(*homocinematically inclined)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Moonlight Shines Bright at the 2016 Dorian Awards

Fences, Moonlight, The Handmaiden

Since 2009, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (of which I and my fellow Movie Dearest critic Chris Carpenter are members) have presented the Dorian Awards (named after Dorian Gray, the literary creation of GALECA's patron saint Oscar Wilde) to honor the year's best in film and television, and the winners for 2016 were announced today.

The year's top winner, Moonlight, the moving drama about a young black man coming to terms with his sexuality, won five awards (tying with last year's big winner Carol) including Film of the Year and LGBTQ Film of the Year. Writer/director Barry Jenkins won for Director and Screenplay of the Year, and Mahershala Ali (who plays a drug dealer/father figure in the film) was honored with the Film Performance - Actor award. Additionally, Trevante Rhodes, one of three actors who play the main character at different ages in Moonlight, was named the Rising Star of Year.

Viola Davis won Film Performance - Actress for her stand out role in Fences. Academy Award front runner La La Land was deemed the Visually Striking Film of the Year, while the South Korean lesbian romance The Handmaiden and the epic O.J.: Made in America won Foreign Language Film and Documentary of the Year, respectively. Christine, the biopic about TV news reporter Christine Chubbock who committed suicide on live television, was named the Unsung Film of the Year, while the Kate Winslet melodrama The Dressmaker took the prize for Campy Film of the Year.

The Real O'Neals

For the third year in a row, Transparent won the same three television awards: TV Comedy, LGBTQ TV Show and TV Performance - Actor of the Year, for star Jeffrey Tambor. The acclaimed limited series The People v. O.J. Simpson was the TV Drama of the Year, while its leading lady Sarah Paulson won the TV Performance - Actress award. The ABC sitcom The Real O'Neals, about a gay teen coming out to his Catholic family, was named the Unsung TV Show of the Year, while Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars were named TV Current Affairs Show and Campy TV Show of the Year, respectively.

Kate McKinnon (as Hilary Clinton) singing "Hallelujah" the weekend after the US presidential election on Saturday Night Live was singled out as the TV Musical Performance of the Year, with McKinnon also named, along with Broadway's Hamilton creator/Disney's Moana songwriter Lin Manuel Miranda, as the Wilde Artists of the Year. And the Wilde Wit award went to the late Carrie Fisher.

The previously announced Timeless Star Award recipient, cult movie icon John Waters, had this to say about his honor: "Timeless Star? Wow! Does that mean good-old or crazy-new? Either way, I’m thrilled and honored to be called a star no matter which side of the camera I choose to be on." Waters joins our previous "Timeless" Award winners Jane Fonda, Angela Lansbury, Cloris Leachman, Ian McKellen, George Takei, Lily Tomlin and Betty White... wouldn't that make for a fabulous dinner party?

See the comments section below for the complete press release.


  1. Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics (GALECA) Reveal 2016 Film and TV Dorian Award Winners

    Moonlight Scores Film of the Year, Director, Actor and More

    Viola Davis Takes Film Actress,
    La La Land is Visually Striking Film of the Year

    Carrie Fisher, Samantha Bee, Kate McKinnon Prove Wit Triumphs

    TV’s The People v. O.J., Tranparent, The Real O’Neals All Impress

    ‘Timeless Star’ Honoree John Waters Thanks GALECA

    Group’s Winner’s Toast Set for Saturday, February 18

    HOLLYWOOD, CA — January 26, 2017 — The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association ( • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram), comprised of over 170 film/TV critics and entertainment journalists across the U.S., Canada and the U.K., today announced its Dorian Award winners for the finest in film and television of 2016.

    GALECA members awarded Moonlight, the melancholy drama from Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play about three phases of a man’s life, won five Dorian Awards, including Film of the Year, LGBTQ Film of the Year, director and screenplay nods for Barry Jenkins and best actor (Mahershala Ali). Trevante Rhodes, nominated for actor alongside Ali, was given the “We’re Wilde About You!” Rising Star Award (named for the group’s patron saint Oscar Wilde).

    Viola Davis, recently named by GALECA as one of the 10 Best Actress of All Time, earned film actress honors for her work in the Denzel Washington-directed screen version of the late playwright August Wilson’s Fences. La La Land, the musical romance starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and set against some of Los Angeles’ most iconic vistas, was named Visually Striking Film of the Year. Movies also notching wins: Christine, the devastating docudrama starring Rebecca Hall as ill-fated ‘70s newswoman Christine Chubbuck; the lesbian-tinged spectacle The Handmaiden; and the Kate Winslet romp The Dressmaker (Campy Flick of the Year).

