The 2020 Braddies go to … Peter Bradshaw's film picks of the year
By Peter Bradshaw
5 - 6 minutes
Alongside our countdown of the best films of 2020, our chief film critic selects his favourite movies, directors and performances of the year
As for everyone and everything else, this has been a traumatising year for cinema. Many new movies have had to be viewed at home, on streaming services, and cinephiles have had to accept this arrangement, rather like gourmets who see their favourite restaurants survive by repurposing themselves as delivery and takeaway centres. And streaming has, arguably, given a new audience to independent and arthouse cinema that might not otherwise have much of a showing in theatres.
Lockdown has intensified the debate about the validity of the small-screen experience of cinema – and it’s especially intense for me, when I consider one of my favourite films of the year. Steve McQueen’s Lovers Rock is one of the glorious works in McQueen’s superb five-movie Small Axe sequence about the Black British experience. It is gloriously cinematic and was slated to feature at this year’s (cancelled) Cannes film festival. But it was commissioned by the BBC, and so the vast majority of the people enjoying this wonderful film will be doing so on the small screen. That’s why it is being described, understandably, as one the television highlights of the year.
Well, it can be both, and so I am listing it in the Braddies, my personal choices that exist separately from Guardian film’s best-of-the-year countdown.
As ever, there are 10 nominees in 10 categories: film, director, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, documentary, cinematography, screenplay, directorial debut. There is also the single-entry nomination in the special category: quirkiest future cult classic most likely to be overlooked by the boomer mainstream media establishment. The nominees are listed in no particular order and readers are invited to vote below the line for their preferred winner and talk about omissions.
Karim Hussain for Possessor (dir Brandon Cronenberg)
Best screenwriterKrysty Wilson-Cairns for 1917 (dir Sam Mendes)Simon Blackwell and Armando Iannucci for The Personal History of David Copperfield (dir Armando Iannucci)Céline Sciamma for Portrait of a Lady on Fire (dir Céline Sciamma)