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ANNOUNCEMENT: Chicago Film Critics 2020 Awards Nominations!

December 18, 2020


As a good-standing member of the Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA), I did my part and voted just like any other year, despite this year being unlike any other year. Like many other film critic associations, CFCA votes at the end of each year for what we consider to be the best from the film industry. Some categories are harder than others, but the votes have to be placed (and counted) nevertheless. Personally, I still have some catching up to do in my viewing, but like many of my colleagues, I voted based on what I saw this year (so far).

The nominees are below in their respective categories. Winners will be announced the evening of Monday, December 21st…



DA 5 BLOODS, FIRST COW and I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS also notch numerous nods;

Chadwick Boseman posthumously earns dual acting nominations.


Chicago, IL (December 18, 2020) — The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) today announces nominees for their top film honors of 2020; winners will be announced at the organization’s annual awards ceremony, a virtual event for Association members to be held on Monday, December 21. Leading with seven total nominations is Chloé Zhao’s NOMADLAND; Spike Lee’s DA 5 BLOODS, Kelly Reichardt’s FIRST COW and Charlie Kaufman’s I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS each earned six nominations, while MANK and PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN are each recognized with five. A complete list of nominees is below.

Comprised of voting members who represent outlets including the Chicago Sun-Times, The New York Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter,, The A.V Club, Vulture, NPR, and many more, the Chicago Film Critics Association annually presents traditional awards including Best Picture, Director, Actor and Actress, among others. With a particular focus on emerging talents, the CFCA also presents breakthrough awards to both an actor and filmmaker with the most promise for future career achievements. As each awards-giving body individually responded to 2020’s shifting theatrical release calendar due to the pandemic, the CFCA opted to maintain their calendar-based awards eligibility timeline. The nominees were selected from films with planned theatrical releases (virtual or otherwise) through December, so long as they were made available to voting members for consideration.

A reliably diverse voting body, the 2020 Chicago Film Critics Awards again honor a broad list of films and creators, with a total of 43 films nominated across nineteen categories. With 28 nominations, Netflix is the most recognized studio; Amazon and A24 share the second and third most nominations with 16 and 15, respectively. Fully one third of the nominees this year are women (19 of the 58 nominated individuals); filmmakers Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell each boast three nominations while Kelly Reichardt and Maria Bakalova each have two. In a first for the CFCA, the Best Director category is comprised entirely of women and POC: Emerald Fennell, Spike Lee, Steve McQueen, Kelly Reichardt and Chloé Zhao. And finally, composing duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross achieve a rare double nomination in the same category, earning Best Original Score nominations for their work in both Soul and Mank.

The complete list of 2020 Chicago Film Critics Awards nominations is as follows:


Da 5 Bloods | First Cow | Lovers Rock | Nomadland | Promising Young Woman


Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods

Steve McQueen, Lovers Rock

Kelly Reichardt, First Cow

Chloé Zhao, Nomadland


Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods

Steven Yeun, Minari


Jessie Buckley, I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Carrie Coon, The Nest

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman


Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods

Bill Murray, On the Rocks

Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami

Paul Raci, Sound of Metal

David Strathairn, Nomadland


Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Toni Collette, I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Amanda Seyfried, Mank

Letitia Wright, Mangrove

Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari


Da 5 Bloods by Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo, Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee

Never Rarely Sometimes Always by Eliza Hittman

Promising Young Woman by Emerald Fennell

Soul by Pete Docter, Mike Jones & Kemp Powers

The Trial of the Chicago 7 by Aaron Sorkin


The Father by Christopher Hampton & Florian Zeller

First Cow by Jonathan Raymond & Kelly Reichardt

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Charlie Kaufman

Nomadland by Chloé Zhao

One Night in Miami by Kemp Powers


Onward | A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon | Soul | The Wolf House | Wolfwalkers


Collective | David Byrne’s American Utopia | Dick Johnson is Dead | The Social Dilemma | Time


A tie in the nominations process resulted in six nominees in this category.

