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Oscar Race Alert! Moonrise Kingdom Tops The Master at Gotham Awards

Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Moonrise Kingdom Focus Features

The little films that could totally did tonight at the 2012 Gotham Awards.

Wes Anderson's latest funny, touching and out-there film, Moonrise Kingdom, was named Best Feature at the indie-honoring, New York-based ceremony, which also tends to serve as the unofficial indicator that Oscar season is upon us. (Film Independent announces its Spirit Award nominations tomorrow!)

In winning the night's biggest prize, the quirky tale (starring Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton and Bruce Willis) topped The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson's Oscar-bait epic starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as the founder of a not-inspired-by-Scientology religion and Joaquin Phoenix as the troubled war veteran who gets caught up in Hoffman's charismatic web.

Did the Gotham Awards predict any Oscar winners last year?

Emily BluntRosemarie Dewitt and Mark Duplass shared the Best Ensemble award for their work in Your Sister's Sister, playing a trio caught up, fittingly, in a love triangle.

Emily Blunt, Mark Duplass, Rosemarie DeWitt Jemal Countess/Getty Images for IFP

Behn Zeitlin, director of the raved-about yet SAG Award-exempt Beasts of the Southern Wild (it may have won the Golden Camera at Cannes but Zeitlin cast amateur, non-union actors), was named Best Breakthrough Director and was honored with the first-ever Bingham Ray Award, named after the late auteur.

The Jared Leto-directed documentary Artifact won the Gotham Independent Film Audience Award.

Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook are the latest to get great award-season buzz

Here is the complete list of winners from the 22nd Annual Gotham Awards:

Best Feature: Moonrise Kingdom
Best Documentary: How to Survive a Plague
Best Ensemble Performance: Emily Blunt, Rosemarie Dewitt and Mark Duplass, Your Sister's Sister
Breakthrough Actor: Emayatzy Corinealdi, Middle of Nowhere
Breakthrough Director: Behn Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You: An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
Gotham Independent Film Audience Award: Artifact
Spotlight on Women Filmmakers "Live the Dream" Grant: Stacie Passon, Concussion
Bingham Ray Award: Behn Zeitlin

Were the 16 movies to be excited about in 2012 all they were cracked up to be?

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