The New York Film Critics Online (NYFCO) announced their winners for the best in film for 2020 and Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari was named Best Picture. The film also won the group’s Foreign Language Film prize and star Youn Yuh-jung tied with Ellen Burstyn (Pieces of a Woman) for Best Supporting Actress. In their 21st year, this is the third year in a row the NYFCO has chosen a non-English language film as their best picture.
Promising Young Woman had a strong showing with three major wins: Best Actress for Carey Mulligan, plus Best Screenplay and Best Debut Director for Emerald Fennell.
There was a second tie in the announcement as well: Best Breakthrough Performance was shared between Kingsley Ben-Adir for One Night in Miami and Maria Bakalova for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.
One surprising outlier was the mention of Abel Ferrera’s Tommaso, a story of an American artist (Willem Dafoe) living in Rome with his young European wife Nikki and their 3-year-old daughter, as a part of the group’s top 10 films.
The eligibility period for films was slightly different than other critics’ awards and the upcoming guilds and Oscars. The NYFCO allowed films from January 1, 2020, to January 31, 2021, making films that did not receive a qualifying release like Cherry, French Exit, Judas and the Black Messiah and The United States vs. Billie Holiday ineligible. Here is the full list of winners. The announcement was first reported by Variety.
Best Picture: Minari (A24)
Best Director: Chloé Zhao, Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)
Best Actor: Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)
Best Actress: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)
Best Supporting Actor: Leslie Odom Jr, One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)
Best Supporting Actress: Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (Netflix) and Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari (A24) – tie
Best Screenplay: Promising Young Woman (Focus Features) – Emerald Fennell
Best Animated Feature: Soul (Pixar)
Best Cinematography: Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures) – Joshua James Richards
Best Use of Music: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix) – Brandon Marsalis
Best Documentary Feature: The Way I See It (Focus Features)
Best Foreign Language Film: Minari (A24)
Best Debut Director: Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)
Breakthrough Performer: Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios) and Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Amazon Studios) – tie
Best Ensemble Cast: The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
Top 10 Films (alphabetical)
The Assistant (Bleecker Street)
First Cow (A24)
I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Netflix)
Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Focus Features)
Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)
One Night in Miami (Amazon Pictures)
Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)
Tommaso (Kino Lorber)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
Images courtesy of Netflix, A24