Paul Raci and Maria Bakalova take the awards for supporting actor and actress
In a year marked by theater closings and remote viewings thanks to COVID-19 fears, the Florida Film Critics Circle awarded its Best Picture prize to FIRST COW. Kelly Reichardt’s adaptation of Jonathan Raymond’s The Half Life also scored a runner-up in the Best Actor category for John Magaro.
MINARI and NOMADLAND led in nominations with six apiece. The Circle awarded NOMADLAND the Best Actress award to Frances McDormand and Best Director to Chloé Zhao. Disney Pixar’s SOUL for Best Animated Film and Best Score (Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross/Jon Batiste), and MANK for Cinematography (Erik Messerschmidt) and Best Art Direction/Production (Dan Webster) also won two awards each. MINARI’s Lee Isaac Chung also won Best Original Screenplay. Anthony Hopkins won Best Actor for playing the aging father opposite Olivia Colman in THE FATHER, Florian Zeller’s adaptation of his own play.
In the secondary acting categories, Maria Bakalova won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the mockumentary BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIE FILM, and Paul Raci Best Supporting Actor as the recovering alcoholic in SOUND OF METAL.
The Circle’s Breakout Award went to Sidney Flanigan as the young woman agonizing over an abortion in NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS. TENET’s Andrew Jackson lost Best Visual Design to Murray Barber for his work in Brandon Cronenberg’s horror film POSSESSOR.
Other noteworthy winners included LOS FUERTES, the Chilean drama about young men in love, in the Best Foreign Film category; and YOU DON’T NOMI, about the filming of the 1995 camp classic SHOWGIRLS, in Best Documentary.
The Florida Film Critics Circle also awards the Golden Orange each year to a person, film, or organization in Florida that embodies the essence of filmmaking in the Sunshine State. This year’s winner was Maitland, Florida’s non-profit Enzian Theater, a strong voice for arthouse cinema. Like all cinemas this year, it closed for a time and, once reopened, persevered with unique programming, reduced capacity and an expansion of an outdoor area. In August, against the odds, the theater held the Florida Film Festival, arguably the first major in-person festival in the Southeast United States during the pandemic. Enzian managed to hold a combination in-person/virtual festival following CDC protocols safely. Lastly, the Enzian is hoping to build a second screen, which would represent a dramatic improvement to arthouse cinema in Central Florida.
The Florida Film Critics Circle is an organization of 25 writers from Florida-based print and online publications. Founded in 1996, the FFCC strives to recognize outstanding work in film, further the cause of good movies, and maintain the highest level of professionalism among film critics in Florida. Allison Hazlett of FlickDirect has served as chair of the organization since the beginning of 2020.
Runner up: Nomadland/Trial of the Chicago 7/Minari
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Runner up: John Magaro, First Cow
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Runners up: Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom/Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
Runner up: Brian Dennehy; Driveways
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Runner up: Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari
Runner up: The Trial of the Chicago 7
Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
Runner up: Kelly Reichardt, First Cow, Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
Runner up: Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Charlie Kaufman, I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Runners up: Chloé Zhao, Nomadland/ Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Erik Messerschmidt, Mank
Runner up: Shabier Kirchner, Lovers Rock
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Murray Barber, Possessor
Runner up: Andrew Jackson, Tenet
BEST ART DIRECTION/PRODUCTION DESIGN
Dan Webster and Donald Graham Burt, Mank
Runner up: Adam Marshall, Lovers Rock
Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross/Jon Batiste, Soul
Runner up: Ludwig Göransson, Tenet
You Don’t Nomi
Runner up: Dick Johnson is Dead
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Runner up: Minari
BEST ANIMATED FILM
Runner up: Wolfwalkers
BEST FIRST FILM
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
Runner up: Florian Zeller, The Father
Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Runner up: Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
THE GOLDEN ORANGE AWARD
First Cow image courtesy of A24