The independent drama “Nomadland” has won four awards from the St. Louis Film Critics Association, including film, director, editing and cinematography.

After losing everything in the 2008 recession, middle-aged Fern (Frances McDormand) embarks on a journey through the American west in writer-director Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland.” Zhao also edited the film. Joshua James Richards earned Best Cinematography.

“Promising Young Woman,” writer-director Emerald Fennell’s social commentary thriller about toxic masculinity, was recognized for Carey Mulligan’s performance and Fennell’s original screenplay as well as soundtrack for a total of three awards.

Other multiple award winners included Pixar’s “Soul” for animated feature and music score by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste; Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” as best action film and visual effects; and “The Invisible Man” for best horror film and best scene in which the sisters meet to dine at a restaurant.

In acting honors, Chadwick Boseman was named Best Actor for his final performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Paul Raci of “Sound of Metal” and Youn Yuh-jung of “Minari” for supporting roles.

The Romanian film “Collective” won for documentary and the Danish film “Another Round” won for foreign language film.

The awards were announced on Sunday, Jan. 17, with nominations in 22 categories were announced Jan. 10.

Eligible films include those that opened in St. Louis during the 2020 calendar year or were made available as a video on demand or streaming service release.

For more information, visit the website, www.stlfilmcritics.org, follow us on Twitter (@stlfilmcritics) and “Like” our Facebook page.

Here is a complete list of the awards:

BEST FILM: Nomadland
Runner-up (tie): “First Cow” and “Promising Young Woman”

BEST DIRECTOR: Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland:
Runner-up: Emerald Fennell “Promising Young Woman”

BEST ACTOR: Chadwick Boseman – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Runner-up: Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods”

BEST ACTRESS: Carey Mulligan – “Promising Young Woman”
Runner-up: Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Paul Raci – “Sound of Metal”
Runner-up: Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Youn Yuh-jung – “Minari”
Runner-up: Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: “Promising Young Woman” – Emerald Fennell
Runner-up: Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” – Charlie Kaufman (Screenplay); Iain Reid (Novel)

Runner-up: Kemp Powers (screenplay and play) “One Night in Miami”

BEST EDITING: “Nomadland” – Chloé Zhao

Runner-up: Robert Frazen, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: “Nomadland” – Joshua James Richards

Runner-up: “Mank” – Erik Messerschmidt

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: “Mank” – Donald Graham Burt\

Runner-up: “Emma” – Kave Quinn

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Tenet
Runner-up: The Invisible Man

BEST SCORE: Soul – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste
Runner-up: Nomadland – Ludovico Einaudi

BEST SOUNDTRACK: Promising Young Woman
Runner-up: Hamilton

BEST ACTION FILM: Tenet
Runner-up: Birds of Prey

BEST COMEDY FILM: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Runner-up: Palm Springs

BEST HORROR FILM: The Invisible Man

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Soul
Runner-up: Wolfwalkers

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Collective

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE: Another Round
Runner-up: Beanpole

BEST SCENE: The Invisible Man – A restaurant meet-up between sisters is interrupted.
Runner-up: Rudy Guiliani visits hotel room in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

Here is a complete list of nominations:

BEST FILM
First Cow
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
The Trial of the Chicago 7


BEST DIRECTOR
Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
Spike Lee, “Da 5 Bloods”
Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland”

BEST ACTOR
Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods”
Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
Gary Oldman, “Mank”

BEST ACTRESS
Jessie Buckley, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Bo Burnham, “Promising Young Woman”
Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Bill Murray, “On the Rocks”
Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami”
Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Ellen Burstyn, “Pieces of a Woman”
Olivia Colman, “The Father”
Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
Yuh-jung Youn, “Minari”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
Jack Fincher, “Mank”
Andy Siara, “Palm Springs”
Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Charlie Kaufman, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Kemp Powers, “One Night in Miami”
Jon Raymond and Kelly Reichardt, “First Cow”
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Benjamin Kracun, “Promising Young Woman
Erik Messerschmidt, “Mank”
Joshua James Richards, “Nomadland”
Newton Thomas Sigel, “Da 5 Bloods”
Dariusz Wolski, “News of the World”

