Toronto film critics are ride-or-die for Nomadland

The TFCA also named And The Birds Rained Down, Anne At 13,000 Ft. and White Lie finalists for this year's Best Canadian Film Award


A lone woman in a white panel van has driven off with this year’s Toronto Film Critics Association awards.

The TFCA named Nomadland – which stars Frances McDormand as a widow who becomes part of a community that moves around the American southwest chasing seasonal employment – the best picture of 2020. Chloé Zhao also won best director, while McDormand was named best actress.

This marks McDormand’s second time winning the TFCA’s acting prize; she’d previously been honoured for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in 2017.

The TFCA – which includes the NOW film team among its membership – determined its winners over the course of a four-hour live vote (conducted virtually) Sunday afternoon.

Also announced were the finalists for this year’s Rogers Best Canadian Film Award, which carries a $100,000 cash prize: And The Birds Rained Down, a late-life drama directed by Louise Archambault; Anne At 13,000 Ft., a character study from Kazik Radwanski; and the psychological thriller White Lie, directed by Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas. The winning film will be announced at the association’s awards gala next month.

Riz Ahmed was named best actor for his performance as a drummer coping with a devastating hearing loss in Sound Of Metal. Daniel Kaluuya took the best supporting actor prize for his blistering turn as murdered Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in Judas And The Black Messiah. And newcomer Maria Bakalova, whose work in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm included getting Rudy Giuliani to fumble with his pants in a New York City hotel room, was named best supporting actress.

Lee Isaac Chung’s tender family drama Minari won best screenplay, while writer/director/star Radha Blank’s Netflix breakout The Forty-Year-Old Version was named best first feature.

Wolfwalkers, a medieval fable from the Irish studio Cartoon Saloon, won best animated feature, while Juliano Dornelles and Kleber Mendonça Filho’s unclassifiable Brazilian action movie Bacurau took best foreign-language film.

The Allan King documentary film award went to Alexander Nanau’s Collective, which unpacks a Romanian health-care scandal from the perspectives of the journalists who reveal it and the untested patients’ advocate appointed to fix it.

Mark Hanson and Rose Ho shared this year’s Cineplex emerging critic award, while filmmaker Kelly Fyffe-Marshall – whose latest short film Black Bodies just screened at Sundance – won the Jay Scott prize for an emerging artist.

And Jason Ryle, the outgoing executive director of the imagineNATIVE film festival, was named as this year’s recipient of the Clyde Gilmour award, which recognizes a Canadian who has made a “substantial and outstanding contribution to the advancement and/or history of Canadian cinema.”

The TFCA awards gala will stream March 9 on YouTube at 8 pm ET.

The full list of 2020 Toronto Film Critics Association Awards winners and runners-up:

BEST PICTURE
WINNER

Nomadland (Searchlight)

RUNNERS-UP

First Cow (MK2 Mile End)

Minari (Elevation Pictures)

BEST ACTOR
WINNER

Riz Ahmed (Sound Of Metal) (Pacific Northwest Pictures)

RUNNERS-UP

Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) (Netflix)

Mads Mikkelsen (Another Round) (Mongrel Media)

BEST ACTRESS
WINNER

Frances McDormand (Nomadland) (Searchlight)

RUNNERS-UP

Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) (Netflix)

Sidney Flanigan (Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always) (Focus Features) 

SUPPORTING ACTOR
WINNER

Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah) (Warner Brothers)

RUNNERS-UP

Leslie Odom, Jr. (One Night In Miami) (Amazon Prime Video)

Paul Raci (Sound Of Metal) (Pacific Northwest Pictures)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
WINNER

Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) (Amazon Prime Video)

RUNNERS-UP

Olivia Colman (The Father) (Elevation Pictures)

Yuh-jung Youn (Minari) (Elevation Pictures)

BEST DIRECTOR

Chloé Zao (Nomadland) (Searchlight)

RUNNERS-UP

Kelly Reichardt (First Cow) (MK2 Mile End)

Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) (Elevation Pictures)

BEST SCREENPLAY
WINNER

Minari (Elevation Pictures)

RUNNERS-UP

Nomadland (Searchlight)

Sound Of Metal (Pacific Northwest Pictures)

BEST FIRST FEATURE
WINNER

The Forty-Year-Old Version (Netflix)

RUNNERS-UP

The Father (Elevation Pictures)

Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)

ANIMATED FEATURE
WINNER

Wolfwalkers (Apple TV+)

RUNNERS-UP

Soul (Disney)

The Willoughbys (Netflix)

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
WINNER

Bacurau (Kino Lorber)

RUNNERS-UP

Another Round (Mongrel Media)

Beanpole (Kino Lorber)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
WINNER

Collective (Mongrel Media)

RUNNERS-UP

Time (Amazon Prime Video)

Crip Camp (Netflix)

David Byrne’s American Utopia (Crave/HBO Canada)

ROGERS BEST CANADIAN FILM

And The Birds Rained Down (MK2 Mile End)

Anne At 13,000 Ft. (MDFF)

White Lie (levelFilm)

CLYDE GILMOUR AWARD

Jason Ryle

JAY SCOTT AWARD

Kelly Fyffe-Marshall

TFCA EMERGING CRITIC AWARD

Mark Hanson

Rose Ho

@normwilner

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