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NYFF: The Best Movies and Performances at the 61st New York Film Festival


Folks, we can put a bow on the New York Film Festival for 2023. Moreover, that’s pretty much it for festivals this year for me, allowing me to really settle in with my own bed (though, yes, I sleep at home during NYFF). Listen, I’m tired! Each year, NYFF puts on a classy and diverse show, with the 60th installment no exception. So, with the festival now in the books, it’s time to share with you all my final thoughts. As always, when a fest ends, we commemorate it by having me give out some awards/prizes, as well as a general sense of what it was like. Today, obviously, will be no exception!

Once again this year, I was lucky enough to see several of the higher profile NYFF titles at previous festivals. So, while the Telluride Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival did some of the heavy lifting for me, there were plenty of big movies I still saw in the Big Apple. Those were highlighted by Ferrari, The Killer, Maestro, May December, and Priscilla.

Jason McDonald/Netflix

Below, you can see what I found to be the various NYFF highlights. I’ll include the top films and performances, as well as a full ranking from what I saw. Well, why don’t we get down to it now? Behold the best of the fest…

The Best Films

Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo in POOR THINGS. Photo by Atsushi Nishijima. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2023 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

I’d already seen and fallen for Hit Man and Poor Things prior to this festival starting, but they were joined by David Fincher‘s The Killer as the heads and tails best films of the fest. NYFF had a very eclectic selection of movies, and there were very few things I didn’t like, but this trio were the top tier highlights.

The Best Performances


I was taken with several performances during the festival, with Carey Mulligan in Maestro and Emma Stone in Poor Things chief among them. Other highlights from the actors and actress at NYFF include Penélope Cruz in Ferrari, Glen Powell in Hit Man, and Mark Ruffalo in Poor Things. There was certainly no shortage of strong acting found within the fest.

NYFF Awards

Hit Man

Best Film: Poor Things (Runner Up: Hit Man and The Killer)

Best Director: Yorgos Lanthimos for Poor Things (Runner Up: David Fincher for The Killer and Justine Triet for Anatomy of a Fall)

Best Actor: Glen Powell for Hit Man (Runner Up: Bradley Cooper for Maestro and Andrew Scott for All of Us Strangers)

Best Actress: Emma Stone for Poor Things (Runner Up: Sandra Hüller for Anatomy of a Fall and Carey Mulligan for Maestro)

Best Supporting Actor: Mark Ruffalo for Poor Things (Runner Up: Jamie Bell for All of Us Strangers and Willem Dafoe for Poor Things)

Best Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz for Ferrari (Runner Up: Adria Arjona for Hit Man and Julianne Moore for May December)

Best Screenplay: Poor Things (Runner Up: Hit Man and The Killer)

Full NYFF Ranking

Emma Stone in POOR THINGS. Photo by Yorgos Lanthimos. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2023 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

1. Poor Things

2. Hit Man

3. The Killer

4. Maestro

5. Anatomy of a Fall

6. All of Us Strangers

7. May December

8. The Zone of Interest

9. Ferrari

10. Priscilla

11. The Pigeon Tunnel

12. Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project

13. Orlando, My Political Biography

14. Foe

15. Occupied City


Stay tuned to see how the NYFF titles do throughout the rest of the year!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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