Controversial gay romance tipped for Oscar win
In the run up to the Oscars, gay romance Call Me By Your Name has emerged as the favourite after winning best feature at the Gothams.
The Gotham Awards are the East Coast equivalent of the Spirit Awards – and, if that still doesn’t ring a bell, they both are currently the two biggest Oscar predictors in the US.
Both small and independent, the two ceremonies managed to predict the winner of the golden statuette three years in a row.
On Monday, the Independent Filmmaker Project – in charge of the annual Gotham ceremony – picked Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name as the year’s best, making it the biggest Oscar hopeful so far.
“Above all, ‘Call Me By Your Name’ is about compassion and transmission of knowledge,” the director said as he accepted the award.
Starring Armie Hammer and rising star Timothee Chalamet, the film tells the story of a 17-year-old boy who sparks a romance with an older man.
The age gap led actor James Woods to criticise the film, writing on Twitter: “As they quietly chip away the last barriers of decency. #NAMBLA” in September.
NAMBLA stands for North American Man/Boy Love Association, a controversial pro-paedophile organisation.
The tweet prompted a response from Hammer, the film’s main star, who responded to Wood’s comment by asking: “Didn’t you date a 19 year old when you were 60?”.
According to reports, Woods started dating his current girlfriend Kristen Bauguess when he was 66 and she was 20.
The controversy didn’t end there, with gay author Chad Felix Greene also condemning the film and actress Amber Rose Tamblyn lashing out against Woods.
Last week The Guardian’s Guy Lodge wrote a piece criticising the film’s “conservative attitude” towards gay sex for not showing explicit scenes.
Controversy aside, the film looks poised to take the big prize, having also been nominated for best feature at the Spirit Awards last week.
Other winners of Monday’s night ceremony include Jordan Peele’s Get Out, which took home three prizes including best screenplay, breakthrough director and the audience award; and James Franco, who was awarded the best actor gong for his portrayal of failed filmmaker Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist.
This year’s awards season has been especially slanted toward independent film, with analysts considering Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird, The Florida Project, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Mudbound as favourites.