‘Moonrise Kingdom’ takes top honors at 22nd annual Gotham Awards

NEW YORK — The Gotham Awards at Cipriani Wall Street were a first for me this evening. Matt Damon, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Jack Black, Mark Duplass, Melanie Lynskey, David O. Russell, Marion Cotillard, all on hand to ring in the season with the first (real) awards show of the year.

There’s very little I could add that Greg didn’t already cover in his live-blog of the awards, New York’s answer to the Independent Spirit Awards. I sat, I ate, I endured Mike Birbiglia (hey, he tried). “Moonrise Kingdom” was the big winner as “The Master” got nowhere (and looks to be going nowhere fast in the awards race unless a critics group or two speaks up fast).

I was very happy for documentary winner “How to Survive a Plague,” which will be discussed at length along with other docs in the race in Friday’s podcast. But the rest felt like my screener pile awards, because other winners — “Middle of Nowhere,” “Your Sister’s Sister” — and nominees — “Safety Not Guaranteed,” “Hello, I Must Be Going” — are sitting over there on the shelf, waiting for me to see them. And I will.

These early awards do a decent enough job of that, helping voters narrow down their stacks. And Focus should be delighted that “Moonrise Kingdom” will get a glance now, as their slate is sorely in need of a thoroughbred. Maybe they’ll circle the wagons on that one.

Tomorrow brings the Independent Spirit Award nominees, which will breathe wind into the sails of a number of other contenders. Who’ll benefit? Perhaps “Beasts of the Southern Wild” can come on strong after being squeezed out of the Best Feature category at the Gothams. We’ll see.

Check out the full list of Gotham Award winners below.

Best Feature
“Moonrise Kingdom”

Best Documentary
“How to Survive a Plague”

Best Ensemble Performance
“Your Sister’s Sister”

Breakthrough Director
Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Breakthrough Actor
Emayatzy Corinealdi, “Middle of Nowhere”

Best Film Not Playing in a Theater Near You
“An Oversimplification of Her Beauty”

Bingham Ray Award
Benh Zeitlin

Marion Cotillard
Matt Damon
David O. Russell
Jeff Skoll