The Souvenir leads nominees for the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards

At its 40th anniversary ceremony, the London critics will give special honours to Aardman, filmmaker Sally Potter and costume designer Sandy Powell. Presented by Pearl Pictures Productions, the event will be hosted by actor and writer Sally Phillips at The May Fair on 30th January.

The UK’s leading film critics today announced the nominations for the 40th annual London Critics’ Circle Film Awards presented by Pearl Street Productions. Writer-director Joanna Hogg’s delicate autobiographical drama The Souvenir was out front with 7 nominations, including Film, Screenwriter, Actor (Tom Burke), Supporting Actress (Tilda Swinton) and Young Performer (Honor Swinton Byrne). In addition, the film is nominated for British/Irish Film of the Year. The critics spread the nominations around the field this year, naming both Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman and Sam Mendes’ 1917 in six categories, while giving five nominations each to Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory and Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite. The remaining four films in contention for Film of the Year are Joker, Knives Out, Midsommar and Portrait of a Lady on Fire.

The nominations were announced today at The May Fair Hotel by actors Jenn Murray, who appeared alongside the nominated Lesley Manville in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, and John Dagleish, who appeared with nominee Renée Zellweger in Judy. Multiple nominees today include Florence Pugh, shortlisted as lead actress in Midsommar, supporting actress in Little Women and as British/Irish Actress for her body of work over the year. Those receiving double nominations include Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho, Spanish maestro Pedro Almodóvar and actor Tom Burke.

Because our critics see almost everything that’s released, they nominated more than 200 movies across their ballots,” says Awards Chair Rich Cline. “And as usual, we have also made some surprise choices in our voting, which makes our list of nominees stand out in the current awards season. In addition, we’ve selected four women specifically for their work as writers and directors, and highlighted work in films that tend to get overlooked this time of year.” Anna Smith, chair of the Film Section and host of the Girls On Film podcast, says: “I’m proud that our members have recognised the fantastic work of both female and male directors this year. While some awards ceremonies continue to shut out women filmmakers and smaller films, the Critics’ Circle voters are leading the way again. And we’re thrilled that the iconic – and very funny – actor and writer Sally Phillips will be hosting our ceremony.

Known for her intelligence, talent and razor-sharp wit, Phillips was listed in The Observer’s survey of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy (2003). She is instantly recognisable from Smack the Pony, which she also wrote, as well as such classic series as I’m Alan Partridge, Miranda and Veep, the acclaimed BBC2 documentary A World Without Down’s Syndrome (2016) and as the eponymous Clare in the Community on the Radio 4 sitcom since 2004. On film, she costarred in the three Bridget Jones films and The Decoy Bride, which she cowrote. This past year, she had a role in Gurinder Chadha’s Blinded by the Light. Coming up are roles in the road comedy Off the Rails alongside Judi Dench, Stephen Fry’s The Liar and the musical Chocolate Cake, starring Toby Sebastian.

The Critics’ Circle will announce its winners a gala 40th anniversary ceremony at which three special awards will be presented. Aardman, the animators behind Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, will receive the 40th Anniversary Award, while British film icons Sally Potter and Sandy Powell will each be presented with the critics’ top honour, the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Cinema.

The 40th London Critics’ Circle Film Awards is presented by Pearl Pictures Productions on Thursday, 30th January at The May Fair. The red carpet event is also sponsored by The May Fair and Rémy Martin, and Audi is the official car of the awards.