The 20-plus members of the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association (an organization for which I serve as vice president) tapped Moonlight — the acclaimed indie film about being a gay black man in contemporary society — as their top film of 2016.
Moonlight was named best picture, best director Barry Jenkins and best supporting actor Mahershala Ali. The film also took the Russell Smith Award, named after the late gay film critic, which recognizes the best in low-budget or cutting-edge films.
It was followed in the voting for best picture with Manchester by the Sea, which won for best actor Casey Affleck and best screenplay; the musical La La Land (which opens in Dallas Friday), which also won for cinematography and score; the Texas-set Hell or High Water; Arrival; Jackie, about the former first lady in the wake of the presidential assassination in Dallas, which also won best actress for Natalie Portman; Loving; 20th Century Women; Hacksaw Ridge; and Silence.
Viola Davis took best supporting actress for her role in Fences, which comes out Christmas Day. Best documentary went to Tower, about the 50-year-old sniper attack in Austin; and Zootopia took best animated feature.