Awards season is well underway, with the Golden Globes less than a week away and Chris Rock champing at the bit—or at least, grinning at the camera—to return to his Oscar-hosting duties. But the National Society Of Film Critics, never one to be rushed (or swayed) to judgment, has only recently gotten around to handing out its accolades for 2015. And in what’s among the more surprising news of 2016 (we know, we’re off to a slow start), the NSFC appears to be bucking its own convention of defying popular preference—it’s named the well-received Spotlight its best film of the last year.

Tom McCarthy’s tribute to the daily grind of journalism made it onto dozens of best-film lists (though not The A.V. Club’s), as well as garnered several Golden Globe and Independent Spirit nominations, and has an actual chance in hell of competing for an Oscar, so maybe the NSFC just got tired of being on the losing side. McCarthy and Josh Singer also picked up Best Screenplay for their Spotlight script, though McCarthy was bested by Carol helmer Todd Haynes in the Best Director category. Haynes’ “rapturous ’50s romance,” which stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, also picked up the Best Cinematography award, so kudos to you, Ed Lachman.


Creed lead Michael B. Jordan earned Best Actor honors, which will probably go a long way toward soothing any hurt feelings over the overwhelming critical and audience rejection of the latest Fantastic Four film. Bridge Of Spies’ Mark Rylance picked up Best Supporting Actor, an honor for which he’ll also compete at this year’s Golden Globes. Charlotte Rampling was named Best Actress for her lead role in 45 Years, a performance which is arguably the best of her career. And Kristen Stewart, who no longer appears alongside sparkling vampires or wooden Huntsman, won Best Supporting Actress for her notable turn in Clouds Of Sils Maria, opposite Juliette Binoche. Finally, just in case the NSFC list informs your Oscar picks at all, Asif Kapadia’s Amy was named Best Non-Fiction Film. You can see the complete list, including runners-up, at the NSFC’s refreshingly plain WordPress site.

[h/t The Hollywood Reporter]