National Post (National Edition)
Toronto Film Critics honour Nomadland
Film's star and director also awarded prizes
The Toronto Film Critics Association has named Nomadland the best picture of 2020, and also awarded prizes to its director, Chloé Zhao, and star Frances McDormand. The film had its world première online in September at the Toronto, Venice and Telluride film festivals, where it won both the Venice Golden Lion and the Toronto People's Choice Award. A Canadian release date has not yet been set.
Nomadland, about a group of “RV homeless” who travel from place to place to work, was the only film to receive multiple awards from the group, which comprises 35 Toronto-based critics, including myself.
The TFCA presented the best screenplay prize to writer/director Lee Isaac Chung for Minari, a story of a Korean-American family set in the 1980s, starring Steven Yuen. It has a Feb. 26 release date. Other acting prizes went to Riz Ahmed for his portrayal of a drummer who loses his hearing in Sound of Metal; Maria Bakalova for her supporting role as Borat's daughter (and Rudy Giuliani prankster) in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm; and Daniel Kaluuya for his supporting role as Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in the biopic Judas and the Black Messiah, which will be released Friday.
Best first feature went to Netflix's The Forty-Year-Old Version, written, directed by and starring Radha Blank as a New York playwright who reinvents herself as a hiphop artist. Best international film went to Bacurau, a Most Dangerous Game-type tale set in Brazil. Collective, a Romanian documentary about the aftermath of a tragic nightclub fire, was given the Allan King Documentary Film Award. And Wolfwalkers, an Irish fantasy adventure, won the best animated feature prize.
The group will officially present its awards at a virtual gala to be held on March 9, and airing live on YouTube. That event will also reveal the winner of the Rogers $100,000 Best Canadian Film Award, the richest film prize in Canada. The three nominees for that prize are: And the Birds Rained Down, from Quebec filmmaker Louise Archambault; Anne at 13,000 Ft., from Toronto-based Kazik Radwanski; and White Lie, co-written and co-directed by Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas. Anne at 13,000 Ft. will be released online on Feb. 19. The other contenders are available through Crave and on demand.