New York Film Critics 2020: First Cow, Best Picture; Chloe Zhao, Best Director (Nomadland)

December 18, 2020 – The New York Film Critics Circle voted today for the winners of its 2020 awards. Voting was conducted via Zoom for the first time.

First Cow was awarded Best Film and Chloé Zhao was named Best Director for Nomadland. Sidney Flanigan was selected as Best Actress for Never Rarely Sometimes Always. Delroy Lindo was chosen as Best Actor for Da 5 Bloods. Special Awards were given to Spike Lee, for inspiring the New York community with his short film New York New York and for advocating for a better society through cinema, and to Kino Lorber, for their creation of Kino Marquee, a virtual cinema distribution service that was designed to help support movie theaters, not destroy them. Full list of winners below.

“This was a complicated, painful year in so many ways, but movies didn’t let us down. In fact, they were major in helping us get through. Movies are one of our chief forms of human connection, a mode of communicating across the world. This year, especially, the members are grateful to be able to honor the movies and people who helped keep that chain of communication alive.” Said NYFCC chair Stephanie Zacharek of TIME magazine.

Founded in 1935, the New York Film Critics Circle is the oldest and most prestigious in the country. The circle’s membership includes critics from daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and the web’s most respected online publications. Every year the organization meets to vote on awards for the calendar year’s films.

The Circle’s awards are often seen as shaping the Oscar race. The Circle’s awards are also viewed — perhaps more accurately — as a principled alternative to the Oscars, honoring aesthetic merit in a forum that is immune to commercial and political pressures.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, a special awards video will be released January 24 as an alternative to the traditional in person ceremony.

List of Winners

Best Film: “First Cow” (A24)

Best Director: Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

Best Actor: Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)

Best Actress: Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)

Best Supporting Actor: Chadwick Boseman, “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)

Best Supporting Actress: Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Studios)

Best Screenplay: Eliza Hittman for “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)

Best Animated Film: “Wolfwalkers” (Apple TV Plus/GKIDS)

Best Cinematography: “Small Axe” – All films (Prime Video)

Best First Film: Radha Blank, “The Forty-Year-Old Version” (Netflix)

Best Foreign Language Film: “Bacarau”

Best Non-Fiction Film: “Time” (Amazon Studios)

Special Award: Kino Lorber, for their creation of Kino Marquee, a virtual cinema distribution service that was designed to help support movie theaters, not destroy them.

Special Award: Spike Lee for inspiring the New York community with his short film “New York New York” and for advocating for a better society through cinema.