The Boston Society of Film Critics (BSFC) announced their 41st awards today, naming Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland the Best Film of 2020. Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow was the runner up and the two also placed 1st and 2nd in Best Director.
This year, Boston leap-frogged over National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle as the first major group to announce its winners. Boston adopted a calendar year eligibility (like LA and NY) so any film that did not receive a qualifying release in December (like Judas and the Black Messiah, Supernova and The United States vs. Billie Holiday) was not eligible. Every film or performance chosen came from an indie studio or streamer with the majors shut out.
Veteran actor Anthony Hopkins took Best Actor for The Father, playing a man suffering from dementia. First-time actor Sidney Flanigan came out on top as Best Actress for her riveting turn as a teen who crosses state lines in order to have an abortion in Never Rarely Sometimes Always. The last time a winner here wasn’t nominated for the Oscar was Sally Hawkins for 2008’s Happy-Go-Lucky.
In the supporting acting races, Minari‘s Youn Yuh-Jung was named Best Supporting Actress. The last three winners here have been nominated for the supporting actress Oscar with the last two, Laura Dern (Marriage Story) and Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), winning. In Supporting Actor, Paul Raci (Sound of Metal) in a category that has had incredible alignment with Oscar. 4/6 of the most recent winners have won here and their other two winners have been the likely Oscar runner-up. In 2013 and 2012, eventual Oscar winners Jared Leto and Christoph Waltz were their runner-ups. Only two years in the last 13 has the eventual Oscar winner not at least been the runner-up here.
In an outstanding year of debut features, the Best First Film award went to Florian Zeller for The Father, from his own play of the same name. Autumn de Wilde’s Emma. was runner-up, impressive in a year that included Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman, Darius Marder’s Sound of Metal and Regina King’s One Night in Miami. Emile Mosseri’s compositions for Minari won him the original score prize, an award that’s gone to Alexandre Desplat and Nicholas Britell in recent years on their way to Oscar nominations.
Best Animated Film was a double dose of lupine love as the stop-motion Chilean film The Wolf House was the top pick, while the traditionally animated 2D Wolfwalkers was the runner-up. I’m Thinking of Ending Things was the film editing winner, with the award given in memory of Karen Schmeer, a film editor who passed away in 2010 and frequently collaborated with filmmaker Errol Morris.
The org dedicated their pre-vote meeting to “solidarity with and support of local cinemas, cinema workers and all those persevering to uphold the film exhibition industry during these difficult times.”
Here is the full list of winners and runners-up for the Boston Society of Film Critics 2020 awards:
Best Picture: Nomadland (runner-up: First Cow)
Best Director: Chloé Zhao – Nomadland (runner-up: Kelly Reichardt – First Cow)
Best Actor: Anthony Hopkins – The Father (runner-up: Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal)
Best Actress: Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always (runner-up: Julia Garner – The Assistant)
Best Supporting Actor: Paul Raci – Sound of Metal (runner-up: Brian Dennehy – Driveways)
Best Supporting Actress: Youn Yuh-Jung – Minari (runner-up: Amanda Seyfried – Mank)
Best Screenplay: Charlie Kaufman – I’m Thinking of Ending Things (runner-up: Kelly Reichardt – First Cow)
Best Cinematography: Joshua James Richards – Nomadland (runner-up: Shabier Kirchner for Lovers Rock)
Best Documentary: Alexander Nanau – Collective (runner-up: Benjamin Ree – The Painter and the Thief)
Best Non-English Language Film: La Llorona (runner-up: The Painted Bird)
Best Animated Film: Wolf House – Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña (runner-up: Wolfwalkers – Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart)
Best Editing: Robert Frazen – I’m Thinking of Ending Things (runner-up: Chloé Zhao – Nomadland)
Best First Film: Florian Zeller – The Father (runner-up: Autumn de Wilde – Emma.)
Best Ensemble Cast: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (runner-up: Minari)
Best Original Score: Emile Mosseri – Minari (runner-up: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Mank)