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'Minari' wins New York Film Critics Online's best picture award

The film won three awards in total, including foreign language and Yuh-Jung Youn in best supporting actress.
Image: Steven Yeun Minari
Steven Yeun in 'Minari'.A24

The New York Film Critics Online have announced their winners for the best films and performances of the year, with “Minari” from A24 topping the best picture category. This is the third consecutive year the group has recognized a foreign language film following 2019’s “Parasite” and 2018’s “Roma.”

Lee Isaac Chung’s portrait of a Korean family immigrating to Arkansas in the 1980s won three awards in total, including foreign language and Yuh-Jung Youn in best supporting actress. Youn shared wasn’t the only winner in her category, tying with fellow awards hopeful Ellen Burstyn for her turn in Kornél Mundruczó’s “Pieces of a Woman” from Netflix.

Also winning three awards, Focus Features’ “Promising Young Woman” won awards in best actress for Carey Mulligan, screenplay and debut director, both for Emerald Fennell. Marking Mulligan’s 11th win this season, and is closing the gap by the critics’ leader Frances McDormand for “Nomadland.”

Speaking of “Nomadland,” Chloé Zhao has more than three dozen wins for directing this season, adding another one from NYFCO. She becomes the fifth woman to be recognized in the category, following Kathyrn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty”), Sofia Coppola (“Lost in Translation”) and Dee Rees (“Mudbound”).

Riz Ahmed’s performance in “Sound of Metal” from Amazon Studios took home best actor, his tenth awards this precursor season. He has just two more wins than his closest competitors Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) and Delroy Lindo (“Da 5 Bloods”). Also from Amazon Studios, Leslie Odom Jr’s turn as Sam Cooke in Regina King’s “One Night in Miami” was named best supporting actor, still holding on as the second most recognized in a category where Paul Raci has run away with it in the last few weeks.

Dawn Porter’s “The Way I See It,” a beautiful reflection of Barack Obama through his photographer Pete Souza’s eyes, picked up its first win this season for documentary feature.

The eligibility period for films was from Jan. 1, 2020, to Jan. 31, 2021. This left films such as “Cherry,” “French Exit,” “Judas and the Black Messiah” and “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” ineligible for recognition. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, members voted virtually for the first time in the group’s 21-year history.

The full list of winners and the group’s top 10 films of the year are down below. You can see all the winners so far on the Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2020-2021).

Best Picture: “Minari” (A24)

Best Director: Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

Best Actor: Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)

Best Actress: Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)

Best Supporting Actor: Leslie Odom Jr, “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)

Best Supporting Actress: Ellen Burstyn, “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix) and Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari” (A24) – *TIE*

Best Screenplay: “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features) – Emerald Fennell

Best Animated Feature: “Soul” (Pixar)

Best Cinematography: “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures) – Joshua James Richards

Best Use of Music: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix) – Branford Marsalis

Best Documentary Feature: “The Way I See It” (Focus Features)

Best Foreign Language: “Minari” (A24)

Best Debut Director: Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)

Breakthrough Performer: Kingsley Ben-Adir, “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios) and Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Studios) – *TIE*

Best Ensemble Cast: “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)

Top 10 Films (alphabetical)

  • “The Assistant” (Bleecker Street)
  • “First Cow” (A24)
  • “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” (Netflix)
  • “Minari” (A24)
  • “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)
  • “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)
  • “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Pictures)
  • “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)
  • “Tommaso” (Kino Lorber)
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)

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