“Small Axe,” a British anthology film series created and directed by Steve McQueen, has been named best film of 2020 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
“Small Axe” consists of five films about the lives of West Indian immigrants in London during the 1960s and 1970s. The series aired on BBC One in the United Kingdom, and on Amazon Prime Video in the United States.
Chloe Zhao won best director for “Nomadland,” a drama about economic insecurity set in the wide-open spaces of the American West, starring Frances McDormand.
The association gave out its awards virtually on Sunday, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The late Chadwick Boseman, who died Aug. 28 after a four-year battle with colon cancer, won best actor for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
Carey Mulligan won best actress for “Promising Young Woman.” That film also won a best screenplay award for Emerald Fennell.
Best supporting actor went to Glynn Turman of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” and best supporting actress was won by Youn Yuh-jung for “Minari.”
“Time” was the winner for best documentary, Shabier Kirchner won best cinematography for “Small Axe,” Yorgos Lamprinos won best editing for “The Father,” and Donald Graham Burt of “Mank” won best production design.
Best music score went to the Disney animated film “Soul.”
The critics organization announced earlier that director Hou Hsiao-Hsien and singer-actor-activist Harry Belafonte would be given career achievement awards, and veteran actor Norman Lloyd would receive its first Legacy Award.
On Friday, the New York Film Critics Circle chose “First Cow,” directed by Kelly Reichardt, as best picture.
Awards from the Los Angeles and New York critics groups are generally considered to be a good indication of which films and individuals stand the best chance of winning Academy Awards early next year. Last season, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association chose “Parasite” as best picture, and the film later won the best picture Oscar as well.
However, things are a bit different this year, as the LAFCA only considered films released during the calendar year, while the Academy Awards has extended its eligibility window to Feb. 28.