BEST EDITING
Alan Baumgarten, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Kirk Baxter, “Mank”
Robert Frazen, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Jonah Moran, “Hamilton”
Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Donald Graham Burt, “Mank”
Christina Casali, “The Personal History of David Copperfield”
Michael Perry, “Promising Young Woman”
Kave Quinn, “Emma”
Mark Ricker, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

BEST SOUNDTRACK
Birds of Prey
Da 5 Bloods
Hamilton
Lovers Rock
Promising Young Woman

BEST MUSIC SCORE
Ludovico Einaudi, “Nomadland”
Ludwig Goransson, “Tenet”
James Newton Howard, “News of the World”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste, “Soul”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, “Mank”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Birds of Prey
The Invisible Man
Mank
The Midnight Sky
Tenet

BEST ACTION
Birds of Prey
The Gentlemen
Greyhound
The Old Guard
Tenet

BEST HORROR
Alone
The Invisible Man
La Llorona
Possessor Uncut
The Vast of Night


BEST COMEDY
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Emma
The King of Staten Island
On the Rocks
Palm Springs

BEST DOCUMENTARY
City Hall
Collective
Dick Johnson is Dead
My Octopus Teacher
The Social Dilemma

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Onward
Over the Moon
Soul
The Wolf House
Wolfwalkers

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Another Round
Bacurau
Beanpole
Collective
Vitalina Varela


BEST SCENE
Human Resources complaint discussion in “The Assistant”
Rudy Guiliani hotel room visit in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Dinner with parents at farmhouse in “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Sisters dine in restaurant in “The Invisible Man”
Questionnaire administered in “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”

“The NBR is proud to honor ‘Da 5 Bloods,’ Spike Lee, and the film’s incredible ensemble cast, along with all of our 2020 awardees,” NBR president Annie Schulhof said in a statement.

“Lee is one of our greatest filmmakers, a bold auteur with a cinematic vision and an astute perspective on human relationships, focusing at times on that intersection between the personal and the political. ‘Da 5 Bloods’ is not only a unique portrait of the experience and lingering trauma of Black Vietnam War veterans, but also a moving story of enduring friendship, a suspenseful jungle treasure hunt, and a powerful reckoning with the American dream. We are also honored to present the posthumous NBR Icon Award to Chadwick Boseman, an extraordinary talent who represented the best of what an actor could be no matter what the role.”

The NBR was established in 1909 by theater owners protesting the New York mayor’s attempt to block the exhibition of motion pictures in the city.

According to The Wrap, In the 88 years it has been naming the year’s best film, it has agreed with the Oscars 22 times, though only once (“Green Book”) in the last 11 years.

The National Board of Review is not a critics’ organization. The group is made up of “knowledgeable film enthusiasts and professionals, academics, young filmmakers and students” in the New York area.

The Wrap said much of its relatively high profile comes from the fact that it is normally one of the first groups to pick the year’s best films — although in this year’s extended awards season, it made its choices well after the critics’ groups that adhered to calendar-year eligibility.

Like the Oscars and most guilds, the NBR allowed films to qualify this year as long as they were being released by Feb. 28, 2021.

