'Inside Llewyn Davis' was the surprise winner at the Gotham Awards, but can it compete for the major prizes in 2014?
Inside Llewyn Davis, the Coen Brothers' movie starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake, beat 12 Years a Slave to win Best Picture at the 23rd annual Gotham Independent Awards on Monday evening (December 2, 2013).
Oscar Isaac [L] Justin Timberlake [center] and Adam Driver [R] in 'Inside Llewyn Davis'
The award is considered a huge boost for the Coens' movie, which is set for limited release on Friday to make it eligible for consideration at the Golden Globes and Oscars in 2014. Though reviews have been highly favorable following screenings at the film festivals, the movie - a comedy-drama about a singer-songwriter who navigates his way through New York's folk music scene in the 1960s - has generally been discussed only as an outsider for the major awards behind Captain Phillips, Gravity and perhaps crucially 12 Years a Slave.
Nevertheless, the bookmakers were unmoved by the surprise win and are seemingly happy to keep offering Inside Llewyn Davis at around the 20/1 mark to win Best Picture at the Oscars. One firm - Britain's Ladbrokes - offer 66/1.
Elsewhere at the movie awards, the late Sopranos actor James Gandolfini - who passed away in June - was honored by his co-star and close friend Steve Buscemi, whom with he starred in HBO's classic crime-drama.
"As an artist, Jimmy gave everything he had," Buscemi said, choking up, "I absolutely cherished working with him."
Considered the first real awards ceremony on the calendar, the Gotham Awards is known for being a bustling energetic affair though the raucous crowd wasn't to everyone's taste. Some were chatting so loudly over presenter Lee Daniels' tribute speech to his The Butler star Forest Whitaker that he tried to shush them by yelling, "Forest would like to hear all you talking through my speech, so shut the f*ck up."
Julie Delpy threatened to set herself on fire to get their attention while presenting a tribute to her Before Midnight director Richard Linklater.
Oscar Isaac In 'Inside Llewyn Davis'
So, what can the other winners tell us about possible Oscar nominations? Well, not a lot, apart from Matthew McConaughey won best actor for Dallas Buyers Club, which is clearly emerging as one of the best received performances of the year. He'll have to beat Chiwetel Ejiofor, Robert Redford and Tom Hanks at the Oscars, but we certainly won't be backing against him.
Next page: the full list of winners from the 23rd Annual Gotham Awards.