Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, directed by George C. Wolfe and adapted from August Wilson’s stage play, dominated this year’s CIC Awards, winning seven of its nine nominations.
The Netflix original film was named the Best Studio Film in a tie with another offering from the streaming leader, Best Director winner Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom also won awards for adapted screenplay, lead actor, lead actress, ensemble cast, costume design, and makeup.
Starring in both of those films, late actor Chadwick Boseman was honored by the CIC, winning posthumous awards for Best Actor (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Best Supporting Actor (Da 5 Bloods), and special recognition as the recipient of the group’s Impact Award celebrating a person whose work during the past year or beyond made a positive influence on society. Also of note, Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland won Best Independent Film and Small Axe anthology filmmaker Steve McQueen won the CIC’s Trailblazer Award honoring the work of an artist who truly pushed the boundaries of the medium in terms of form and content.
Aaron Sorkin’s 1960s era protest film The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Emerald Fennell’s rape revenge dark satire Promising Young Woman shared the original screenplay prize.
In all, 45 different films are represented with nominations for the 2020 CIC Awards.
Two awards of special recognition and interest are the annual Trailblazer and Impact Awards. The CIC’s Trailblazer Award honors the work of an artist who truly pushed the boundaries of the medium in terms of form and content and went to Small Axe director Steve McQueen. The Impact Award celebrates a person whose work during the past year or beyond made a positive influence on society and went to Chadwick Boseman.
Here is the full list of winners
BEST INDEPENDENT FILM (budgets under $20 million)
Producers: Frances McDorman, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, and Chloe Zhao
BEST STUDIO FILM (budgets over $20 million)
DA 5 BLOODS (tie)
Producers: John Kilik, Spike Lee, Beatriz Levin, and Lloyd Levin
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (tie)
Producers: Denzel Washington, Todd Black, and Dany Wolf
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Producers: Aidan Elliott, Martin Gentles, Arnon Milchan, Ed King, and Roy Lee
Producers: Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss
BEST ANIMATED FILM
Producers: Dana Murray
Spike Lee, DA 5 BLOODS
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN – Emerald Fennell (tie)
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 – Aaron Sorkin (tie)
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM – Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Chadwick Boseman, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Viola Davis, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Chadwick Boseman, DA 5 BLOODS
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Maria Bakalova, BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
BEST ENSEMBLE CAST
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Donald Graham Burt, MANK
Joshua James Richards, NOMADLAND
Alan Baumgarten, THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
BEST MUSICAL SCORE
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, SOUL
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Speak Now” – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
Written by Leslie Odom Jr. and Sam Ashworth, Performed by Leslie Odom Jr.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Jonathan Dearing and Dan Oliver, THE INVISIBLE MAN
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Ann Roth, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Matiki Anoff, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Honors the work of an artist who truly pushes the boundaries of the medium in terms of form and content
Given to a person whose work has had a positive impact on society
Founded in 2016, the Chicago Indie Critics (formerly known as the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle) is a creative and engaging non-for-profit organization composed of unique, dedicated, and diversified film critics. Its members are wide-ranging in experiences, backgrounds, tastes, and target audiences across both print and online platforms and publications. The CIC organized to share their personal assessments, commentaries, passions, and creativity in the vigilant effort to highlight the greatness and diversity found in both independent and mainstream films. While they originate in the Chicagoland area, the efforts of Chicago Indie Critics are to share, celebrate, and promote the rich artistic medium of film to audiences, fans, and eager minds across the nation and the world as an exemplary and upstanding pillar of intelligent print and broadcast journalism.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom image courtesy of David Lee / Netflix