Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Noémie Merlant plays an artist named Marianne, who has been hired to paint a portrait of Héloïse, played by Adèle Haenel.
Photograph courtesy of Lilies Films.

Even with the advancements of women’s achievements in films in recent years, women as a whole are still not as well represented as men in the media. But the Women Film Critics Circle (WFCC), the first national American association of women critics, supports the accurate representation of women in media.

The best representations of women in films released in 2019 has voted on by WFCC. It honored the strengths of such movies as ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ and ‘Harriet.’

WFCC is an association of 75 women film critics and scholars from around the country and internationally, who are involved in print, radio, online and TV broadcast media. Launched in 2004, WFCC became the first women critics’ organization in the United States, in the belief that women’s perspectives and voices in film criticism need to be recognized fully. WFCC also prides itself on being the most culturally and racially diverse critics group in the country by far, and best reflecting the diversity of movie audiences.

The complete list of winners and nominees honored by the WFCC in 2018 is listed below:

Best Movie About Women

‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ (dir. Céline Sciamma)

Runner-up: ‘Little Women’ (dir. Greta Gerwig)

Best Movie by a Woman

Harriet‘ (dir. Kasi Lemmons)

Runner-up: ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ (dir. Céline Sciamma)

Best Woman Storyteller (Screenwriting Award)

Greta Gerwig (‘Little Women’)

Runner-up: Céline Sciamma (‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’)

Best Actress

Tie: Cynthia Erivo (‘Harriet’) and Lupita Nyong’o (‘Us’)

Runner-up: Renée Zellweger (‘Judy’)

Best Actor

Adam Driver (‘Marriage Story’)

Runner-up: Joaquin Phoenix (‘Joker‘)

Best Foreign Film by or About Women

‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ (dir. Céline Sciamma)

Runner-up: ‘Atlantics’ (dir. Mati Diop)

Best Documentary by or About Women

‘Varda by Agnès’ (dir. Agnès Varda)

Runner-ups: ‘Maiden’ (dir. Alex Holmes) and ‘Honeyland’ (dir. Tamara Kotevska and Ljubo Stefanov)

Best Equality of the Sexes

‘Marriage Story’

Runner-up: ‘The Aeronauts’

Best Animated Female

Anna (‘Frozen 2‘)

Runner-up: Bo Peep (‘Toy Story 4‘)

Best Screen Couple

Tie: ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ (Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel) and ‘Marriage Story’ (Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver)

Runner-up: ‘Hustlers’ (Jennifer Lopez/Constance Wu)

Adrienne Shelly Award – For a film that most passionately opposes violence against women

Tie: ‘Bombshell’ (dir. Jay Roach) and ‘The Nightingale’ (dir. Jennifer Kent)

Runner-up: ‘Hustlers’ (dir. Lorene Scafaria)

Josephine Baker Award – For best expressing the woman of color experience in America

‘Harriet’ (dir. Kasi Lemmons)

Runner-up: ‘Queen & Slim’ (dir. Melina Matsoukas)

Karen Morley Award – For best exemplifying a woman’s place in history or society, and a courageous search for identity

‘Harriet’ (dir. Kasi Lemmons)

Runner-up: ‘Little Women’ (dir. Greta Gerwig)

Acting and Activism Award

Jane Fonda

Lifetime Achievement Award

Alfre Woodard

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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