Announcing the 2021 Atlanta Film Critics’ Circle winners


The 2021 Atlanta Film Critics Circle winners have been announced!

For the fifth year, the 28 voting members of the only critics group dedicated to a city in Atlanta, the Atlanta Film Critics Circle, honored their best films of the year.

Despite the lingering challenges of Covid-19 for critics, filmmakers and audiences, the AFCC advisory board member and ScreenRex critic Kyle Pinion sees the year 2021 in cinema as proof of the industry’s creative recovery. “In the end, 2021 gave way to one of the best years in cinema I can remember, featuring the best career work from many filmmakers. The movies are definitely making a comeback.

The AFCC 2021 award winners were remarkable in other ways. “This year marked the first time that we ended up tied in two categories, with ties in the categories of best ensemble and actress,” notes Jason Evans, member of the AFCC advisory board. “It testifies to the quality of the films during this crazy year of the pandemic. “

AFCC’s annual winners prove that 2021 has been an exceptional year not only for established writers like Paul Thomas Anderson, Kenneth Branagh, Jane Campion and Steven Spielberg, but also for a range of notable debutants from Rebecca Hall’s Who passed at Lin-Manuel Miranda Tic, Tic… Boom! and that of Fran Kranz Mass and that of Mike Rianda The Mitchells vs. the Machines.

“It is undeniable that a pleasant consequence of much of the cultural upheaval of the past half-decade is that there are more new and diverse voices than ever heard. It is exciting to see this influx of energy and vigor – and unprecedented creativity – much of which seems to be a direct reaction to this tumultuous time, ”said Will Leitch, critic and member of the advisory board of the ‘AFCC.

It was also an exceptionally rich year for films featuring the complex and nuanced female characters of Diana Spencer in Pablo Larrain’s film. Spencer to an often sympathetic serial killer in the French film Titanium and to the endearing modern Norwegian woman trying to find her place in the world in Joachim Trier’s film The worst person in the world, with the attractive Renate Reinsve.

Although it won’t hit theaters widely until February, Leitch is hopeful that audiences will take the time to research this “awesome” movie. “It’s a romantic look at a woman’s romantic life over a four-year period that tells us a story we’ve seen in a way we’ve never seen before.”

“It’s also a huge crowd pleaser,” says Leitch. “When the public can finally see it, they’re going to love it. “

The vibe of many of this year’s films was slow, centered around meditative, thoughtful storylines and characters characterized by films like The power of the dog, Drive my car, To flee, and Mass.

“On the one hand, the number of dark and methodically paced dramas and thrillers in our categories speaks to a continuing unease as we continue to fight a global pandemic and endless socio-political divide,” the Times critic says. Georgian and Douglas County Sentinel and AFCC. Advisory Board Member Josh Sewell.

“However, I also think it illustrates that viewers around the world share many common hopes, fears and concerns – which means we’re not as different as some people want us to believe. It also shows audiences have hungry for all kinds of movies, not just big budget popcorn. “

But the big winner of the best AFCC award for best film, Licorice Pizza, took a very different approach. Coming-of-age drama set in the ’70s San Fernando Valley by Paul Thomas Anderson, the film features newcomers Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffmann (son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) in a fiery love story , happy and funny.

“With the world experiencing sadness, growing tensions, divisions and even a certain hopelessness over the past two years,” says AFCC reviewer Astrid Martinez, “The licorice pizza and its simple sweetness were much needed. “

“After the effects of the pandemic, this film does what it’s supposed to do: make us feel connected and help us get back to basics, to a place where teens can be teens and see people smile. brings you back to some form of normalcy. “

Winner of four awards for Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Cinematography, New Zealand director Jane Campion’s return to cinema after a 12-year absence, The power of the dog was an AFCC favorite.

“It’s gratifying to finally take advantage of a time when we see more female filmmakers leading the awards and overseeing big Hollywood franchises,” Martinez said. “In recent years we’ve seen signs that Hollywood is changing. Women are making their mark at big awards ceremonies, they have more opportunities in the entertainment industry, and most importantly, they open the door to a new generation of female directors.

