Denver Film Critics Society 2020 Ballot

On Friday, Jan. 8, the Denver Film Critics Society (DFCS)—16 writers and broadcasters working in and around the Mile High City, of which I am one—cast their preliminary ballots for this year’s DFCS awards.

How it works: Members are asked to select their five favorite films/performances for each of the 16 categories and rank each pick. Those votes are counted and weighted per their ranking, and five official nominees per category are determined. DFCS members then vote again based on these finalists, and the results are announced.

In the past, I have posted the final nominations and the winners, but not my ballot. Why not? Laziness, I suppose. Well, new year/new you: Below are my nominations for the best of 2020 (links to reviews available with the movie’s first mention). The final nominations will be announced Monday, Jan. 11, and we’ll see how my picks stacked up.

Best Film

  1. Dick Johnson Is Dead
  2. David Byrne’s American Utopia
  3. Soul
  4. First Cow
  5. Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Best Director

  1. Kirsten Johnson, Dick Johnson is Dead
  2. Pete Docter and Kemp Powers, Soul
  3. Kelly Reichardt, First Cow
  4. Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
  5. Charlie Kaufman, I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Best Lead Performance by an Actor, Male

  1. Luca Marinelli, Martin Eden
  2. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods
  3. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
  4. Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  5. Tom Hanks, Greyhound
Frances McDormand in Nomadland. Photo courtesy Searchlight Pictures.

Best Lead Performance by an Actor, Female

  1. Frances McDormand, Nomadland
  2. Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  3. Jessie Buckley, I’m Thinking of Ending Things
  4. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman
  5. Elisabeth Moss, The Invisible Man

Best Supporting Performance by an Actor, Male

  1. Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami…
  2. Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
  3. Jesse Plemons, I’m Thinking of Ending Things
  4. Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7
  5. Bo Burnham, Promising Young Woman

Best Supporting Performance by an Actor, Female

  1. Gina Rodriguez, Kajillionaire
  2. Margo Martindale, Blow the Man Down
  3. Talia Ryder, Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  4. Amanda Seyfried, Mank
  5. Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari

Best Sci-fi/Horror

  1. Possessor
  2. Vivarium
  3. La Llorona
  4. The Invisible Man
  5. The Vast of Night
Soul. Image courtesy Disney/Pixar.

Best Animated Film

  1. Soul
  2. Wolfwalkers
  3. Away
  4. Weathering With You
  5. Onward

Best Comedy

  1. The Climb
  2. Palm Springs
  3. Blow the Man Down
  4. Kajillionaire
  5. The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Visual Effects

  1. Possessor
  2. I’m Thinking of Ending Things
  3. Tenet
  4. The Invisible Man
  5. Martin Eden

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Soul, Pete Docter, Kemp Powers, Mike Jones
  2. Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Eliza Hittman
  3. The Climb, Michael Angelo Covino, Kyle Marvin
  4. Possessor, Brandon Cronenberg
  5. Palm Springs, Andy Siara
Luca Marinelli in Martin Eden. Photo courtesy Francesca Errichiello/Kino Lorber.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. Martin Eden, screenplay by Maurizio Braucci and Pietro Marcello based on Jack London’s novel
  2. I’m Thinking of Ending Things, screenplay by Charlie Kaufman based on Iain Reed’s novel
  3. First Cow, screenplay by Kelly Reichardt and Jonathan Raymond based on Raymond’s novel, The Half-Life
  4. One Night in Miami…, screenplay by Kemp Powers, based on his stage play
  5. Greyhound, screenplay by Tom Hanks based on C.S. Forester’s novel, The Good Shepherd

Best Documentary Feature

  1. Dick Johnson is Dead
  2. City Hall
  3. Boys State
  4. The Changin’ Times of Ike White
  5. The Truffle Hunters

Best Original Song

  1. “It’s All Love,” from Trolls World Tour. Written by James Fauntleroy, Ludwig Göransson, Joseph Shirley, produced by Ludwig Göransson, and Joseph Shirley, performed by Anderson .Paak, Justin Timberlake, Mary J. Blige, and George Clinton.
  2. “Identical,” from On the Rocks. Written and performed by Phoenix.
  3. “Poverty Porn,” from The Forty-Year-Old Version. Lyrics by Radha Blank, music by Khrysis, performed by Radhamusprime.
  4. “Speak Now,” from One Night in Miami… Written by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Sam Ashworth, performed by Leslie Odom, Jr.
  5. “Queen Bee,” from Emma. Written and performed by Johnny Flynn.

Best Original Score

  1. Soul, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and Jon Batiste
  2. First Cow, William Tyler
  3. The Personal History of David Copperfield, Christopher Willis
  4. Sound of Metal, Nicolas Becker, Abraham Marder
  5. Wild Mountain Thyme, Amelia Warner

Best Non-English Language Feature

  1. Martin Eden (Italy)
  2. I’m No Longer Here (Mexico)
  3. Another Round (Denmark)
  4. There Is No Evil (Iran)
  5. The Whistlers (Romania)

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