  2. In TV categories, FX’s The People v. O.J. snagged GALECA’s Drama of the Year and its costar Sarah Paulson took TV actress honors for her turn as prosecutor Marcia Clark. For the third year in a row, Amazon’s darkly comic family drama Transparent won for comedy of the year, LGBTQ comedy and TV actor (Jeffrey Tambor).

    In a year rampant with voices demanding to be heard, former The Daily Show cast member Samantha Bee’s new TBS hit Full Frontal, a satirical and/or pointed take on current affairs, cut through the static and merited a Dorian Award. GALECA members also saw fit to reward Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the increasingly relevant Broadway hit Hamilton, as well as Saturday Night Live star/political satirist Kate McKinnon (twice). The late Carrie Fisher — Star Wars icon, author, HBO raconteur and recovery advocate — was named Wilde Wit of the Year posthumously.

    Speaking of wits, John Waters — recently announced GALECA’s latest “Timeless Star,” the group’s affectionate career-achievement honor that in the past has gone to performers — offered this statement: “A ‘Timeless Star’? Wow! Does that mean good-old or crazy-new? Either way, I’m thrilled and honored to be called a star no matter which side of the camera I choose to be on.” The thin-mustacheod multihyphenate — a writer/director/actor/Divine muse/Baltimore prodigal son who has given the world such crazy pro-sanity tales as Hairspray, Serial Mom, Polyester and Pink Flamingos, joins past honorees Jane Fonda, Sir Ian McKellen, George Takei, Lily Tomlin, Betty White and Cloris Leachman.

    GALECA exists to bolster LGBTQ entertainment journalists as well as remind the world, and our at-risk youth, that “the gays” have a distinct cultural history of helping put great movies and TV shows on everyone’s radar. Since its inception in 2009, GALECA has bestowed Film of the Year honors alone to Carol, Boyhood, 12 Years a Slave, Argo, Weekend, I Am Love and A Single Man.

    The group’s annual Winners Toast, honoring a select group of 2016-17 winners, is set for Saturday afternoon, February 18. Past GALECA toasts have welcomed such winners or project ambassadors as Oscar-nominated Carol screenwriter Phyllis Nagy, Orange is the New Blackstar Lea DeLaria, Transparent actresses Melora Hardin and Alexandra Billings, and revered marriage rights activists Jeff Carrillo and Paul Katami. This year, the event returns to the Maharaja Room at the The Pikey Cafe and Bar in Hollywood, Ca.

    (Noted with a bullet in bold)

    Film of the Year
    Jackie (Fox Searchlight)
    La La Land (Summit/Lionsgate)
    Manchester by the Sea (Roadside/Amazon Studios)
    • Moonlight (A24)
    20th Century Women (A 24)

    Director of the Year
    (Film or Television)
    • Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (A24)
    Pablo LarraĆ­n, Jackie (Fox Searchlight)
    Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By the Sea (Roadside/Amazon Studios)
    Park Chan-wook, The Handmaiden (Amazon Studios)
    Damien Chazelle, La La Land (Summit/Lionsgate)

    Film Performance of the Year — Actress
    Annette Bening, 20th Century Women (A24)
    • Viola Davis, Fences (Paramount)
    Isabelle Huppert, Elle (Sony Classics)
    Emma Stone, La La Land (Summit/Lionsgate)
    Natalie Portman, Jackie (Fox Searchlight)

    Film Performance of the Year — Actor
    Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (Roadside/Amazon Studios)
    • Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (A24)
    Ryan Gosling, La La Land (Summit/Lionsgate)
    Trevante Rhodes, Moonlight (A24)
    Denzel Washington, Fences (Paramount)

    LGBTQ Film of the Year
    Being 17 (Strand)
    Closet Monster (Strand)
    • Moonlight (A24)
    Other People (Vertical)
    The Handmaiden (Amazon Studios)

    Foreign Language Film of the Year
    Elle (Sony Classics)
    Neruda (The Orchard)
    • The Handmaiden (Amazon Studios)
    Things to Come (Sundance Selects)
    Toni Erdmann (Sony Pictures Classics)