Plans for an awards ceremony to celebrate 2020 winners will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the full list of winners below:

Best Film:  “Da 5 Bloods”

Best Director:  Spike Lee, “Da 5 Bloods”

Best Actor:  Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”

Best Actress:  Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”

Best Supporting Actor:  Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”

Best Supporting Actress:  Youn Yuh-jung, “Minari”

Best Adapted Screenplay:  Paul Greengrass & Luke Davies, “News of the World”

Best Original Screenplay:  Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”

Breakthrough Performance:  Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”

Best Directorial Debut:  Channing Godfrey Peoples, “Miss Juneteenth”

Best Animated Feature:  “Soul”

Best Foreign Language Film:  “La Llorona”

Best Documentary:  “Time”

NBR Icon Award:  Chadwick Boseman

NBR Freedom of Expression Award: “One Night in Miami”

NBR Spotlight Award: Radha Blank for writing, directing, producing and starring in “The Forty-Year-Old Version”

Best Ensemble:  “Da 5 Bloods”

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography:  Joshua James Richards, “Nomadland”

Top Films (in alphabetical order):

First Cow
The Forty-Year-Old Version
Judas and the Black Messiah
The Midnight Sky
Minari
News of the World
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Soul
Sound of Metal

Top 5 Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order):

Apples
Collective
Dear Comrades
The Mole Agent
Night of the Kings

Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order): 

All In: The Fight for Democracy
Boys State
Dick Johnson is Dead
Miss Americana
The Truffle Hunters

Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order): 

The Climb
Driveways
Farewell Amor
Miss Juneteenth
The Nest
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
The Outpost
Relic
Saint Frances
Wolfwalkers

By Lynn Venhaus
Oh, so clever and profound, “Soul” tackles life’s Big Questions with whimsy and warmth.

An inspiring ode to mentors and finding our ‘spark,’ this original screenplay by director Pete Doctor, co-director Kemp Powers, and Mike Jones is a fresh take on a subject we generally ignore.

Docter, the genius behind Oscar winners “Up” and “Inside Out,” has gone into new territory while the animators have done stunning, next level work we’ve not seen before.

As the first African-American lead Pixar character, Joe (Jamie Foxx) is a middle-school band teacher whose true passion is jazz. So, when he gets a shot at performing with the revered Dorothea Williams Quartet, he thinks fate has finally smiled on him. However, destiny had another crossroads in mind – and he has wound up in the “Great Before.” He is paired with a wisecracking infant soul (Tina Fey), trying to figure her life out. Traveling between realms allows him to discover what it means to have “soul.”

The music score is glorious, with hypnotic other-worldly compositions by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and jazz compositions and arrangements by Jon Batiste.

Batiste, the band director of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’s house band, Stay Human, did the piano performances for Joe in the film – his unmistakable long lean fingers gliding over the 88 keys with such joy. The man exudes optimism every time he tickles the ivories.

“Soul” is geared towards parents more than children, but lessons can be extracted for older youth.

The small moments of life are celebrated, as are the colorful personalities we meet along the way – trombonist Connie, mystic Moonwind, seamstress Melba, barber Dez, obsessive-compulsive accountant Terry, and all those Counselor Jerrys.

Tina Fey is a delight. While Joe and Soul 22 are on their big-city escapades, which are fast and funny, the ‘no-body’ discovers Earth isn’t boring – although she refers to it as “this hellish planet,” but one whiff of pizza and she’s stuffing herself with New York City street food.

Steve Pilcher’s production design of a teeming New York City is remarkable, as is his ethereal Great Before, a mix of pastels and golden lights.

In much the same way as Thornton Wilder’s prose resonates in “Our Town” — “Oh, Earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you…”, “Soul” will stay with you.

And in true Pixar fashion, one must remain for the credits – and they don’t disappoint. The production crew credits appear in the beads of Terry’s abacuses, and the infant souls play games.

Instead of the production babies’ list, they’ve titled it “Recent You Seminar graduates.’

This trip to the astral plane is “Dedicated to all the mentors in our lives,” and is to be savored.

“Soul” is a fantasy animated feature film directed by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers. Starring Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Angela Bassett, Phylicia Rashad, Graham Norton and Questlove, the film runs 1 hour and 40 minutes and is rated PG for thematic elements and some language. Lynn’s Grade: A. Now streaming on Disney Plus at no extra charge.
Lynn’s Grade: A