Female filmmakers lead the way as the Critics' Circle announce 2021 film award nominations

Female filmmakers lead the way as the Critics' Circle announce 2021 film award nominations

Saint Maud

Saint Maud, Rocks and Nomadland – all directed by women – are the top three contenders

With the Academy Awards pushed back two months to Sun 25 Apr and the BAFTA Film Awards now being handed out on Sun 11 Apr, film fans have longer than usual to wait to celebrate the best of the past year. So, the announcement of the nominations for the 41st London Critics' Circle Film Awards feels particularly exciting, especially in a year where new talent has had room to shine.

As is now the norm, the Critics' Circle – whose Film Section members include many of the best-known UK broadsheet and broadcast film journalists, as well as several reviewers from The List – have taken things online this year, with the nominations announced via Zoom by actors Darci Shaw (Judy, The Bay) and Henry Lloyd-Hughes (The Inbetweeners, Killing Eve), who are starring together in upcoming Netflix series The Irregulars.

Films that were released in cinemas or on streaming services from 14 Feb 2020 were eligible, with the qualifying release dates extended into March this year. Showing the amount of watching that's required to vote, 224 features were named across the ballots, with 49 of these nominated.

Female filmmakers lead the way as the Critics' Circle announce 2021 film award nominations

Rose Glass directing Saint Maud

Female filmmakers fared extremely strongly this year, leading the nominations in fact, with a number of standout British efforts attracting particular praise. Rose Glass's extraordinary debut about a tormented palliative care nurse, Saint Maud, led the pack with eight nominations, followed by Sarah Gavron's authentic teen drama Rocks (with six) and Chloé Zhao's compassionate American odyssey Nomadland (with five). Steve McQueen's house party-set Lovers Rock, David Fincher's biopic Mank and Emerald Fennell's first film, the revenge dramedy Promising Young Woman, all secured four.

Notable individual nominations include posthumous acknowledgements for Chadwick Boseman (nominated twice – for Actor of the Year in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Supporting Actor of the Year for Da 5 Bloods) and Mank's Jack Fincher (as Screenwriter of the Year). First-time performer Bukky Bakray will be thrilled after bagging two nods for her work in Rocks, appearing in the shortlist for British / Irish Actress of the Year and Young British / Irish Performer.

Female filmmakers lead the way as the Critics' Circle announce 2021 film award nominations

Lovers Rock

Steve McQueen's Small Axe anthology series is heavily mentioned, with Lovers Rock appearing in Film of the Year and featuring alongside Mangrove in British / Irish Film of the Year, Mica Levi receiving a nod for her music on Lovers Rock, and actors Shaun Parkes and John Boyega nominated for Mangrove and Red, White and Blue respectively. And there's an overarching acknowledgment for McQueen himself, who is shortlisted for Director of the Year for his work across the series.

The awards will be presented virtually on Sun 7 Feb, with a physical event to be held later in the year. The full list of nominations follows.

FILM OF THE YEAR
About Endlessness
Collective
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Lovers Rock
The Mauritanian
Minari
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Rocks
Saint Maud

FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
About Endlessness
Another Round
Collective
Les Misérables
Minari

DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR
Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets
Collective
Dick Johnson Is Dead
Time
The Truffle Hunters

The Attenborough Award
BRITISH/IRISH FILM OF THE YEAR

The Father
Lovers Rock
Mangrove
Rocks
Saint Maud

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
David Fincher - Mank
Rose Glass - Saint Maud
Kevin Macdonald - The Mauritanian
Steve McQueen - Small Axe
Chloé Zhao - Nomadland

SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR
Jack Fincher - Mank
Rose Glass - Saint Maud
Charlie Kaufman - I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Aaron Sorkin - The Trial of the Chicago 7
Chloé Zhao - Nomadland

ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Morfydd Clark - Saint Maud
Viola Davis - Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Vanessa Kirby - Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand - Nomadland
Carey Mulligan - Promising Young Woman

ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Riz Ahmed - Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman - Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins - The Father
Delroy Lindo - Da 5 Bloods
Tahar Rahim - The Mauritanian

SUPPORTING ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Maria Bakalova - Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Ellen Burstyn - Pieces of a Woman
Essie Davis - Babyteeth
Jennifer Ehle - Saint Maud
Amanda Seyfried - Mank

SUPPORTING ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Sacha Baron Cohen - The Trial of the Chicago 7
Chadwick Boseman - Da 5 Bloods
Aldis Hodge - Clemency
Ben Mendelsohn - Babyteeth
Shaun Parkes - Mangrove

BRITISH/IRISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR (for body of work)
Bukky Bakray - Rocks
Jessie Buckley - I'm Thinking of Ending Things, Misbehaviour
Morfydd Clark - Eternal Beauty, Saint Maud
Vanessa Kirby - Pieces of a Woman, The World to Come
Carey Mulligan - The Dig, Promising Young Woman

BRITISH/IRISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR (for body of work)
Riz Ahmed - Mogul Mowgli, Sound of Metal
Sacha Baron Cohen - Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, The Trial of the Chicago 7
John Boyega - Red, White and Blue
Anthony Hopkins - The Father
Cosmo Jarvis - Calm With Horses, Nocturnal

The Philip French Award
BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH/IRISH FILMMAKER

Henry Blake - County Lines
Fyzal Boulifa - Lynn + Lucy
Emerald Fennell - Promising Young Woman
Rose Glass - Saint Maud
Remi Weekes - His House

YOUNG BRITISH/IRISH PERFORMER
Kosar Ali - Rocks
Bukky Bakray - Rocks
Millie Bobby Brown - Enola Holmes
Conrad Khan - County Lines
Molly Windsor - Make Up

BRITISH/IRISH SHORT FILM
Filipiñana - Rafael Manuel, director
Hungry Joe - Paul Holbrook, director
Lizard - Akinola Davies Jr, director
The Long Goodbye - Aneil Karia, director
The Shift - Laura Carreira, director

TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT
Ammonite - Stéphane Fontaine, cinematography
Birds of Prey - Deborah Lamia Denaver & Adruitha Lee, makeup & hair
Lovers Rock - Mica Levi, music
Mank - Donald Graham Burt, production design
Nomadland - Joshua James Richards, cinematography
Rocks - Lucy Pardee, casting
Soul - Pete Docter, animation
Sound of Metal - Nicolas Becker, sound design
Tenet - Jennifer Lame, film editing
Wolfwalkers - Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart, animation

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