The Los Angeles Film Critics Association named Japanese screenwriter and director Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car” the best film of 2021.
For much of the marathon voting, which was scheduled to start at 10 a.m. but not end until after 5 p.m., the race seemed to be between Hamaguchi’s adaptation of a Haruki Murakami short story and Jane Campion’s revisionist western. , “The Power of the Dog.” Campion was named best female director and her film also won awards for cinematographer and supporting actor Kodi Smit-McPhee (tied), while picking up three runner-up awards for being the most awarded film at the LAFCA ballot.
But ‘Drive My Car’ won the screenplay award while Hamaguchi finished second to Campion for direction, making his film a strong contender for the final vote for Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film, which took place. simultaneously. When Celine Sciamma’s “Petite Maman” won the foreign language prize, it became apparent that “Drive My Car” had supplanted “The Power of the Dog” for the top prize.
The New York Film Critics Circle had also chosen “Drive My Car” as the best of the year, making it the seventh time this century that the two bands have agreed. The first six – ‘Sideways’, ‘Brokeback Mountain’, ‘The Hurt Locker’, ‘The Social Network’, ‘Boyhood’ and ‘Roma’ – were all nominated for best picture at the Oscars, where ‘Drive My Car’ is the Japanese submission in the Best International Feature Film category.
‘Red Rocket’ star Simon Rex won Best Actor, with Benedict Cumberbatch taking second place for ‘The Power of the Dog.’ Penelope Cruz won Best Actress in the Group for her performance in Pedro Almodovar’s Spanish-language film “Parallel Mothers.” Another non-English performance, Renate Reinsve in the Norwegian film “The Worst Person in the World”, was a finalist.
Vincent Lindon of French film ‘Titane’ and Kodi Smit-McPhee of ‘The Power of the Dog’ tied for Best Supporting Actor, while Ariana DeBose won for Best Supporting Actress role for “West Side Story”. Aunjanue Ellis took over as second supporting actress for ‘King Richard’.
Smit-McPhee was the only acting winner to also be honored by New York critics, whose other winners were Cumberbatch for the actor, Lady Gaga (“House of Gucci”) for the actress, and Kathryn Hunter (” The Tragedy of Macbeth”) for supporting actress.
In the screenplay category, “Licorice Pizza” finished second behind “Drive My Car”.
The animated documentary “Flee” won the animated feature award, with “Belle” taking second place. ‘Summer of Soul’ won the documentary award, followed by ‘Procession’.
In the Craft Awards, Best Cinematography went to Ari Wegner for “The Power of the Dog.” The music prize went to Alberto Iglesias for “Parallel Mothers”. The production design, in one of the surprises no LAFCA vote can miss, went to “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar” on “Nightmare Alley.” Editing went to the documentary “Summer of Soul,” not the first time the band has bestowed this award on a non-fiction film.
The Next Generation Award was another tie, this one between two female directors: Shatara Michelle Ford for “Test Pattern” and Tatiana Huezo for “Prayers for the Stolen.”
Previously, the organization presented its Career Achievement Award to Mel Brooks.
LAFCA is made up of 66 Los Angeles-based film critics working in print and electronic media, including Alonso Duralde of TheWrap. While the group normally meets in person to vote for the year’s top achievements, it conducted its vote virtually for the second year in a row due to COVID concerns.
Five of LAFCA’s winners took home the Oscar last year: “Nomadland” director Chloe Zhao, “Minari” supporting actress Juh-jung Youn, “Promising Young Woman” screenwriter Emerald Fennell, “Mank” production designer Donald Graham Burk and “soul” composers Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste. Four other winners were nominated for Oscars but did not win.
The LAFCA Best Picture winner has taken home the Best Picture Oscar 11 times in the organization’s 47 years of presenting awards, including four times in the past 12: “The Hurt Locker” in 2009, “Spotlight” in 2015, “Moonlight” in 2016 and “Parasite” in 2019. But last year, for his best film of 2020, critics chose Steve McQueen’s five-film television anthology “Small Axe”, a work that was considered a limited series rather than a movie by most awards bodies.
This year’s awards were dedicated to two recently deceased former LAFCA members, David Chute and James Rocci.
The 2021 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards:
Best film: “Driving my car”
Finalist: “The Power of the Dog”
Best Director: Jane Campion, “The power of the dog”
Finalist: Ryusuke Hamaguchi, “Drive My Car”
Best actor: Simon Rex, “Red Rocket”
Finalist: Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Power of the Dog”
Best Actress: Penelope Cruz, “Parallel Mothers”
Finalist: Renate Reinsve, “The Worst Person in the World”
Best Supporting Actor: (tie) Vincent Lindon, “Titanium”, and Kodi Smit-McPhee, “The Power of the Dog”
Best Supporting Actress: Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story”
Finalist: Aunjanue Ellis, “King Richard”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Little mom”
Finalist: “Quo Vadis, Aida?”
Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film: “Summer of the Soul”
Best Animated Film: “To run away”
Best Screenplay: Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe, “Drive My Car”
Finalist: Paul Thomas Anderson, “Licorice Pizza”
Best Cinematography: Ari Wegner, “The power of the dog”
Finalist: Greig Fraser, “Dune”
Best Editing: Joshua L. Pearson, “Summer of Soul”
Finalist: Andy Jurgensen, “Licorice Pizza”
Best Music/Score: Alberto Iglesias, “Parallel mothers”
Finalist: Jonny Greenwood, “The Power of the Dog” and “Spencer”
Best Production Design: Steve Saklad, “Barb and Star go to Vista Del Mar”
Finalist: Tamara Deverell, “Nightmare Alley”
Next Generation Pricing: (tie) Shatara Michelle Ford, “Test Pattern” and Tatiana Huezo, “Prayers for the Stolen”
Douglas E. Edward Independent/Experimental Film/Video: “The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in Shiotani Basin)”
Career Excellence Award: Mel Brooks
special quote: LA Rebellion filmmakers