Bock’s Office: Denver Film Critics Society names diverse list of winners for 2020

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As the past year has seen significant change in the film industry as well as the rest of the world, a wide variety of cinema awaited viewers in multiple formats, and a regional group of moviegoers noticed many of the best and the brightest of 2020.

This week, the Denver Film Critics Society announced its awards for the greatest films of 2020.

Best Picture went to Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” a historical drama focusing on the legal aftermath of the 1968 riots at the Democratic National Convention. The feature, which premiered in October on Netflix, received three wins from DFCS, with five nominations overall.



Chloe Zhao won the Best Director honor for the film “Nomadland,” a contemporary Western tale of a woman determined to stay independent and free by wandering the United States and living in a van. The film is slated for a limited theatrical release in late January and a digital premiere in February on Hulu.

With nominations in the dual-action categories, the late Chadwick Boseman received the posthumous Best Actor award for his role in the Netflix drama “My Rainey’s Black Bottom.” The adaptation of August Wilson’s play takes place during a fiery recording session for the title blues singer, who has a rocky relationship with her trumpeter, played by Boseman.



For Best Actress, DFCS selected Carey Mulligan for her role in “Promising Young Woman” as a revenge-driven woman seeking revenge on a sexually assaulted friend.

Veteran comedian Ellen Burstyn won Best Supporting Actress for a small but pivotal performance in “Pieces of a Woman,” playing the somewhat controlling but loving mother of a young woman whose life, career and marriage are disrupted by a difficult childbirth.

As part of a large ensemble cast, Sacha Baron Cohen won Best Supporting Actor honor for “The Trial of the Chicago 7” as irreverent ’60s demonstrator Abbie Hoffman.

THE CHICAGO TRIAL 7 (L to R) SACHA BARON COHEN as Abbie Hoffman, DANNY FLAHERTY as John Froines, EDDIE REDMAYNE as Tom Hayden, JEREMY STRONG as Jerry Rubin, MARK RYLANCE as William Kuntsler in THE CHICAGO TRIAL 7. Cr . NIKO TAVERNISE/NETFLIX © 2020

Sorkin’s screenplay for the same film also won Best Original Screenplay, while the Adapted Screenplay trophy went to Jonathan Raymond and Kelly Reichardt for “First Cow,” a film version of Raymond’s novel, “The Half Life”, showing a small pioneer community in the Pacific Northwest in the 1820s.

DFCS honored highlights across multiple genres, including Best Sci-Fi/Horror for the modernized “The Invisible Man” and Best Comedy for “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” a depiction of the story of Charles Dickens with a particularly diverse cast.

Pixar film ‘Soul’ – which premiered on Disney+ – won Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score (Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross) for its tale of a music teacher dreaming of becoming a jazz legend who suddenly finds himself in the afterlife.

The smaller feature “One Night in Miami” — available on Amazon Prime streaming — took best original song for the tune “Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami,” written by Sam Ashworth and Leslie Odom, Jr. , the latter of which portrays Sam Cooke in the 1960s African American Personality Story.

Big-screen blockbuster “Tenet” took Best Visual Effects for elaborate stunts performed back and forth as part of a story about an elite crime unit battling futuristic time-reversing technology.

Best Documentary went to ‘Boys State’, a depiction of a Texas youth project teaching teens about government duties, while Best Non-English Language Feature was won by ‘Minari’. he story of a Korean-American family struggling to assimilate into the culture of rural Arkansas in the 1980s, inspired by the life of writer-director Lee Isaac Chung.

“Minari” was also the best film in total number of nominations with six, including Best Picture, Director, Actor, Original Screenplay and Supporting Actress.

Members of the Denver Film Critics Society include Colorado-based online and print film critics, including Craig Press film critic Andy Bockelman.

A full list of nominees is below, with winners in bold.

Best picture:

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

“Minary”

“Nomadic Land”

“First Cow”

“Soul”

Best Director:

Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland”

David Fincher, “Mank”

Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Pete Docter, “Soul”

Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”

Best Actress:

Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”

Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”

Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Elisabeth Moss, “The Invisible Man”

Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”

Best actor:

Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Gary Oldman, “Mank”

Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods”

Riz Ahmed, “The Sound of Metal”

Steven Yeun, “Minari”

Best Supporting Actress:

Ellen Burstyn, “Pieces of a Woman”

Olivia Colman, “The Father”

Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”

Youn Yuh-jung, “Minari”

Maria Bakalova, “Later Borat Film”

Best Supporting Actor:

Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Bill Murray, “On the Rocks”

Chadwick Boseman, “Da 5 Bloods”

Bo Burnham, “Promising Young Woman”

David Strathairn, “Nomadland”

Best Sci-Fi/Horror:

“The invisible Man”

“The Immensity of the Night”

“Possessor”

“Principle”

“Weird”

Best animated film:

“Soul”

“Wolves Walkers”

“The House of the Wolf”

“Ahead”

“Above the Moon”

Best Comedy:

“The Personal History of David Copperfield”

“The climb”

“Palm Springs”

“Birds of prey”

“The Forty-Year-Old Version”

Best visual effects:

“Principle”

“The Midnight Sky”

“The invisible Man”

“Doggy style”

“Birds of prey”

Best Original Screenplay:

Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Radha Blank, “The Forty Year Old Version”

Pete Docter, Mike Jones and Kemp Powers, “Soul”

Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”

Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Jonathan Raymond, Kelly Reichardt, “First Cow”

Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland”

Ruben Santiago-Hudson, “Ma Rainey’s Black Background”

Kemp Powers, “One Night in Miami”

Charlie Kaufman, “I Think About Ending Things”

Best Documentary:

“State of the Boys”

“All In: The Fight for Democracy”

“The Social Dilemma”

“The Truffle Hunters”

“Dick Johnson Is Dead”

Best Original Song:

“Speak Now”, “One Night in Miami”

“Poverty Porn”, “The Forty Year Old Version”

“Wear your crown”, the ball

“Rocket to the Moon”, “Above the Moon”

“Hear My Voice”, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Original Score:

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “Soul”

Alexander Desplat, “The Midnight Sky”

Terence Blanchard, “One Night in Miami”

Ludwig Goransson, “Principle”

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “Mank”

Best non-English language feature:

“Minary”

“Life Ahead”

“Martin Eden”

“Another Round”

“I’m not here anymore”

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