The Boston Society of Film Critics Awards are the “kick off” of the Critics’ Awards season this year. The New England-based group showed enormous love for Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland,” which won three awards for Best Picture, Director and Cinematography (Joshua James Richards).
Comprised of 26 Boston-area film critics and journalists, it offered a few inspired choices for the year’s favorite movies and performances. Sidney Flanigan, 21, won Best Actress for her first performance in Eliza Hittman’s “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”. It has to be traced back to 2008 when the group awarded Sally Hawkins’ work in “Happy-Go-Lucky” for a winner that did not advance to an Oscar nomination.
Anthony Hopkins won his second career award in the 39-year-old group for best actor for his outstanding performance in “The Father” by first director Florian Zeller, which also won the award for best new filmmaker. BSFC awarded Hopkins in 1991 for “The Silence of the Lambs” in Best Supporting Actor, one of only two forerunners to reward him differently from his lead actor campaign (the other was the National Board of Review) . The last two winners for Best Actor (Adam Sandler for “Uncut Gems” and John C. Reilly for “Stan & Ollie”) have not garnered Oscar attention.
Paul Raci’s acclaimed work in “Sound of Metal” was recognized as Best Supporting Actor while Yuh-jung Youn’s adorable grandmother in “Minari” was recognized as Best Supporting Actress. You have to come back to James Gandolfini in “Enough Said” in 2013 and Lily Gladstone in “Certain Woman” in 2016 for the BSFC winners who failed to make it to the Dolby Theater.
Since its release in September, Netflix’s “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” has remained fondly in their minds, winning Best Screenplay for Charlie Kaufman and Editing for Robert Frazen.
The biggest surprise came in the category of animated feature films by choosing “The Wolf House” by Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña. Despite the honor and its 2020 release in the United States, the film was released on MUBI ahead of its theatrical release, making it ineligible for this year’s Academy Awards.
Check out the full list of winners:
Best Film: “Nomadland” (Searchlight Images)
Finalist: “First cow” (A24)
Best Director: Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)
Finalist: Kelly Reichardt, “First Cow” (A24)
Best Actor: Anthony Hopkins, “The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Finalist: Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)
Best Actress: Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)
Finalist: Julia Garner, “The Assistant” (Bleecker Street)
Best Supporting Actor: Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)
Finalist: Brian Dennehy, “Driveways” (FilmRise)
Best Supporting Actress: Yuh-jung Youn, “Minari” (A24)
Runner-up: Amanda Seyfried, “Mank” (Netflix)
Best Screenplay: “I’m Thinking About Ending This” (Netflix) – Charlie Kaufman
Finalist: “First Cow” (A24) – Kelly Reichardt and Jonathan Raymond
Best Cinematography: “Nomadland” – Joshua James Richards (Searchlight Pictures)
Finalist: Shabier Kirchner, “Lovers Rock” (Amazon Studios)
Best Non-English Language Film (awarded in memory of Jay Carr): “La llorona” – Jayro Bustamante (Shudder)
Finalist: “The Painted Bird” – Václav Marhoul (IFC Films)
Best Documentary: “Collective” – Alexander Nanau (Magnolia Pictures and Participant)
Finalist: “The Painter and the Thief” – Benjamin Ree (Neon)
Best Animated Film: “The House of the Wolf” – Cristóbal León & Joaquín Cociña (Kimstim Films)
Runner-up: “Wolfwalkers” – Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart (Apple TV Plus / GKIDS)
Best Editing (awarded in memory of Karen Schmeer): “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” – Robert Frazen (Netflix)
Finalist: Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)
Best New Director (awarded in memory of David Brudnoy): “The Father” – Florian Zeller (Sony Pictures Classics)
Finalist: Autumn de Wilde, “Emma” (Focus Features)
Best Overall Cast: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)
Finalist: “Minari” (A24)
Best Original Music: Emile Mosseri, “Minari” (A24)
Runner-up: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “Mank” (Netflix)
The Boston Society of Film Critics dedicated the 2020 selection of awards to “the solidarity and support of local theaters, film workers, and all who persevere in supporting the film exhibition industry in these trying times.” The group also took the time to highlight local nonprofit theaters and ask their subscribers to support them. They include Coolidge Corner Theater, The Brattle Theater, Independent Film Festival Boston, Roxbury International Film Festival, Boston Women’s Film Festival, Boston Jewish Film Festival, Belmont World Film, Boston Underground Film Festival, Boston Palestine Film Festival, Wicked Queer, ReelAbilities, Boston Latino International Film Festival, Irish Film Festival Boston, Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival and GlobeDocs Film Festival.