'Moonlight' Bests Field in Gay and Lesbian 'Dorian' Awards

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“Moonlight,” the film based on a play by gay Liberty City native Tarell Alvin McCraney, took top honors from the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association. Credit: David Bornfriend, A24.

After landing top honors for a big screen drama at the Golden Globe Awards, “Moonlight,” the melancholy drama about a gay African-American man in Miami’s gritty Liberty City neighborhood, was named film of the year last week by the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA).

More than 170 GALECA members from the U.S., Canada and U.K., including SFGN arts and entertainment editor J.W. Arnold, voted on the Dorian Awards last month to recognize the best in film and television.

GALECA members also awarded the film, based on a play by Tarell Alvin McCraney, with five additional Dorian Awards: 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 Actresses of All Time, earned top film honors for her work in the Denzel Washington-directed screen adaptation 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, Unsung Film of the Year; the lesbian-tinged spectacle“The Handmaiden,” Foreign Language Film of the Yearand the Kate Winslet romp“The Dressmaker,” Campy Flick of the Year.

In TV categories, FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson”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 of the Year, Jeffrey Tambor. Former “Daily Show” cast member Samantha Bee’s TBS hit, “Full Frontal,” was Current Affairs Show of the Year.

 Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of “Hamilton,” and SNL’s Kate McKinnon shared the Wilde Artist of the Year award, and McKinnon picked up a second trophy for Musical Performance as Hillary Clinton singing, “Hallelujah,” after losing the presidential election.

Carrie Fisher was posthumously voted Wilde Wit of the Year and filmmaker John Waters was honored as Timeless Star, to which he responded in a 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 writer/director of “Hairspray,” “Pink Flamingos,” “Polyester” and “Serial Mom” joins past honorees Jane Fonda, Sir Ian McKellen, George Takei, Lily Tomlin, Betty White and Cloris Leachman.

According to president John Griffiths, television critic for US Weekly, “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 to “Carol,“Boyhood,”“12 Years a Slave,“Argo,”“Weekend,” “I Am Love”and “A Single Man.”

The awards will be presented at GALECA’s annual Winners Toast on Feb. 18. For more information, go to GALECA.org.