Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” continued its run of top critics’ honors this season, scooping the Film of the Year and Director of the Year awards at the London Film Critics’ Circle kudos ceremony this evening. The victory puts extra wind in the sails of the South Korean phenomenon as it heads into the final stretch of awards season, with the BAFTAs delivering their verdict on Sunday.
Other multiple winners at the black-tie ceremony, voted on by the UK’s most high-profile critics’ group, were “Marriage Story,” recognized for Noah Baumbach’s screenplay and Laura Dern’s supporting performance, and Joanna Hogg’s “The Souvenir.” A melancholy memory piece inspired by the director’s film school days, Hogg’s film was named British/Irish Film of the Year, while its 22-year-old leading lady, Honor Swinton Byrne, won Young British/Irish Performer of the Year. It was a welcome boost for “The Souvenir,” which was conspicuously blanked by BAFTA voters despite critical plaudits.
Hogg was one of four female filmmakers awarded over the course of the evening. Céline Sciamma won best foreign language film for her elegant lesbian costume drama “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” while Syrian docmaker Waad Al-Kateab and her co-director Edward Watts took the documentary prize for their Oscar-nominated heartbreaker “For Sama.”
Offbeat British auteur Sally Potter, whose new film “The Roads Not Taken” will premiere in competition at Berlin next month, was recognized with the critics’ Dilys Powell Award for career achievement, with Elle Fanning making an appearance to present the award. Potter received the award jointly with revered costume designer Sandy Powell, 28 years after their Oscar-nominated collaboration on “Orlando.”
Oscar frontrunners Renée Zellweger and Joaquin Phoenix took the top acting prizes for their much-laureled turns in “Judy” and “Joker,” respectively, while supporting actor Joe Pesci netted “The Irishman” its only win of the evening.
In the British/Irish acting races, Florence Pugh was honored for her performances in “Little Women,” “Midsommar” and “Fighting With My Family,” while Robert Pattinson pulled off a surprise victory in the corresponding male category. Winning for his hitherto under-rewarded work in “The Lighthouse,” “High Life” and “The King,” Pattinson bested BAFTA nominees Taron Egerton and Jonathan Pryce — as well as George MacKay, whose buzzy vehicle “1917” was nowhere to be found on the critics’ winners list.
Hosted by comedian and writer Sally Phillips, the ceremony always served as a celebration of the awards’ 40th anniversary, with clips shown throughout of past Film of the Year winners, from “Apocalypse Now” through to last year’s “Roma.” A special anniversary award was also presented to British stop-motion studio Aardman Animations, whose BAFTA-nominated “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon” will be released Stateside next month.
The full list of winners:
FILM OF THE YEAR
DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite”
ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Renée Zellweger, “Judy”
ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
SUPPORTING ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”
SUPPORTING ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”
SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR
Noah Baumbach, “Marriage Story”
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire”
DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR
BRITISH/IRISH FILM OF THE YEAR
BRITISH/IRISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Florence Pugh, “Midsommar,” “Little Women” and “Fighting With My Family”
BRITISH/IRISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Robert Pattinson, “The Lighthouse,” “High Life” and “The King”
YOUNG BRITISH/IRISH PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
Honor Swinton Byrne, “The Souvenir”
BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH/IRISH FILMMAKER OF THE YEAR
Mark Jenkin, “Bait”
TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT OF THE YEAR
Barbara Ling, production design, “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”
BRITISH/IRISH SHORT FILM OF THE YEAR
“The Devil’s Harmony”
DILYS POWELL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN FILM
40TH ANNIVERSARY AWARD