The end-of-year awards are here, and the New York Film Critics Circle came armed with some big surprises. Perhaps the most shocking of all is Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow winning Best Film. The period drama about a chef and a Chinese immigrant trying to make something of their lives in 1820s Oregon is, typical of a Reichardt film, quiet and well-regarded among film critics even if it continues to allude mainstream audiences.
Other surprises saw Borat Subsequent Moviefilm breakout Maria Bakalova winning for Best Supporting Actress, and Sidney Flannigan won Best Actress for abortion drama Never Rarely Sometimes Always, I think a surprise over Frances McDormand who seemed like a lock to just win everything.
In not-so-surprising honors, Chloe Zhao took home Best Director for Nomadland, while Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods got wins for Delroy Lindo and the late Chadwick Boseman for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively. Lee also was honored with a special award for his short film New York, New York.
And in news that makes me personally very happy, Cartoon Saloon’s Wolfwalkers won Best Animated Film in what I hope is a sign of things to come.
Full list of winners is below:
Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
Eliza Hittman, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods”
Best Supporting Actress
Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Best Supporting Actor
Chadwick Boseman, “Da 5 Bloods”
“Small Axe” (All Films)
Best Animated Film
Best Non-Fiction Film (Documentary)
Best Foreign Language Film
Best First Film
“The 40-Year-Old Version”
Kino Lorber, for their creation of Kino Marquee, a virtual cinema distribution service that was designed to help support movie theaters, not destroy them
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