Pop Culture

Houston Film Critics Society Declares Nomadland Best Picture Of 2020

Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland has been named Best Picture of the Houston Film Critics Society 2020 awards.

Based on the fictionalized adaptation of the Jessica Bruder nonfiction bestseller, Nomadland also took home the awards for Best Director (Zhao) and Best Cinematography.

Other winners of the 14th annual HFCS awards include Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) for Best Actor, Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) for Best Actress, and My Octopus Teacher for Best Documentary. It's the story of an unlikely bond that forms between Craig Foster, a South African filmmaker and free diver, and an octopus. It's even cooler than it sounds.

Perhaps the least surprising reveal was the win by Pixar's Soul for Best Animated Feature. The most surprising — and possible harbinger of things to come? Maria Bakalova for her role as Borat's daughter Tutar in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.


Society President Doug Harris says, “While 2020 may have seen changes in how we view movies, the year should be remembered for the quality of those films that ultimately reached audiences. It may have been a bit tougher to see some of these remarkable films, but the wait and the effort were worth it. And that’s the message our Society members take to their listeners, viewers and readers.”

“We look forward to further spotlighting all of our award winners,” he adds, “during our first television broadcast on January 31, 4 p.m. CST, on Houston’s KUBE 57. That programming will also celebrate our Texas Independent Film Award nominees and feature the announcement of the winners of our special honors for filmmaking in the state.”

The complete list of 2020 winners:

Best Picture: Nomadland
Best Director: Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Best Screenplay: Promising Young Woman
Best Animated Feature: Soul
Best Cinematography: Nomadland
Best Documentary Feature: My Octopus Teacher
Best Foreign Language Feature: A Sun (Taiwan)
Best Original Score: Soul
Best Original Song: One Night in Miami, “Speak Now”
Best Visual Effects: Tenet
Best Stunt Coordination Team: Tenet
Best Movie Poster Art: Da 5 Bloods
Outstanding Cinematic Achievement: Sound of Metal (for its Immersive Sound Design)

The winner of the Society's Texas Independent Film Award will be announced January 31. Nominees are Boys State, Miss Juneteenth, Ready or Not, The Vast of Night, and Yellow Rose.
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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar