Bock’s Office: Denver Film Critics Society name varied list of award winners for 2020 |

Bock’s Office: Denver Film Critics Society name varied list of award winners for 2020

While the past year featured significant changes in the movie industry along with the rest of the world, a wide variety of cinema awaited viewers in multiple formats, and a regional group of movie lovers took notice of many of the best and brightest of 2020.

This week, Denver Film Critics Society announced its awards for the greatest films of 2020.

Best Picture went to Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” a historical drama focusing on the legal aftermath of the 1968 riots at the Democratic National Convention. The feature, which premiered in October on Netflix, received three wins from DFCS, with five total nominations.

Chloé Zhao took the honor of Best Director for the film “Nomadland,” a contemporary Western tale of a woman determined to remain independent and untethered by roaming around the United States and living out of a van. The movie is set for limited theatrical release in late January and a digital presentation in February on Hulu.

With nominations in dual acting categories, the late Chadwick Boseman received the posthumous Best Actor award for his role in the Netflix drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” The adaptation of August Wilson’s stage play is set during a fiery recording session for the title blues singer, who has a rocky relationship with her trumpet player, portrayed by Boseman.

For Best Actress, DFCS selected Carey Mulligan for her part in “Promising Young Woman” as a revenge-driven woman seeking retribution for a friend victimized by sexual assault.

Veteran thespian Ellen Burstyn won Best Supporting Actress for a small but crucial performance in “Pieces of a Woman,” playing the somewhat controlling but loving mother of a young woman whose life, career and marriage are upended by a difficult childbirth.

As part of a large ensemble cast, Sacha Baron Cohen took the honor of Best Supporting Actor for “The Trial of the Chicago 7” as irreverent ’60s demonstrator Abbie Hoffman.


Sorkin’s script for the same film also earned Best Original Screenplay, while the Adapted Screenplay trophy went to Jonathan Raymond and Kelly Reichardt for “First Cow,” a film version of Raymond’s novel, “The Half Life,” showing a small pioneer community in the 1820s Pacific Northwest.

DFCS honored the highlights of several genres, including Best Sci-Fi/Horror for the modernized “The Invisible Man” and Best Comedy for “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” a depiction of the Charles Dickens story with a notably diverse cast.

The Pixar film “Soul” — which premiered on Disney+ — took Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score (Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross) for its telling of a music teacher with dreams of becoming a jazz legend who abruptly ends up in the afterlife.

The smaller feature “One Night in Miami” — available on Amazon Prime streaming — took Best Original Song for the tune “Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami,” written by Sam Ashworth and Leslie Odom, Jr., the latter of whom portrays Sam Cooke in the story of 1960s African-American figures.

The big screen blockbuster “Tenet” took Best Visual Effects for elaborate stunts done forward and backward as part of a story about an elite crime unit battling futuristic technology that reverses time.

The Best Documentary prize went to “Boys State,” a depiction of a Texas youth project teaching government functions to teenage boys, while Best Non-English Language Feature was claimed by “Minari,” the story of a Korean-American family struggling to assimilate into the culture of rural Arkansas in the 1980s, inspired by the life of writer-director Lee Isaac Chung.

“Minari” was also the top movie in total nominations with six, including Best Picture, Director, Actor, Original Screenplay and Supporting Actress.

Denver Film Critics Society’s membership includes online and print film reviewers based in Colorado, including Craig Press film critic Andy Bockelman.

A full list of nominees is below, with winners in bold.

Best Picture:

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”



“First Cow”


Best Director:

Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”

David Fincher, “Mank”

Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Pete Docter, “Soul”

Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”

Best Actress:

Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”

Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”

Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Elisabeth Moss, “The Invisible Man”

Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”

Best Actor:

Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Gary Oldman, “Mank”

Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods”

Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”

Steven Yeun, “Minari”

Best Supporting Actress:

Ellen Burstyn, “Pieces of a Woman”

Olivia Colman, “The Father”

Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”

Youn Yuh-jung, “Minari”

Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

Best Supporting Actor:

Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Bill Murray, “On the Rocks”

Chadwick Boseman, “Da 5 Bloods”

Bo Burnham, “Promising Young Woman”

David Strathairn, “Nomadland”

Best Sci-Fi/Horror:

“The Invisible Man”

“The Vast of Night”




Best Animated Feature:



“The Wolf House”


“Over the Moon”

Best Comedy:

“The Personal History of David Copperfield”

“The Climb”

“Palm Springs”

“Birds of Prey”

“The Forty-Year-Old Version”

Best Visual Effects:


“The Midnight Sky”

“The Invisible Man”


“Birds of Prey”

Best Original Screenplay:

Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Radha Blank, “The Forty-Year-Old Version”

Pete Docter, Mike Jones and Kemp Powers, “Soul”

Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”

Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Jonathan Raymond, Kelly Reichardt, “First Cow”

Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland”

Ruben Santiago-Hudson, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Kemp Powers, “One Night in Miami”

Charlie Kaufman, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”

Best Documentary:

“Boys State”

“All In: The Fight for Democracy”

“The Social Dilemma”

“The Truffle Hunters”

“Dick Johnson Is Dead”

Best Original Song:

“Speak Now,” “One Night in Miami”

“Poverty Porn,” “The Forty-Year-Old Version”

“Wear Your Crown,” The Prom

“Rocket to the Moon,” “Over the Moon”

“Hear My Voice,” “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Original Score:

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “Soul”

Alexander Desplat, “The Midnight Sky”

Terence Blanchard, “One Night in Miami”

Ludwig Goransson, “Tenet”

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “Mank”

Best Non-English Language Feature:


“The Life Ahead”

“Martin Eden”

“Another Round”

“I’m No Longer Here”

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