'Beginners' Dominates 2011 Gotham Awards, Shares Top Prize With 'The Tree of Life'
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The 21st annual Gotham Independent Film Awards also sees 'Pariah' helmer Dee Rees winning Breakthrough Director and 'Like Crazy' star Felicity Jones collecting Breakthrough Actor.

AceShowbiz - The awards season has officially been kicked off as the 21st annual Gotham Independent Film Awards announced its winners on Monday, November 28. Coming out as the biggest winner of the evening was "Beginners" as it took home two kudos and beat its strongest competitor, Oscar hopeful "The Descendants".

In addition to winning Best Ensemble Performance, the Mike Mills-directed comedy-drama came out in tie with Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" for Best Feature. On the tie decision, juror %cNatalie Portman% explained that the jury could not choose between the two dramatically different films without feeling as if they were shortchanging one of them.

Other winners at the Gothams included "Pariah" helmer Dee Rees and "Like Crazy" star %cFelicity Jones%. The former outshone %cVera Farmiga% and three other filmmakers to win Breakthrough Director, while the latter best the likes of %cElizabeth Olsen% and %cShailene Woodley% to collect Breakthrough Actor.

Winning the first award of the evening was Justin Lerner's "Girlfriend". The movie about a young man with Down's syndrome wooing a small-town single mom received the most online votes from film festivalgoers, and thus took home the Audience Award. The award ceremony, which took place at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, also included career tributes to actress %cCharlize Theron%, actor %cGary Oldman%, director %cDavid Cronenberg% and executive Tom Rothman. The hosts for the evening were %cEdie Falco% and %cOliver Platt%.

Winners of 2011 Gotham Independent Film Awards:

  • Best Feature: "Beginners" and "The Tree of Life" (tie)
  • Best Documentary: "Better This World"
  • Best Ensemble Performance: "Beginners" (%cChristopher Plummer%, %cEwan McGregor%, %cMelanie Laurent%, %cGoran Visnjic%, %cKai Lennox%, %cMary Page Keller%, %cKeegan Boos%)
  • Breakthrough Director: Dee Rees, "Pariah"
  • Breakthrough Actor: %cFelicity Jones%, "Like Crazy"
  • Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You: "Scenes of a Crime"
  • Audience Award: "Girlfriend"
  • Spotlight on Women Filmmakers "Live the Dream" Grant: Lucy Mulloy, "Una Noche"

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