“Nomadland,” the highly acclaimed drama starring Frances McDormand as a woman traveling the American West in a van in the wake of the Great Recession, has been named top picture of 2020 by the San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle.
The film — which is based on he 2017 non-fiction book “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century” by Jessica Bruder — also won three other major awards from the organization, as Chloé Zhao triumphed in both the director and film editing categories and McDormand was named best actress. “Nomadland” also received an honorable mention for the cinematography work by Joshua James Richards.
“Nomadland” premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September, securing the Golden Lion, then went on to win the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival held that same month. It is reportedly the only film to ever win the top prize at both of those prestigious film festivals. “Nomadland” is scheduled to get a full theatrical release (whatever that might end up meaning in this time of COVID-19) in February.
“First Cow” and “Soul” were among the other top films honored by the the San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle. Chadwick Boseman, the “Black Panther” superstar who died from colon cancer in August at the age of 43, was named best actor for his work in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
Also, Dawn Porter won the Critics Circle’s prestigious Marlon Riggs Award, which is given out to “Bay Area filmmaker(s) or individual(s) who represents courage and innovation in the world of cinema.”
“She had not one but two impactful films that could not be more timely in this political climate: ]John Lewis: Good Trouble’ and ‘The Way I See It,’” according to the news release.
The list of award winners — which the Bay Area Film Critics Circle on Monday — is included below. To read about the other nominees, and to learn more about the overall organization, visit sfbafcc.com.
2020 SFBAFCC Awards for Achievement in Film:
Honorable Mention: “First Cow”
Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
Best Original Screenplay
Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
Honorable Mention: Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
Best Adapted Screenplay
Kelly Reichardt, Jonathan Raymond, “First Cow”
Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
Honorable Mention: Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”
Best Supporting Actor
Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
Best Supporting Actress
Youn Yuh-jung, “Minari”
Best Animated Feature
Best Foreign Language Film
Honorable Mention: “Boys State”
Christopher Blauvelt, “First Cow”
Honorable Mention: Joshua James Richards, “Nomadland”
Best Production Design
Production Designer: Anthony Gasparro, Set Decorator: Vanessa Knoll: “First Cow”
Best Film Editing
Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
Best Original Score
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, “Soul”
Special Citation for Independent Cinema
“La Llorona” (Tie)
Marlon Riggs Award