The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA.org • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram), comprised of over 170 film/TV critics and entertainment journalists across the U.S., Canada and the U.K., Thursday 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).
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-mustached multi-hyphenate – 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 Black star 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.