It’s still a long way until the end of April when the Academy Awards will be handed out (about two months later than the usual late-February date). A lot can (and will) happen between now and then, but at this point one thing is abundantly clear:
Nomadland is the Oscar front-runner.
The National Society of Film Critics is the latest organization to anoint the micro-budget indie Best Picture of 2020. The NSFC membership gave Nomadland 4 awards total: Picture, Actress, Director and Cinematography. Nomadland has dominated those categories during the initial “critics group” phase of this year’s Awards Season.
Frances McDormand — who plays a woman that chooses to live off-the-grid (and discovers a loose community of nomads along the way) — was the Actress winner, and helmer Chloé Zhao took home yet another Director prize.
Delroy Lindo notched another Best Actor honor for his intense turn as a Trump-loving African-American Vietnam vet in Spike Lee‘s Da 5 Bloods. Meanwhile, two unknowns officially emerge as surprise favorites in the Supporting categories. Longtime character actor Paul Raci won Supporting Actor as a deaf counselor in Sound of Metal and Maria Bakalova was named Best Supporting Actress as Borat’s daughter in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.
Raci and Bakalova have each notched several victories from various critics groups, boosting their Oscar stock quite significantly. Both movies are currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
While Chadwick Boseman didn’t win either of the NSFC’s actor categories, the late thesp was a runner-up in both. As Actor, he was cited for his impassioned work in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and for Supporting Actor Da 5 Bloods. Both are streaming on Netflix.
Here is the full list of winners, complete with 2nd and 3rd place Runner-Up citations for each category and their final point tallies.
NATIONAL SOCIETY OF FILM CRITICS
Best in Film for 2020
Best Picture: Nomadland (52 points)
Runners-Up: First Cow (50 points); Never Rarely Sometimes Always (41 points)
Best Director: Chloé Zhao, Nomadland (58 points)
Runners-Up: Steve McQueen, Small Axe (41 points), Kelly Reichardt, First Cow (30 points)
Best Actress: Frances McDormand, Nomadland (46 points)
Runners-Up: Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (33 points); Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always (29 points)
Best Actor: Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (52 points)
Runners-Up: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (47 points); Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (32 points)
Best Supporting Actress: Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (47 points)
Runners-Up: Amanda Seyfried, Mank (40 points); Yuh-jung Youn, Minari (33 points)
Best Supporting Actor: Paul Raci, Sound of Metal (53 points)
Runners-Up: Glynn Turman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (36 points); Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods (35 points)
Best Screenplay: Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Eliza Hittman (38 points)
Runners-Up: First Cow, Jon Raymond and Kelly Reichardt (35 points); I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Charlie Kaufman (29 points)
Best Cinematography: Nomadland, Joshua James Richards (47 points)
Runners-Up: Lovers Rock, Shabier Kirchner (41 points); Vitalina Varela, Leonardo Simões (34 points)
Best Foreign-Language Film: Collective (38 points)
Runners-Up: (tie) Bacurau and Beanpole (36 points); Vitalina Varela (32 points)
Best Non-Fiction Film: Time (46 points)
Runners-Up: City Hall (28 points); Collective (22 points)
Film Heritage Award: To Women Make Movies, which, since the 1970s, has been releasing daring and distinctive female-directed movies that more conventional distributors wouldn’t touch.
Film Heritage Award: To Film Comment, founded in 1962 and currently on hiatus, which has long been the most substantial and wide-ranging American film magazine.
Click on links below for other Critics Group Awards and Guild Nominees that have been announced so far for the 2020 / 21 season: