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‘Nomadland’ Leads with the Boston Society of Film Critics

Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

The Oscar race has officially begun as the first critics group awards of the year have been announced. While the National Board of Review is traditionally first out of the gate, this year it is the Boston critics who are first to announce and Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland gets the early momentum as it is named Best Picture.

Although the Oscars will be considering films released in early 2021 due to their delayed ceremony in April, the Boston Society of Film Critics kept with the calendar-year release eligibility, further muddying the waters for those hoping to use the critics group awards as early Academy indicators. Even so, the Boston critics have had a good track record with its winners repeating at the Oscars, so Nomadland’s strong showing is a very positive sign that Zhao’s ode to a forgotten America will have legs all the way to April.

While Nomadland was the big winner with the Boston critics with three awards, I’m Thinking of Ending ThingsMinari and The Father each won two awards, giving the smaller indies a leg up on the bigger, more mainstream titles. 

Speaking of mainstream, some bigger-budgeted and talked-about films that were considered early Oscar favorites were shut out by the Boston critics, including The Trial of the Chicago 7, Da 5 Bloods, and One Night in Miami  Getting some much-needed attention, however, were indie films Never Rarely Sometimes Always, which nabbed a coveted Best Actress win for Sidney Flanigan, and First Cow, the Kelly Reichardt film that didn’t win any awards, but was runner-up for three, including Best Picture and Best Director.  

It is notable that both the winner and runner-up for Best Picture, Nomadland and First Cow, were both directed by women, Chloé Zhao and Kelly Reichardt, who also finished as the top two for Best Director.

Courtesy of A24 Films

Here is the full list of the awards, presented today by the Boston Society of Film Critics:

Best Picture –   Nomadland  

              Runner-up:  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 Director – Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

              Runner-up: Kelly Reichardt, First Cow

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, Lovers Rock

Best Documentary – Collective

              Runner-up: The Painter and the Thief

Best Non-English Language Film – La Llorona

Best Animated Film – The Wolf House

              Runner-up: Wolfwalkers

Best Film Editing– Robert Frazen, I’m Thinking of Ending Things

              Runner-up: Nomadland

Best New Filmmaker– 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: Mank


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