Based on a 1967 Thomas Savage novel, Campion’s film centers on Phil Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch), a brutal and misogynistic rancher from Montana, who psychologically terrorizes his brother, George Burbank’s (Jesse Plemons) new wife, Rose ( Kirsten Dunst) and her fragile son. (Kodi Smit-McPhee). 37-year-old Australian cinematographer Ari Wegner (who also shot Zola’s lens this year) won the AFCC’s Best Cinematography award for his transformation of New Zealand’s landscape into a Montana of Incredibly lonely and lonely 1920s that references classic John Ford and Raoul westerns. Walsh.

In The power of the dogAFCC Best Actor Award winner, Benedict Cumberbatch, addresses the mysterious origins of toxic masculinity and violence in a stunning performance that represents a distinct break from the nicer men he’s played in the past.

This year’s Best Actress award was a tie between newcomer and musician Alana Haim in Licorice Pizza and a deeply sympathetic evocation by Kristen Stewart of the sensitive and tortured Diana Spencer.

The AFCC also presented its annual awards for best breakthrough performer to Agathe Rousselle, in the avant-garde French body horror fantasy by director Julia Ducournau. Titanium. In her first film role, Rousselle, 33, brings alternately hurt and psychopathic energy to a film about desire and a quest for connection as a serial killer with a sexual attraction to cars.

Famous Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda could finally be on track for EGOT status with his directorial debut Tic, Tic… Boom! which won the AFCC Special Prize for Best First Feature.

The AFCC Best International Film Award went to Drive my car, a touching ensemble film based on a short story by acclaimed novelist Haruki Murakami and co-written and directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi.

Hamaguchi’s film has climbed to the top of a number of international film competitors from Iran, France, Kosovo, Spain and Colombia.

Drive My Car focuses on a rehearsal multinational cast for an avant-garde Uncle Vanya production from Chekhov in Hiroshima. In the layered film, the storytelling becomes an emotional connection between the characters, whether they are performed on stage or in the modern automobile confessional.

“A stunning achievement by one of the world’s best filmmakers,” Pinion calls Drive My Car a standout in a year of exceptionally strong international films.

“Ryusuke Hamaguchi turned Murakami’s story,” says Pinion, “into an exploration of loyalty, loss, and how art communication can easily transcend language barriers.

Atlanta Film Critics’ Circle 2021 winners


  1. Licorice Pizza
  2. The power of the dog
  3. The green knight
  4. Belfast
  5. Tic, Tic… Boom!
  6. Drive my car
  7. Titanium
  8. West Side Story
  9. To flee
  10. Dune (tie)
  11. The worst person in the world (tie)


Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog


Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza
Kristen Stewart, Spencer


Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza


Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog


Licorice Pizza


Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog


Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza


To flee


Drive my car (Japan)


The Mitchells vs. the Machines


Ari Wegner, The Power of the Dog


Hans Zimmer, Dune


Agathe Rousselle, Titanium


Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tic, Tic… Boom!


About AFCC

Co-founded by longtime Atlanta film critics Felicia Feaster and Michael Clark in 2017, the Atlanta Film Critics’ Circle is an attempt to fill a void in the local film community and in the representation of Atlanta media on the national stage. The AFCC is supported by its advisory board and longtime critics Jason Evans, Will Leitch, Hannah Lodge, Michael McKinney, Kyle Pinion and Josh Sewell.

Comprised of a dynamic mix of 28 Atlanta-based critics working in newspapers, magazines and online journalism, AFCC’s mission is to establish a national presence for a group of film critics in Atlanta and foster a vibrant film culture in Atlanta, which is already home to an explosive production presence in the film industry.

The founding members (critics currently living and / or writing for global, national, regional, and / or metro Atlanta outlets) of the AFCC voted on Dec. 5 for the group’s annual awards.

Recommend0 recommendationsPosted in Featured, Film News, Movies


Comments are closed.