    Screenplay of the Year
    • Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (A24)
    Efthymis Filippou, Yorgos Lanthimos, The Lobster (A24)
    Damien Chazelle, La La Land (Summit/Lionsgate)
    Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (Roadside/Amazon Studios)
    Mike Mills, 20th Century Women (A24)

    Documentary of the Year
    (theatrical release, TV airing or DVD release)
    I Am Not Your Negro (Magnolia)
    • O.J. Made in America (ESPN Films)
    13th (Netflix)
    Tickled (Magnolia)
    Weiner (Sundance Selects/Showtime)

    Visually Striking Film of the Year
    Arrival (Paramount)
    Jackie (Fox Searchlight)
    • La La Land (Lionsgate)
    Moonlight (A24)
    The Handmaiden (Amazon Studios)

    Unsung Film of the Year
    American Honey (A24)
    Captain Fantastic (Bleecker Street)
    • Christine (The Orchard)
    Other People (Vertical)
    Sing Street (The Weinstein Company)

    Campy Film of the Year
    Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (Fox Searchlight)
    King Cobra (IFC Midnight)
    Nocturnal Animals (Focus Features)
    • The Dressmaker (Broadgreen/Amazon Studios)
    The Neon Demon (Broadgreen/Amazon Studios)

  4. TV Drama of the Year
    Black Mirror (Netflix)
    Game of Thrones (HBO)
    Stranger Things (Netflix)
    The Crown (Netflix)
    • The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX)
    Westworld (HBO)

    TV Comedy of the Year
    Atlanta (FX)
    Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW)
    Insecure (HBO)
    • Transparent (Amazon)
    Veep (FX)

    TV Performance of the Year — Actor
    Riz Ahmed, The Night Of (HBO)
    Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson (FX)
    Donald Glover, Atlanta (FX)
    • Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent (Amazon)
    Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson (FX)

    TV Performance of the Year — Actress
    Claire Foy, The Crown (Netflix)
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)
    Thandie Newton, Westworld (HBO)
    • Sarah Paulson, American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson (FX)
    Winona Ryder, Stranger Things (Netflix)

    TV Current Affairs Show of the Year
    Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN)
    • Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
    Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
    The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC)
    Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

    TV Musical Performance of the Year
    Beyonce, "Lemonade," MTV Video Music Awards (MTV)
    Kelly Clarkson, "Piece by Piece," American Idol (Fox)
    Lady Gaga - "Til It Happens to You," The 88th Academy Awards (ABC)
    Jennifer Hudson, "I Know Where I've Been," Hairspray Live! (NBC)
    • Kate McKinnon "Hallelujah,” Saturday Night Live (NBC)

    LGBTQ TV Show of the Year
    Looking: The Movie (HBO)
    Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)
    RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars (Logo)
    The Real O'Neals (ABC)
    • Transparent (Amazon)

    Unsung TV Show of the Year
    Fleabag (Amazon)
    Lady Dynamite (Netflix)
    London Spy (BBC America)
    Please Like Me (Pivot)
    • The Real O'Neals (ABC)

    Campy TV Show of the Year
    Finding Prince Charming (Logo)
    Fuller House (Netflix)
    Hairspray Live! (NBC)
    • RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars (Logo)
    Scream Queens (Fox)
    The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Fox)

    We’re Wilde About You! Rising Star of the Year
    Millie Bobby Brown
    Lucas Hedges
    Connor Jessup
    Ruth Negga
    • Trevante Rhodes

    Wilde Wit of the Year
    (honoring a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse)
    Samantha Bee
    • Carrie Fisher
    Bill Maher
    Kate McKinnon
    John Oliver

    Wilde Artist of the Year (tie)
    (honoring a truly groundbreaking force in the fields of film, theater and/or television)
    Viola Davis
    Barry Jenkins
    • Kate McKinnon
    • Lin-Manuel Miranda

    Timeless Star
    (to an actor or performer whose exemplary career is marked by character, wisdom and wit)
    John Waters (previously announced)

    GALECA, a 501 C-6 nonprofit, aims to generate camaraderie in an unsettling media environment, champion constructive film and TV criticism and elevate entertainment journalism. Via panels, screenings, events and its occasional “Ten Best" lists, GALECA also strives to remind the world that the LGBTQ-munity has a significant history of helping improve pop culture at large. After all, how would the world fare without knowing what's campy?