New York Film Critics Circle voted the best film of 2020 for Kelly Reichardt’s Western fable “First Cow”
The film critics gave their highest prize to the delicate story of friendship and capitalism in the mid-1800s Oregon Territory.
On Friday, the New York Film Critics Circle voted the best film of 2020 for Kelly Reichardt’s Western fable “First Cow” while also awarding special honors to Spike Lee and the art-house distributor Kino Lorber for their roles in a pandemic-deeply marred movie year.
The film critics gave their highest award to First Cow,” a delicate story of friendship and capitalism in the Oregon Territories of the mid-1800s. The film by Reichardt, released in theaters in March just days before COVID-19 compelled cinemas to shutter nationwide, was not widely seen but remains one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year. His No. 1 movie was also dubbed “First Cow”.
“For his final role in the August Wilson adaptation “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” the critics also gave awards to “Borat Subsequent Movie Film” co-star Maria Bakalova for the best-supporting actress, and Chadwick Boseman for best-supporting actor. Boseman died in August.
In “Da Five Bloods” by Spike Lee, the best actor went to Delroy Lindo for his role as a Vietnam War veteran. Sidney Flanigan, who plays a Pennsylvania teenager who moves to New York for abortion in Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” got the best script. Eliza Hittman, who wrote and directed “Never Rarely Sometimes Always.” The best director was Chloe Zhao, the filmmaker of “Nomadland”.
In 2020, Spike Lee released two films – “Da Five Bloods” and “David Byrne’s American Utopia” – however for a three-minute short he released on Instagram, he won a special award for “New York New York,” a small documentary tribute to his home city, made during the first wave of the pandemic.
Another special quote from the party went to Kino Lorber for the development of the Kino Flagship interactive cinema operation, which shares the proceeds with independent theaters closed by COVID-19. The critics pointedly said that the honor was for a service “designed to help support, not destroy, movie theaters.”
The New York Film Critics Circle Awards are typically part of a wave of honors for critics that can often impact the awards season. Usually, certain awards will be a drumbeat this time of year, but nothing is normal with the awards season this year. The Oscars and the Golden Globes were delayed for around two months, along with several other awards ceremonies.
Other NYFCC choices include “Time” for best non-fiction film; “Bacurau” for the best foreign-language film; “The Forty-Year-Old Version” for best first film; “Wolfwalkers” for the best-animated film; and “Small Axe” for best cinematography, a five-film anthology.