JWM’s Best of 2020

Ahead of the upcoming Academy Awards, the culminating awards event of the movie season, I wanted to throw out my official “Best of 2020” picks for the movie year that was. I’ll stick with the adjusted release-date eligibility of the Oscars of February 28, 2021, so a few of the earlier releases of 2021 will be eligible in my rankings too.
BEST VISUALS (Cinematography, Visual Effects, Production/Costume Design, Hair/Make-up)
1. First Cow
2. Nomadland
3. Never Rarely Sometimes Always
4. The Father
5. Nadie Sabe Que Estoy Aqui [Nobody Knows I’m Here]
BEST AUDIO (Sound Editing/Mixing, Music)
1. First Cow
2. Minari
3. Sound of Metal
4. Judas and the Black Messiah
5. Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Honourable Mentions: Nomadland; Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; Promising Young Woman
BEST SCREENPLAY
1. Eliza Hittman – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
2. Christopher Hampton, Florian Zeller – The Father
3. Darius Marder, Abraham Marder – Sound of Metal
4. Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
5. Ruben Santiago-Hudson – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
6. Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
7. Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
8. James Sweeney – Straight Up
9. Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7
10. Antonio Campos, Paulo Campos – The Devil All the Time
Honourable Mentions: Eleanor Catton – Emma.; Alice Wu – The Half of It; Marinda July – Kajillionaire; Dan Scanlon, Jason Headley, Keith Bunin – Onward
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Paul Raci – Sound of Metal
2. Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah
3. Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari
4. Mark Rylance – The Trial of the Chicago 7
5. Talia Ryder – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
6. Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7
7. Olivia Colman –The Father
8. Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami…
9. Olivia Cooke – Sound of Metal
10. Gina Rodriguez – Kajillionaire
Honourable Mentions: Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods; Jason Clarke – The Devil All the Time; Elizabeth Debicki – Tenet; Dominique Fishback – Judas and the Black Messiah; Johnny Flynn – Emma.; Richard Jenkins – Kajillionaire; Will Patton – Minari; Amanda Seyfried – Mank
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
2. Anthony Hopkins – The Father
3. Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
4. Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
5. Frances McDormand – Nomadland
6. Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
7. Zoey Duetch – Buffaloed
8. Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
9. Lakeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah
10. Kingsley Ben-Adir – One Night in Miami…
Honourable Mentions: Adarsh Gourav – The White Tiger; Yeri Han – Minari; Tom Holland The Devil All the Time; Delroy Lindo Da 5 Bloods; John Magaro – First Cow; Anya Taylor-Joy – Emma.Evan Rachel Wood – Kajillionaire; Steven Yeun – Minari
BEST CRAFT (Directing, Editing)
1. Eliza Hittman, Scott Cummings – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
2. Florian Zeller, Yorgos Lamprinos – The Father
3. Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
4. Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
5. Aaron Sorkin, Alan Baumgarten – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Honourable Mentions: George C. Wolfe, Andrew Mondshein – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; Lee Isaac Chung, Harry Yoon – Minari; Emerald Fennell, Frédéric Thoraval – Promising Young Woman; Darius Marder, Mikkel E.G. Nielsen – Sound of Metal; James Sweeney, Keith Funkhouser – Straight Up
BEST FILM
1. Never Rarely Sometimes Always
2. Sound of Metal     
3. The Father                                 
4. Minari
5. Nomadland
6. First Cow
7. The Trial of the Chicago 7
Honourable Mentions: Kajillionaire; Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; Straight Up

Tenet (2020)

Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time. (IMDb)
Couldn’t hear half the dialogue and only understood half of the rest, but it’s a testament to Nolan’s ambitious and undeniably exciting brand of filmmaking that I was on the edge of my seat throughout regardless: the espionage plot and sci-fi concept are both confusing but compelling, the action is brilliant, the technical aspects top notch. It’s a shame the only emotion is found in yet another Russian villain and a simply modernized damsel-in-distress (Debicki’s turn remains excellent though).
7.5/10 (Really Good)