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Columbus Film Critics Association Names Best of 2020

Hope Madden Hope Madden Columbus Film Critics Association Names Best of 2020Clockwise from top left: Promising Young Woman, Nomadland, Sound of Metal, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom - Photos via IMDb
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It’s been a weird year at the movies—or more likely, in your living room—but the time has come to recognize the best of what unspooled and streamed in 2020. The Columbus Film Critics Association (COFCA) acknowledged their best-of in an online ceremony Thursday, January 7, and they did not find the year wanting.

“Some great films found their way to us,” says COFCA member Melissa Starker, Creative Content & PR Manager for the Wexner Center for the Arts. “I love the range of creative voices in the best films. I’m especially happy to see two women filmmakers at the top of the list with two of my favorites of the year, and for the strong showing of women overall— amazing talents like newcomer Emerald Fennell and Kirsten Johnson with her beautiful film Dick Johnson is Dead.”

Fennell and her film Promising Young Woman came up big this year: best film, best lead actress for Carey Mulligan, breakthrough film artist for Fenell, and runner-up spots for Fennell’s directing and for the best ensemble.

“Really thrilled that we are putting a spotlight on Promising Young Woman,” says Adam Barney of The Film Coterie. “That was the film that really stuck with me for a while.”

“There was one person I was really rooting for and the group came through: Youn Yuh-jung for Minari,” says Starker. “What an incredible performance. You’re just with her all the way.”

Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari is another of several films to pick up multiple awards this year, earning not only a best supporting actress nod for Yuh-jung, but also winning best foreign language film.

Barney noted how unusual a viewing year it had been, but sees something positive in the strange position of online viewing.

“In compiling my slate it was weird to realize that I hadn’t seen any of my top 10 films in a theater this year,” he says. “What’s really different about this year is that half of our Top 10 list are films that are now available on streaming services. It’s never been easier to point people toward them.”

Complete list of awards:

Best Film

  1. Promising Young Woman
  2. Nomadland
  3. Sound of Metal
  4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  5. Minari
  6. Soul
  7. Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  8. The Trial of the Chicago 7
  9. First Cow
  10. Mank

Best Director

  • Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
  • Runner-up: Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

Best Actor

  • Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
  • Runner-up: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Actress

  • Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman
  • Runner-up: Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Best Supporting Actor

  • Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
  • Runners-up (tie): Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods and Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Supporting Actress

  • Youn Yuh-jung, Minari
  • Runner-up: Olivia Colman, The Father

Best Ensemble

  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Runner-up: Promising Young Woman

Actor of the Year (for an exemplary body of work)

  • Chadwick Boseman (Da 5 Bloods and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom)
  • Runner-up: Elisabeth Moss (The Invisible Man and Shirley)

Breakthrough Film Artist

  • Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman – (for producing, directing, and screenwriting)
  • Runner-up: Radha Blank, The Forty-Year-Old Version – (for producing, directing, screenwriting, and acting)

Best Cinematography

  • Joshua James Richards, Nomadland
  • Runner-up: Eric Messerschmidt, Mank

Best Film Editing

  • Alan Baumgarten, The Trial of the Chicago 7
  • Runner-up: Mikkel E.G. Nielsen, Sound of Metal

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
  • Runner-up: Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Original Screenplay

  • Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
  • Runner-up: Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Score

  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Soul
  • Runner-up: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Mank

Best Documentary

  • Dick Johnson is Dead
  • Runner-up: Boys State

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Minari
  • Runner-up: Martin Eden

Best Animated Film

  • Wolfwalkers
  • Runner-up: Soul

Best Overlooked Film

  • The Vast of Night
  • Runner-up: Palm Springs

COFCA’s membership consists of 26 print, radio, television, and online critics including two Columbus Underground film critics, Hope Madden and George Wolf. COFCA’s official website at www.cofca.org contains links to member reviews and past award winners.

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