could Talk," based on the James Baldwin novel.

"Cold War," from Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski ("Ida"), about an Eastern European musician and singer's passionate romance intersected by the Iron Curtain in the years following World War II, was named Best Foreign Language Film. (Both "Cold War" and "Beale Street" will open in theatres in December.)

Tomasz Kot and Joanna Kulig in "Cold War." Lukasz Bak/Amazon

Bob Burnham's "Eighth Grade," about a shy 13-year-old girl stumbling through the last week of middle school, was named Best First Film.

The documentary "Minding the Gap," by first-film filmmaker Bing Liu, about three young Illinois skateboarders coming to terms with their families' long tentacles of domestic violence, was named Best Non-Fiction Film. 

In an upset for the folks at Pixar and Disney, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" was named Best Animated Film. 

The New York Film Critics Circle is comprised of 45 print and online movie reviewers based in the city. It is the first critics' group to announce its best-of choices, which are a major precursor for the Academy Award nominations, which will be announced on Tuesday, January 22, 2018.

Among this year's notable films which did not receive a mention among today's honorees were the Coen Brothers' "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs," "Black Panther," Spike Lee's "Blackkklansman," "Boy Erased," "Burning," "The Death of Stalin," "Disobedience," "The Favourite," "At Eternity's Gate," "Leave No Trace," "Madeline's Madeline," "The Miseducation of Cameron Post," "On the Basis of Sex," "A Quiet Place," "A Star Is Born," "Summer 1993," "Vice," "Wildlife" and "You Were Never Really Here."

The New York Film Critics Circle Awards will be handed out in early January.

2018 NYFCC Winners:

Best Picture: "Roma"
Best Actor: Ethan Hawke, "First Reformed"
Best Actress: Regina Hall, "Support the Girls"
Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant, "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, "If Beale Street Could Talk"
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, "Roma"
Best Screenplay: Paul Schrader, "First Reformed"
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, "Roma"
Best Foreign Film: "Cold War" by Pawel Pawlikowski
Best Animated Film: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"
Best Documentary: "Minding the Gap" by Bing Liu
Best First Film: "Eighth Grade" by Bo Burnham
Special Awards: David Schwartz, chief film curator at the Museum of the Moving Image; and Kino Lorber for their video collection, "Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers," which traces the groundbreaking work of such silent-era directors as Alice Guy Blaché and Lois Weber.   

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