December 3rd, 2013
05:45 PM ET
Aside from their access to some really great films, we do not envy the judges of the 2013 Gotham Independent Film Awards.
The filmmakers who sat on the juries - and the moviegoers who voted on the audience award - have had to make some incredibly hard decisions.
The 23rd awards ceremony, which was held on Monday night at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, boasted a number of high-profile nominees, including one of the best films of the year, "12 Years A Slave."
That project, directed by Steve McQueen, was up against buzzy titles "Ain't Them Bodies Saints"; "Before Midnight"; "Upstream Color" and "Inside Llewyn Davis" for the best feature honor.
But in the end, it was Joel and Ethan Coen's "Davis," about an aspiring folk singer in '60s Greenwich New York, that took the prize.
The competition only grew fiercer in the individual acting categories. Chiwetel Ejiofor, whose performance in "12 Years A Slave" has been lauded by critics, was nominated for best actor along with "Inside Llewyn Davis'" Oscar Isaac; "All Is Lost's" Robert Redford; "Blue Caprice's" Isaiah Washington; and "Dallas Buyers Club's" Matthew McConaughey.
McConaughey, who became memorably gaunt for that role, took home the win.
The night didn't improve for "12 Years," which ended up shut out of all four categories it was nominated in: Lupita Nyong'o lost the breakthrough actor award to "Fruitvale Station's" Michael B. Jordan, and the Gotham Independent Film Audience Award went to the documentary "Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings."
To trade publication Variety, these awards were simply a sign that while this year's event had some heavy-hitting nominees, the ceremony itself "stayed true to its roots by honoring a batch of quirkier winners."
Check out the full list of nominees and winners below:
Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director
Ryan Coogler, for "Fruitvale Station" - WINNER
Dane DeHaan, in "Kill Your Darlings"
Gotham Independent Film Audience Award
"12 Years A Slave"
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