Toronto Film Critics Association names Parasite the year’s best movie

The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open, Antigone and Firecrackers are nominated for the best Canadian film prize


The Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA) is high on Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite, voting the absurd dark comedy about class warfare Best Picture and Best Foreign-Language Film.

The organization, which counts the NOW film team as members, also announced the nominees for the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award. Sophie Deraspe’s French-Canadian immigrant fable Antigone (now playing), Jasmin Mozaffari’s gritty and stylish small town drama Firecrackers and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn’s spare but powerful look drama about a chance meeting between two Indigenous women, The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open (opens Friday), will compete for the $100,000 prize.

Parasite filmmaker Bong also creeped into the winner’s circle to claim the Best Director award, leaving Martin Scorsese and Noah Baumbach as runner-ups. Scorsese’s mob epic The Irishman and Baumbach’s Marriage Story were runner-ups in the Best Picture category as well. Both films triumphed elsewhere.

Marriage Story landed two acting prizes. Adam Driver was named Best Actor for his devastating performance as a theatre director going through a divorce. Laura Dern, who plays a divorce lawyer, took home the Best Supporting Actress prize. Both Driver and Dern triumphed over Uncut Gems stars Adam Sandler and Julia Fox – the runner-ups in those respective categories – who play lovers in the high-anxiety thriller.

The Irishman eeked out a win in the Best Screenplay category. Screenwriter Steven Zallian’s simple but powerful words (“It is what it is”) triumphed over the verbose, show-stopping speeches in Marriage Story.

While the Golden Globes failed to nominate Lupita Nyong’o for her performance in Jordan Peele’s Us, the TFCA recognized her in the Best Actress category. Brad Pitt won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood, edging out Joe Pesci’s low-key performance in The Irishman.

In a win for white feminism and performative woke-sterism, the TFCA gave their Best First Feature prize to Olivia Wilde’s comedy-of-age Booksmart. That film triumphed over Atlantics, Mati Diop’s tremendous debut feature about Senegelese women haunted by lost men. Melina Matsoukas’s Queen & Slim was also a runner-up

The Best Animated Feature award went to stop-motion animation studio Laika’s Missing Link, while the Allan King Documentary Film Award went to Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s American Factory.

In a previous announcement, the TFCA named TIFF’s outgoing Executive Director Michèle Maheux the recipient of the Clyde Gilmour Award. The prize comes with Technicolor services valued at $50,000 for a filmmaker chosen by the honouree. Maheux chose to reward Toronto filmmaker Lina Rodriguez who is behind domestic Colombian dramas like Senoritas and This Time Tomorrow.

Rodriguez will receive that prize at the association’s January 9 gala where the winners for Best Canadian Film and the Jay Scott Prize for an Emerging artist will also be announced.

Check out the full list of winners and runners up below:

Best Picture

Parasite

Runners-up

The Irishman, Marriage Story

Best Actor

Adam Driver, Marriage Story

Runners-up

Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory

Best Actress

Lupita Nyong’o, Us 

Runners-up

Renée Zellweger, Judy Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story   

Best Supporting Actor

Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Runners-up

Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse Joe Pesci, The Irishman

Best Supporting Actress

Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Runners-up

Florence Pugh, Little Women Julia Fox, Uncut Gems

Best Director

Bong Joon-ho, Parasite

Runners-up

Martin Scorsese, The Irishman Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story

Best Screenplay, Adapted or Original

The Irishman by Steven Zaillian from the book by Charles Brandt 

Runners-up

Parasite by Bong Joon-ho Marriage Story by Noah Baumbach

Best First Feature

Booksmart directed by Olivia Wilde

Runners-up

Atlantics directed by Mati Diop Queen & Slim directed by Melina Matsoukas

Best Animated Feature

Missing Link

Runners-up

Toy Story 4 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Frozen 2

Best Foreign-Language Film

Parasite 

Runners-up

Pain And Glory Portrait Of A Lady On Fire

Allan King Documentary Film Award

American Factory

Runners-up

Apollo 11 The Cave

Rogers Best Canadian Film Award finalists

The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open directed by Kathleen Hepburn and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

Antigone directed by Sophie Deraspe

Firecrackers directed by Jasmin Mozaffari

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