Another Round | Bacurau | Beanpole | Collective | La Llorona | Vitalina Varela


First Cow, Christopher Blauvelt

Lovers Rock, Shabier Kirchner

Mank, Erik Messerschmidt

Nomadland, Joshua James Richards

The Vast of Night, Miguel Ioann Littin Menz


Da 5 Bloods, Terence Blanchard

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Branford Marsalis

Mank, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

Soul, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste

Tenet, Ludwig Goransson


Birds of Prey | Emma. | First Cow | I’m Thinking of Ending Things | Mank


Birds of Prey | Emma. | First Cow | Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom | Mank


I’m Thinking of Ending Things | The Invisible Man | The Midnight Sky | Possessor | Tenet


I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Robert Frazen

Lovers Rock, Chris Dickens & Steve McQueen

Nomadland, Chloé Zhao

Tenet, Jennifer Lame

The Trial of the Chicago 7, Alan Baumgarten


Radha Blank, The Forty-Year-Old Version

Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

Darius Marder, Sound of Metal

Andrew Patterson, The Vast of Night


Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami

Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Kelly O’Sullivan, Saint Frances

Helena Zengel, News of the World


7 – Nomadland

Best Picture | Best Director | Best Actress | Best Supporting Actor | Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Editing | Best Cinematography

6 – Da 5 Bloods

Best Picture | Best Director | Best Actor | Best Supporting Actor | Best Original Screenplay

Best Original Score

      First Cow

Best Picture | Best Director | Best Adapted Screenplay | Best Costume Design | Best Art Direction

Best Cinematography

      I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Best Actress | Best Supporting Actress | Best Adapted Screenplay | Best Use of Visual Effects

Best Editing | Best Art Direction

5 – Mank

Best Supporting Actress | Best Costume Design | Best Art Direction | Best Original Score

Best Cinematography

     Promising Young Woman

Best Picture | Best Director | Best Actress | Best Original Screenplay | Breakthrough FIlmmaker

4 – Lovers Rock

Best Pictures | Best Director | Best Editing | Best Cinematography

     Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Actress | Best Actor | Best Costume Design | Best Original Score

3 – Minari

Best Actor | Best Supporting Actress | Breakthrough Filmmaker

     One Night in Miami

Best Supporting Actor | Best Adapted Screenplay | Most Promising Performer


Best Animated Film | Best Original Score | Best Original Screenplay

    Sound of Metal

Best Actor | Best Supporting Actor | Breakthrough Filmmaker


Best Editing | Best Use of Visual Effects | Best Original Score

2 – Birds of Prey – Best Costumes | Best Art Direction

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm – Best Supporting Actress | Most Promising Performer

Collective – Best Documentary | Best Foreign Film

Emma. – Best Costumes | Best Art Direction

The Father – Best Actor | Best Adapted Screenplay

Never Rarely Sometimes Always – Best Original Screenplay | Most Promising Performer

The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Best Original Screenplay | Best Editing

The Vast of Night – Breakthrough Filmmaker | Best Cinematography

1 – A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon – Best Animated Film

Another Round – Best Foreign Language Film

Bacurau – Best Foreign Language Film

Beanpole – Best Foreign Language Film

David Byrne’s American Utopia – Best Documentary

Dick Johnson is Dead – Best Documentary

The Forty-Year-Old Version – Breakthrough Filmmaker

The Invisible Man – Best Use of Visual Effects

La Llorona – Best Foreign Language Film

Mangrove – Best Supporting Actress

The Midnight Sky – Best Use of Visual Effects

The Nest – Best Supporting Actress

News of the World – Most Promising Performer

On the Rocks – Best Supporting Actor

Onward – Best Animated Film

Possessor – Best Use of Visual Effects

Saint Frances – Most Promising Performer

The Social Dilemma – Best Documentary

Time – Best Documentary

Vitalina Varela – Best Foreign Language Film

The Wolf House – Best Animated Film

Wolfwalkers – Best Animated Film

About the Chicago Film Critics Association

A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) was founded in 1990 to support and celebrate quality filmmaking that has something to say about our world, our lives, and our society. Membership includes Chicago-based journalists, broadcasters, critics and media personalities who actively work in the area of film across a wide variety of local, regional and national outlets. The annual Chicago Critics Film Festival presents a selection of recent festival favorites and as-yet-undistributed works from established voices and talented newcomers alike, curated by the CFCA membership. Every December, the CFCA votes on and announces their selections for best films of the year, contributing to the annual national discourse on cinema. Learn more at

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