The Columbus Film Critics Association awards the best films of 2021


Talk about a Best in Show. Writer/director Jane Campion’s The power of the dog was the big winner Thursday night at the Columbus Film Critics Association’s 20e annual COFCA awards, which recognize excellence in the film industry.

The drama, based on Thomas Savage’s novel, won Best Picture and Campion was honored as Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. Star Benedict Cumberbatch took home the Best Actor award, in addition to picking up Actor of the Year for his exemplary work in 2021 which also included The Electric Life of Louis Wain, Mauritanianand Spider-Man: No Coming Home. Kodi Smit-McPhee was recognized as Best Supporting Actor, the cast received Best Ensemble, and Jonny Greenwood was named Best Score.

COFCA member Mark Jackson is doing very well with the film awards.

“I’m pleased with the nominees and the results, a cool mix of eclectic, big budget and intimate,” he said. “I’m very happy for Benedict Cumberbatch, who has been doing great quality work for a while, but feels like one of those stars who should get an Oscar now. Maybe this is his year, with everything momentum behind Tdog power!”

Member Adam Barney sees definite positives in another transitional year in filmmaking.

“With seemingly more movies available than ever at their fingertips, I think it’s important for people to take to social media and share when they like something and hopefully bring more people to it,” said Barney. “Unfortunately there is a lot of noise and some movies can definitely get lost in the shuffle, so I’m glad COFCA recognizes movies like Riders of Justice, Nine Days, Pigetc.”

Best Picture Finalist Licorice Pizza was the only other film to win multiple awards, with Alana Haim nominated as Best Actress and Breakthrough Artist, and writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson was praised for Best Original Screenplay.

For member Logan Burd, there was a big blank space in the list of winners of the year.

“The fact that The French Dispatch wasn’t called at all, that’s a big surprise,” he shared. “I wonder if he’ll have better luck as awards season progresses.”

Other people praised for their achievements include Who passedRuth Negga for Best Supporting Actress; Bruno Delbonnel (Macbeth’s Tragedy) for Best Cinematography; and Sarah Broshar and Michael Kahn (West Side Story) for Best Film Editing.

Other winners announced were Best Documentary Summer of Soul (…or, when the revolution couldn’t be televised); Best Foreign Language Film Drive my car (Doraibu mai kâ); Best Animated Film The Mitchells vs. the Machines; and Best Unsung Film Horsemen of Justice (Retfærdighedens ryttere).

COFCA members rank their top ten movies each year, and here’s how it went for 2021:

Best film

1. The power of the dog
2. Licorice Pizza
3. West Side Story
4. Belfast
5. Summer of Soul (…or, when the revolution couldn’t be televised)
6. Pig
seven. come on! Go on
8. Macbeth’s Tragedy
9. tick, tick… BOOM!
ten. Dunes

Member Melissa Starker sees many positives in the variety of COFCA’s roster.

“I think this year’s awards reflect what a remarkably strong year it has been for cinema,” Starker said. “Just look at the diversity in the top 10 – from the unique intimacy of Pig to the classic grandeur of West Side Story, there was so much to enjoy. Personally, I can’t complain about my two best films of the year, Licorice Pizza and The power of the dogseeing a lot of love from the group.

COFCA presents its congratulations to all the 2021 winners:

Best Director
-Jane Campion The power of the dog
– Finalist: Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Best actor
– Benedict Cumberbatch The power of the dog
– Finalist: Nicolas Cage, Pig

Best Actress
– Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza
– Finalist: Olivia Colman, The lost girl

Best Supporting Actor
– Kodi Smit-McPhee, The power of the dog
– Finalist: Troy Kotsur, CODA

Best Supporting Actress
–Ruth Negga, Who passed
– Finalist: Kirsten Dunst, The power of the dog

Best Together
The power of the dog
– Finalist: The more they fall

Actor of the Year (for Exemplary Work)
– Benedict Cumberbatch (The Electric Life of Louis Wain, The Mauritanian, The Power of the Dog,and Spider-Man: No Coming Home)
– Finalist: Andrew Garfield (Tammy Faye’s eyes, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and check, tick…BOOM!)

Revolutionary film artist
– Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza – (to play)
– Finalist: Jude Hill, Belfast – (to play)

Best Cinematography
– Bruno Delbonnel, Macbeth’s Tragedy
– Finalist: Ari Wegner, The power of the dog

Best Film Editing
– Sarah Broshar and Michael Kahn, West Side Story
– Finalist: Peter Sciberras, The power of the dog

Best Adapted Screenplay
-Jane Campion The power of the dog
– Finalist: Tony Kushner, West Side Story

Best Original Screenplay
– Paul Thomas Anderson Licorice Pizza
– Finalist: Kenneth Branagh, Belfast

Best score
-Jonny Greenwood The power of the dog
– Finalist: Jonny Greenwood, spencer

Best Documentary
Summer of Soul (…or, when the revolution couldn’t be televised)
– Finalist: To run away

Best Foreign Language Film
Drive my car (Doraibu mai kâ)
– Finalist: To run away

Best Animated Film
The Mitchells vs. the Machines
– Finalist: To run away

Best Overlooked Film
Horsemen of Justice (Retfærdighedens ryttere)
– Finalist: nine days

Founded in 2002, the Columbus Film Critics Association, formerly the Central Ohio Film Critics Association, is comprised of film critics based in Columbus, Ohio and surrounding areas. Its members consist of 27 critics from print, radio, television and online. Official COFCA website at contains links to member reviews and past winners.

For more information on the Columbus Film Critics Association, please visit or email [email protected]

The full list of members and their affiliations:

Richard Ades (independent); Dwayne Bailey (Bailey’s Buzz); Adam Barney (The Film Coterie); Sam Brady (Reviews on I Am Sam); Logan Burd (Cinema or cinema-meh?); Kevin Carr (; Bill Clark (; Ollie Coen (Avenue of the Archers, DVD Talk); John DeSando (90.5 WCBE); Johnny DiLoretto (90.5 WCBE,; Chris Feil (,; Frank Gabrenya (The Despatch of Columbus); Mark Jackson (; Brad Kefe (living columbus); Kristin Dreyer Kramer (, 90.5 WCBE); Adam Kuhn (Corndog Cats); Roger Legg (The Film Coterie, faith and cinema); Hope Madden (Columbus Underground, and Happy Columbus Day); Paul Markoff (filmed); David Medsker (; Lori Pearson (,; Marc Pfeiffer (filmed, Reel Times: Thoughts on Cinema); Melissa Starker (independent); Brandon Thomas (; George Wolf (Columbus Underground, Good Day Columbus and; Jason Zingal (; Nathan Zoebl (


Comments are closed.