And Denver’s Film Critics Nominate …

And Denver’s Film Critics Nominate … January 7, 2020

Eliza Scanlen, Saoirse Ronan, Laura Dern and Florence Pugh in Little Women, which earned six nominations from the Denver Film Critics Society. Photo courtesy Sony.

It’s awards season, of course. The Golden Globes were handed out this weekend, and Oscar nominations will be named on Monday. Plenty of film critics’ associations around the country are doling out their own selected honors, too, including one that I belong to–the Denver Film Critics Society. What follows are the DFCS slate of nominees (in no particular order), along with a few comments of my own: It’ll name the winners next Monday.

Best Picture

“Little Women”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”
“Marriage Story”

The DFCS and I saw this contest pretty much the same. My own top three movies of the year–1917, Jojo Rabbit and Marriage Story, all made the cut. And I was curiously gratified that Little Women took a spot here, too. While the film didn’t make my own top 10, I really loved the heart of the thing. It’s nice to see our little critics society give the film some love.

Best Director
Greta Gerwig, “Little Women”
Taika Waititi, “Jojo Rabbit”
Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”
Sam Mendes, “1917”
Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”

Again, I’m drawn to Little Women here. Greta Gerwig was overlooked by the Golden Globes, but I voted for her in this category. But I also voted for Terence Malick, and he didn’t. Too bad.

Best Actress
Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
Renee Zellweger, “Judy”
Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”
Awkwafina, “The Farewell”
Lupita Nyong’o, “Us”

My own ballot looks almost identical to this, with the exception being Alfre Woodard’s moving performance in Clemency swapped with Nyong’o’s blistering double role in Us.


Best Actor
Adam Sandler, “Uncut Gems”
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”


Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers”
Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”
Florence Pugh, “Little Women”
Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”
Zhao Shuzhen, “The Farewell”

A fourth nomination for Little Women, of which I concur. I almost voted for Laura Dern twice in this category–both for her scene-stealing role as Marriage Story’s ruthless divorce lawyer and her much more matronly turn in Little Women.
Best Supporting Actor
Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”
Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”
Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
Al Pacino, “The Irishman”
John Lithgow, “Bombshell”
Can’t figure out how Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood decided that Brad Pitt is a supporting actor to Leonardo DiCaprio’s lead, when both have just about the same amount of screentime.

Best Sci-Fi/Horror

“Ad Astra”
“Avengers: Endgame”
“The Lighthouse”

Best Animated Film

“Toy Story 4”
“Frozen II”
“Missing Link”
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”

Toy Story 4 made my top 10 list for the year, so three guesses which one of these I’ll be voting for.


Best Comedy
“Knives Out”

“Jojo Rabbit”
“Dolemite Is My Name”
“The Farewell”

Best Visual FX
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
“Avengers: Endgame”
“The Irishman”
“Lion King”


Best Original Screenplay
“Marriage Story”
“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”
“Knives Out”
“The Farewell”

Best Adapted Screenplay
“Little Women”
“The Irishman”
“A Hidden Life”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

Best Documentary

“Apollo 11”
“American Factory”
“One Child Nation”
“The Biggest Little Farm”

Best Original Song
“Stand Up,” “Harriet”
“Into the Unknown,” “Frozen II”
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”
“Glasgow,” “Wild Rose”
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” “Toy Story 4”

Best Score
“Little Women”
“Marriage Story”
“Jojo Rabbit”

Six nominations for Little Women! Man, did we Denverites like this movie. Candidly, best song and best score are categories I’d rather see go away. Not sure if I have the musical expertise to give a really strong opinion on these.


Best Foreign Language Film
“The Farewell”
“Pain and Glory”
“Les Miserables”
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”

There you have it. If you’re interested in what we Denver Film Critics will select as the best of the best, check back in early next week.

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