Past Lives Shines Bright: Best Picture Triumph at National Society of Film Critics Awards

Past Lives Shines Bright: Past Lives,” the debut feature film by Korean filmmaker Celine Song, secured the prestigious title of Best Picture at the National Society of Film Critics awards. The modern romance, centering around childhood sweethearts reuniting in New York City after decades apart, triumphed over strong contenders “Oppenheimer” and “The Zone of Interest,” both considered for the top honor.

This accolade follows “Past Lives” winning Best Picture at the Gotham Awards and earning a spot as a Top 10 Film by the National Board of Review in the previous month. The film, which also claimed the second position in the Best Screenplay category, is making waves in the cinematic landscape.

Jonathan Glazer, recognized for his work on “The Zone of Interest,” emerged as the Best Director, while Todd Haynes (“May December”) and Christopher Nolan (“Oppenheimer”) secured runner-up positions.

The category of Best Film Not in the English Language saw “Fallen Leaves” taking the lead, with strong competition from “The Zone of Interest” and “Anatomy of a Fall” as runners-up.

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In the realm of acting, Andrew Scott’s portrayal in “All of Us Strangers” earned him the Best Actor award, with Jeffrey Wright (“American Fiction”) and Cillian Murphy (“Oppenheimer”) as notable runners-up. Best Actress went to Sandra Hüller for her roles in “Anatomy of a Fall” and “The Zone of Interest,” with Emma Stone (“Poor Things“) and Lily Gladstone (“Killers of the Flower Moon”) named as runners-up.

The supporting actor category witnessed Charles Melton (“May December”) emerging victorious, while Robert Downey, Jr. (“Oppenheimer”) and Ryan Gosling (“Barbie”) shared the runner-up position.

The screenplay category recognized Samy Burch for “May December,” with Celine Song’s work on “Past Lives” securing the second spot. Additionally, the cinematography award went to Rodrigo Prieto for “Killers of the Flower Moon,” with ?ukasz ?al (“The Zone of Interest”) and Hoyte van Hoytema (“Oppenheimer”) as runners-up.

A special mention was made for Jean Luc-Godard’s “Trailer of a Film That Will Never Exist: Phony Wars” as the Best Experimental Film. The Film Heritage Award was presented to Criterion Channel, Facets, Kim’s Video, Scarecrow Video, and Vidiots. A special citation acknowledged Víctor Erice’s “Close Your Eyes,” a film awaiting U.S. distribution.

The National Society of Film Critics awards, a significant event for U.S. critics, often serves as a reliable indicator of potential Oscar winners. With this latest recognition, “Past Lives” positions itself as a formidable contender on the cinematic stage, following the footsteps of previous Society of Film Critics Best Picture winners that went on to claim the coveted Best Picture Oscar. The anticipation for the Oscars ceremony on March 10 is heightened with the momentum gained by these outstanding cinematic achievements.

Also Read: Gotham Award to Past Lives’: Diversity Triumph or Narrative Stagnation?”

Our Reader’s Queries

Why is Past Lives so good?

Every individual embarks on their own unique character odyssey, gradually revealing more of themselves as the story unfolds. The screenplay is brilliantly crafted, unveiling different sides of the characters with each appearance on screen. Our perceptions of the characters are constantly reshaped as we uncover new details, adding a fresh perspective to our understanding.

Why does Nora cry at end of Past Lives?

This is also about her finally grieving the little girl she used to be, saying goodbye for the first time. That’s why she walks home and cries.

What is the message of the movie Past Lives?

Past Lives tells a story of time, lost chances, and lasting relationships. Song skillfully contrasts personal introspection with yearning for love. While mirrors can symbolize different things, like beauty or conceit, Song explores the concept of inyeon, finding her own special way of incorporating this well-known film element.

Is Past Lives worth the watch?

Past Lives may seem uneventful on the surface, but beneath the surface, it’s a whirlwind of emotions. The actors deliver exceptional performances, particularly Teo Yoo, who portrays a heart-wrenching sense of longing that will tug at your heartstrings. Unlike many characters in movies, the individuals in this film undergo genuine transformation, adding depth to the storytelling.

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