toronto film critics association

Toronto film critics just named the best movies of the year

The Toronto Film Critics Association just announced the winners of their 24th annual awards, and one movie in particular swept three of the biggest categories. 

Nomadland, a film described by the TFCA as "a socially evocative film about a community of the 'RV homeless,'" took home the awards for Best Picture, Best Director for Chloé Zhao, and Best Actress for Frances McDormand when the winners were announced Sunday.

"Chloé Zhao's sublime road movie, Nomadland, brilliantly speaks to our shared 21st-century examination of our life journeys, which is why we made it our most celebrated film this year with three prizes," said Peter Howell, TFCA president and gala executive producer, in a statement.

The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in the Fall and has appeared on numerous critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2020 — while also being nominated for four Golden Globe Awards and one Screen Actors Guild Award in the past week alone.

The TFCA also awarded Riz Ahmed with the Best Actor title for his role as a drummer who loses his hearing in Sound of Metal, which also premiered at TIFF and has received much critical acclaim. 

And those who saw Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat Subsequent Moviefilm will likely remember Maria Bakalova for her successful prank against Trump administration lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Now, she's also been given the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the satirical sequel.

Daniel Kaluuya was meanwhile named Best Supporting Actor for his role as Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in the '60s activist drama Judas and the Black Messiah, while Lee Isaac Chung won in the Best Screenplay category for Minari — a film about a Korean American family who takes over a farm in the 1980s in Arkansas.

A film about a schoolteacher who becomes a hip-hop artist in her 40s, cleverly called The Forty-Year Old Version, was awarded Best First Feature. American filmmaker Radha Blank wrote, directed, produced, and starred in the movie.

TFCA members voted for the winners during a virtual meeting on Sunday, Feb. 7, and the awards will be officially presented at a virtual gala in Toronto on March 9.

The online event will be co-hosted by The Social's Elaine "Lainey" Lui and Refinery 29's Kathleen Newman-Bremang, and it will also feature the announcement of the winner of the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award.

The nominees for the prestigious award include And the Birds Rained Down by Louise ArchambaultAnne at 13,000 Ft. by Kazik Radwanski, and White Lie by Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas.

The winner of the award will be given a prize of $100,000, while the runners-up will each receive $5,000. 

"Our three nominees for the $100,000 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award represent the best in current Canadian cinema: the emotional directness of Anne at 13,000 Ft., the truth-telling of White Lie and the late-life discoveries of And the Birds Rained Down," Howell said. 

The exhaustive list of all the TFCA winners and nominees can be found online, and anyone looking to tune in to the virtual gala can do so for free on YouTube on March 9 at 8 p.m.

"Change and uncertainty have been anxious realities for the past year, but we are delighted to be able to continue our annual tradition of celebrating the best in film at home and abroad," Howell said. 

"And here's some change we can all embrace: the TFCA invites movie lovers to join us for the first virtual version of our gala awards show, which you can watch for free via YouTube."

Lead photo by

Toronto Film Critics

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