You have to go back to 2012 to find a year when the Best Picture winner did not get either a Gotham nomination or win the Gotham. So that means: 12 Years a Slave was nominated. Birdman, Spotlight and Moonlight all won the Gotham and then won Best Picture. But in 2012, 2011 and 2010 no nominee with either a Best Picture nomination or a win. The Hurt Locker won both in 2009.
Last year, when Moonlight won the audience award as well as Best Feature, there was a kind of buzz explosion that was a pretty good indication that something was happening with Moonlight. Of course, it ran parallel to La La Land’s success. Moonlight and Spotlight both won the Gotham first but then sort of hovered under the radar of other films that did not end up winning. But there was nevertheless the idea that maybe something was going on with the Gotham awards too. Tomorrow morning we’ll hear the first of the awards announcements. A few years ago the Gothams were a good way to get a head start on awards season but not a reliable indicator of how the race would go.
Moonlight was not up against La La Land at the Gothams but it was up against Manchester by the Sea. Casey Affleck was not up against Denzel Washington, who ended up being his main competition. The acting categories don’t amount to much of a match up.
So we don’t know if the future Best Picture winner will be announced tomorrow. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t but it’s an interesting thing to think about.