Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” takes top honors, named Best Picture of the Year by the Houston Film Critics Society (HFCS). Zhao was also named Best Director while Joshua James Richards was honored for his cinematography. The film stars Frances McDormand as a modern-day nomad living in a van after losing her job in the Great Recession.
Acting honors went to Riz Ahmed, named Best Actor for his portrayal of a heavy metal drummer suffering from hearing loss in “Sound of Metal,” while Carey Mulligan was named Best Actress for her performance in the biting dark comedy “Promising Young Woman” which also nabbed the Best Screenplay honor for Emerald Finnell.
One of 2020’s biggest surprises included the debut of Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova who plays Borat’s daughter Tutar Sagdiyev in the irreverent comedy “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.” Her performance earned the Best Supporting Actress honor while Leslie Odom Jr.’s portrayal of Sam Cooke in “One Night in Miami” earned him the Best Supporting Actor award. Odom was also recognized for Best Song with “Speak Now” which he wrote with Sam Ashworth for the film directed by Regina King.
HFCS president Doug Harris observed, “While 2020 may have seen changes in how we view movies, the year should be remembered for the quality of those films that ultimately reached audiences.” He added, “It may have been a bit tougher to see some of these remarkable films, but the wait and the effort were worth it. And that’s the message our Society members take to their listeners, viewers, and readers.”
In lieu of COVID-19, the 14th Annual HFCS Film Awards will move from an in-person ceremony to a televised event. “We look forward to further spotlighting all of our award winners,” says Harris, “during our first television broadcast on January 31, 4 p.m. CST, on Houston’s KUBE 57. That programming will also celebrate our Texas Independent Film Award nominees and feature the announcement of the winners of our special honors for filmmaking in the state.”
The 40 members of the Houston Film Critics Society are working film journalists on television, radio, online and in traditional print. Together, they reach millions of people each week across the United States with their critiques and commentaries on film. The organization’s mission is to promote the advancement and appreciation of film in the Houston community and beyond. For a list of members, visit www.HoustonFilmCritics.com.
2020 Houston Film Critic Society Awards:
Best Picture: Nomadland
Best Director: Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Best Original Screenplay: Promising Young Woman
Best Animated Feature: Soul
Best Cinematography: Nomadland
Best Documentary Feature: My Octopus Teacher
Best Foreign Language Feature: A Sun (Taiwan)
Best Original Score: Soul
Best Original Song: One Night in Miami, “Speak Now”
Best Visual Effects: Tenet
Best Stunt Coordination Team: Tenet
Best Movie Poster Art: Da 5 Bloods
Outstanding Cinematic Achievement: Sound of Metal (for its Immersive Sound Design)
Texas Independent Film Awards: To be announced January 31