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‘The Souvenir,’ ‘The Irishman,’ Florence Pugh Score Big in London Critics’ Noms

Joanna Hogg's autobiographical drama leads the field with seven nods, while 'Little Women' and 'Midsommar' star Pugh is a triple nominee.

'The Souvenir,' 'The Irishman,' Florence Pugh
Courtesy of A24

The London Film Critics’ Circle added its voice to the mix of critical precursors this awards season, announcing a slate of nominees topped by Joanna Hogg’s “The Souvenir.”

The British writer-director’s delicate autobiographical drama won top honors at Sundance and was named the year’s best film in Sight & Sound magazine’s annual critics’ poll, but it hasn’t made much headway with U.S. awards groups. The U.K. critics, however, handed it seven nominations, including bids for Film of the Year, Screenwriter of the Year and Actor of the Year for Tom Burke, while mother-and-daughter stars Tilda Swinton and Honor Swinton Byrne also earned acting mentions.

“The Souvenir” was followed by Martin Scorsese’s presumed Oscar magnet “The Irishman” and Sam Mendes’ technically dazzling World War I thriller “1917,” both of which earned six nods. Three foreign=language films – Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite,” Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory” and Céline Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” – featured in both the Film of the Year and Director of the Year fields. “Joker,” “Knives Out,” “Marriage Story” and “Midsommar” rounded out the critics’ top 10.

Among the acting contenders, it was a good morning for rising British star Florence Pugh, who nabbed a trifecta of nominations: Actress of the Year for “Midsommar,” Supporting Actress of the Year for “Little Women” and British/Irish Actress of the Year for her body of work in 2019, which also includes the wrestling comedy “Fighting With My Family.” She’ll compete for the actress prize against Renée Zellweger, Charlize Theron, Lupita Nyong’o and Scarlett Johansson, while in the actor category, hometown son Burke will face Antonio Banderas, Robert De Niro, Joaquin Phoenix and Adam Driver.

Though most of the year’s most-fancied Oscar contenders featured prominently on the London critics’ list, the surprise of the morning was the weak showing for Quentin Tarantino’s much-garlanded “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” which earned only two bids for actor Brad Pitt and production designer Barbara Ling.

The winners will be announced at the Circle’s annual awards ceremony at London’s May Fair Hotel on Jan. 30, 2020, where the organization will also present three special prizes for career achievement. Writer-director Sally Potter and costume designer Sandy Powell will each receive the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film, while stop-motion studio Aardman Animations (whose “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon” earned a technical citation) will receive an award in honor of the Circle’s 40th anniversary.

The full list of nominees:

FILM OF THE YEAR
“The Irishman”
“Joker”
“Knives Out”
“Marriage Story”
“Midsommar”
“1917”
“Pain and Glory”
“Parasite”
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”
“The Souvenir”

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”
Sam Mendes, “1917”
Pedro Almodóvar, “Pain and Glory”
Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite”
Céline Sciamma, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”

ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
Lupita Nyong’o, “Us”
Florence Pugh, “Midsommar”
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
Renée Zellweger, “Judy”

ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
Tom Burke, “The Souvenir”
Robert De Niro, “The Irishman”
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”
Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers”
Florence Pugh, “Little Women”
Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”
Tilda Swinton, “The Souvenir”

SUPPORTING ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
Shia LaBeouf, “Honey Boy”
Al Pacino, “The Irishman”
Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”
Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”

SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR
Steven Zaillian, “The Irishman”
Noah Baumbach, “Marriage Story”
Pedro Almodóvar, “Pain and Glory”
Bong Joon-ho and Jin Won-han, “Parasite”
Joanna Hogg, “The Souvenir”

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
“Happy as Lazzaro”
“Monos”
“Pain and Glory”
“Parasite”
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”

DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR
“Amazing Grace”
“Apollo 11”
“The Cave”
“For Sama”
“Varda by Agnès”

BRITISH/IRISH FILM OF THE YEAR
“Bait”
“1917”
“Rocketman”
“The Souvenir”
“Wild Rose”

BRITISH/IRISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Jessie Buckley, “Wild Rose” and “Judy”
Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”
Lesley Manville, “Ordinary Love” and “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”
Florence Pugh, “Midsommar,” “Little Women” and “Fighting With My Family”
Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”

BRITISH/IRISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Tom Burke, “The Souvenir”
Taron Egerton, “Rocketman”
George MacKay, “1917,” “Where Hands Touch” and “Ophelia”
Robert Pattinson, “The Lighthouse,” “High Life” and “The King”
Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”

YOUNG BRITISH/IRISH PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
Raffey Cassidy, “Vox Lux”
Dean-Charles Chapman, “1917,” “The King” and “Blinded by the Light”
Roman Griffin Davis, “Jojo Rabbit”
Noah Jupe, “Honey Boy” and “Ford vs. Ferrari”
Honor Swinton Byrne, “The Souvenir”

BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH/IRISH FILMMAKER OF THE YEAR
Mark Jenkin, “Bait”
Waad Al-Khateab and Edward Watts, “For Sama”
Owen McCafferty, “Ordinary Love”
Richard Billingham, “Ray and Liz”
Nicole Taylor, “Wild Rose”

TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT OF THE YEAR
Allen Maris, visual effects, “Ad Astra”
Todd Douglas Miller, editing, “Apollo 11”
Jeremy Woodhead, makeup and hair, “Judy”
Jacqueline Durran, costume design, “Little Women”
Jasper Wolf, cinematography, “Monos”
Daniel Pemberton, music, “Motherless Brooklyn”
Oliver Tarney, sound design, “1917”
Barbara Ling, production design, “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”
Lee Ha-jun, production design, “Parasite”
Will Becher and Richard Phelan, animation, “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”

BRITISH/IRISH SHORT FILM OF THE YEAR
“Appreciation”
“Beyond the North Winds: A Post-Nuclear Reverie”
“The Devil’s Harmony”
“Kingdom, Come”
“Pompeii”

DILYS POWELL AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN FILM
Sally Potter
Sandy Powell

40TH ANNIVERSARY AWARD
Aardman Animations

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