Carey Mulligan stars in writer-director Emerald Fennel’s crime thriller, ‘Promising Young Woman.’

The Women Film Critics Circle (WFCC) is announcing its 2020 Awards today, March 8, in honor of International Women’s Day. The critics group is celebrating the best movies by and about women, including outstanding achievements by women, who rarely get to be honored historically in the film world.

WFCC is an association of 80 women film critics and scholars from around America and world, who are involved in print, radio, online and TV broadcast media. The group was formed in 2004 as the first women critics organization in the United States, in the belief that women’s perspectives and voices in film criticism needs to be recognized fully. WFCC also prides itself on being the most culturally and racially diverse critics group in America, and best reflects the diversity of movie audiences.

The complete list of the 2020 winners and nominees honored by the WFCC is listed below:

Best Movie About Women:

Winner: ‘Promising Young Woman

Runner Up: ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’



Best Movie by a Woman:

Winner:Nomadland‘ – Chloe Zhao

Runner up: ‘Promising Young Woman’ – Emerald Fennell

‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ – Eliza Hittman

One Night in Miami‘ – Regina King

Best Woman Storyteller (Screenwriting Award)

Winner: ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ – Eliza Hittman

Runner up: ‘Promising Young Woman’ – Emerald Fennell

‘Nomadland’ – Chloe Zhao

‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’ – Suzan-Lori Parks

Best Actress

Winner: Carey Mulligan – ‘Promising Young Woman’

Runner up (tie): Frances McDormand – ‘Nomadland’

Runner up (tie): Vanessa Kirby – ‘Pieces of a Woman’

Andra Day – ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’

Best Actor

Winner: Chadwick Boseman – ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Runner ip: Anthony Hopkins – ‘The Father’

Riz Ahmed – ‘Sound of Metal’

Tahar Rahim – ‘The Mauritanian’

Best Foreign Film By or About Women

Winner: ‘La Llorona’

Runner up: ‘True Mothers’

‘The Truth (La Verite)’

‘Two of Us (Deux)’

Best Documentary by or About Women

Winner: ‘Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story’

Runner Up: ‘Time’

‘All In’

‘I Am Greta’

Best Equality of the Sexes

Winner: ‘Emma’

Runner up: I Care a Lot

‘Malcolm & Marie’


Best Animated Female

Winner: Fei Fei – ‘Over the Moon’

Runner up: Mebh Og MacTire – ‘Wolfwalkers’

Libba – ‘Soul’

Robyn Goodfellowe – ‘Wolfwalkers’

Best Screen Couple

Winner: Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan – ‘Ammonite’

Runner up: Tom Hanks and Helena Zengel – ‘News of the World’

Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti – ‘Palm Springs’

Barbara Sukowa and Martine Chevallier – ‘Two of Us (Deux)’

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

Shelly was a promising actress and filmmaker who was brutally strangled in her apartment in 2006 at the age of 40 by a construction worker in the building, after she complained about noise. Her killer tried to cover up his crime by hanging her from a shower rack in her bathroom, to make it look like suicide. He later confessed that he was having a bad day. Shelly, who left behind a baby daughter, had just completed her last feature film, ‘Waitress,’ which she wrote, directed and starred in, and which was honored at the Sundance Film Festival after her death.

Winner: ‘Promising Young Woman’

Runner up: ‘The Invisible Man’

‘I’m Your Woman’

‘The Assistant’

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

The daughter of a laundress and a musician, Baker overcame being born black, female and poor, and getting married at age 15, to become an internationally acclaimed legendary performer, and starring in such films as ‘Princess Tam Tam,’ ‘Moulin Rouge’ and ‘Zou Zou.’ She also survived the race riots in East St. Louis, Illinois as a child, and later expatriated to France to escape U.S. racism.

After heroically participating in the underground French Resistance during WWII, Baker returned to the U.S., where she was a crusader for racial equality. Her activism led to attacks against her by reporter Walter Winchell, who denounced her as a communist, which lead her to wage a battle against him. Baker was instrumental in ending segregation in many theaters and clubs, where she refused to perform unless integration was implemented.

Winner: ‘Miss Juneteenth’

Runner Up: ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’


The Forty-Year-Old Version

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

Morley was a promising Hollywood star in the 1930s, having starred in such films as ‘Mata Hari’ and ‘Our Daily Bread.’ She was later driven out of Hollywood for her leftist political convictions by the Blacklist, and for refusing to testify against other actors, while Robert Taylor and Sterling Hayden were informants against her. She also dared to have a child, which unacceptable for female stars in those days. Morley maintained her militant political activism for the rest of her life, and ran for Lieutenant Governor on the American Labor Party ticket in 1954. She passed away in 2003, unrepentant to the end, at the age of 93.

Winner: ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’

Runner up: ‘Shirley’

‘Radium Girls’

‘The Glorias’

Acting and Activism Award

Regina King – The first celebrity to commit to the Time’s Up 4% Challenge, which urges the industry to hire more women directors. The award winning actress has also pledged to have women make up fifty percent of the crews for her films.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Julie Andrews

WFCC Pauline Kael Special Jury Awards 2020

“Criticism is the only thing that stands between the audience and advertising.” -Pauline Kael

Best Female Action Hero

Janelle Monae – ‘Antebellum’
Jodie Foster – ‘The Mauritanian’

Courage in Filmmaking

Emerald Fennell, ‘Promising Young Woman’
Eliza Hittman, ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’

Courage in Acing -Taking on unconventional roles that radically redefine the images of women on screen

Janelle Monae – ‘Antebellum ‘
Elizabeth Moss – ‘The Invisible Man

Women’s Work – Best Ensemble Cast

‘Radium Girls’
‘The Glorias’

The Invisible Woman Award – Supporting performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored

Cicely Tyson – ‘A Fall From Grace’
Dianne Wiest – ‘I Care A Lot’

Best Kept Secret – Overlooked Challenging Gems

Women Saving Themselves Award
Claire Dunn – ‘Herself’
Elizabeth Moss – ‘The Invisible Man’

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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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