Members of the San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle voted on Sunday and chose Jane Campion’s powerful and brutal “The Power of the Dog” as the best picture of 2021.
Campion’s film, about two very different brothers on a 1925 cattle ranch in Montana, won the awards with eight in all, unusual for the 19-year-old Circle, which typically favors more varied choices.
The film also won two awards for Campion: Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film is based on a 1967 novel by Thomas Savage.
Three actors from the film also won. Benedict Cumberbatch picked Best Actor for his performance as rancher Phil Burbank, a surly and bitter man with a dark past.
Kirsten Dunst won Best Supporting Actress for her role as alcoholic Rose Gordon, who marries Phil’s brother and sets mayhem in motion. And Kodi Smit-McPhee nabbed best supporting actor as Rose’s effeminate son, Peter, whose presence at the ranch strongly affects Phil.
Additionally, the film won awards for its moving musical score by Jonny Greenwood (of the band Radiohead) and for its precise editing by Peter Sciberras.
As for other awards, Olivia Colman won Best Actress for her role as Leda Caruso, a teacher who meets a young mother while on vacation and finds herself reckoning with her troubled past, in Maggie’s “The Lost Daughter.” Gyllenhaal.
Bay Area-born filmmaker Mike Mills won Best Original Screenplay for his touching and thoughtful “C’mon C’mon,” which starred Joaquin Phoenix as a radio reporter who finds himself in take care of his young nephew.
Best Animated Feature went to Disney’s glorious “Encanto,” about a young woman searching for her special power while trying to save her magical family. But the animated documentary “Flee,” which tells the harrowing story of one man’s attempt to escape from Afghanistan, came close enough to earn an honorable mention.
The best international feature film was Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s masterful “Drive My Car”, based on a story by Haruki Murakami, about a director who recounts the death of his wife while being driven by a stoic young woman.
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s “Summer of Soul” walked away with Best Documentary. This extraordinary film rescues 50-year-old footage and tells the story of an astonishing and unjustly forgotten concert in the summer of 1969.
Bruno Delbonnel’s austere and stark black-and-white art in Joel Coen’s brilliant ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’ won Best Cinematography, while Tamara Deverell’s work on Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘Nightmare Alley’, including a richly textured carnival dripping with harsh colors and sinister corners, took the best production design.
The group’s special citation award, designed to single out unsung gems, resulted in a tie between two very different films: Shatara Michelle Ford’s “Test Pattern,” about an interracial couple who spend the day looking for a rape kit sequel to sexual assault. , and “Kuessipan” by Myriam Verreault, the story of two young Innu women whose long-standing friendship is put to the test.
Finally, the Marlon Riggs Award, for filmmakers or individuals who represent courage and innovation in the film world, was awarded to none other than EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) – winner (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) Rita Moreno, who lives in Berkeley. In 2021, the legendary performer was the subject of her own groundbreaking documentary ‘Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It’, in addition to having an acclaimed performance in the remake of ‘West Side Story” by Steven Spielberg.
The SFBAFCC announced its full list of nominations on Friday, with ‘Drive My Car’, David Lowery’s ‘The Green Knight’, Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Licorice Pizza’, ‘West Side Story’, as well as ‘The Power of the Dog’. “. land in the best picture category.
Founded in 2002, the SFBAFCC is made up of film critics and journalists from the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times, San Francisco Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, East Bay Express, San Jose Metro, Palo Alto Weekly, Marin Independent Journal, San Francisco Examiner, KRON-TV, Variety, RottenTomatoes.com and more.
“Go Go” – VOD
“Drive My Car” – in theaters
“Encanto” – Disney+
“Kuessipan” – Amazon Prime
“The Lost Girl” – Netflix
“Nightmare Alley” – in theaters
“The Power of the Dog” – Netflix
“Rita Moreno: Just a girl who decided to go” – Netflix, Hoopla or Kanopy
“Summer of the Soul” – Hulu
“Test Model” – VOD
“The Tragedy of Macbeth” – Apple TV+ (from 1/14)
“West Side Story” – in theaters