Toronto film critics hitch a ride with Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car

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The Toronto Film Critics Association gave Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s drama three awards and gave the same number to Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter.


The Toronto Film Critics Association has named drive my car the best movie of 2021.

Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s intimate study of the bond that forms between a recently widowed theater legend and the young woman working as a chauffeur – reviewed here – also won the TFCA Best Screenplay and Best International Film awards. National distributor Films We Like plans to reopen the film in theaters as soon as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Jane Campion was named Best Director for The power of the dogwho was also a nominee for Picture, Screenplay, Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), Supporting Actress (Kirsten Dunst), and Supporting Actor (Kodi Smit-McPhee).

Maggie Gyllenhaal’s drama The lost girl (review here) also picked up three awards: Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley were nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for their performances as older and younger versions of the film’s disgruntled protagonist, an academic drawn to a young mother while vacationing at the Greek Islands; and writer/director Gyllenhaal won the TFCA Best Debut Feature Award for the film. (It’s the first time the association has honored two actors to play the same character in the same project, which is a nifty detail.)

Denzel Washington was named Best Actor for his brutal turn in Joel Coen The tragedy of Macbethwhile Bradley Cooper won Best Supporting Actor for his role as the outsized Jon Peters in Paul Thomas Anderson. Licorice Pizza. The Allan King Documentary Prize went to soul summerAhmir “Questlove” Thompson’s celebration of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, while another documentary – Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Refugee Story To run away (reviewed here) – was named Best Animated Feature.

The TFCA also named finalists for the Rogers Award for Best Canadian Film: autobiographical drama Oka by Tracey Deer BeansDanis Goulet’s Indigenous sci-fi thriller night raiders and the adaptation by Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson of Catherine Hernandez Scarborough are this year’s nominees for the award, which offers a cash prize of $100,000 to the winning filmmaker. Finalists will each receive $5,000.

Formed in 1997, the Toronto Film Critics Association is made up of print, broadcast and online film writers based in the city. (Full disclosure: I’m a voting member of the TFCA, as are NOW critics Glenn Sumi and Radheyan Simonpillai.)

The TFCA plans to celebrate its winners – and announce Best Canadian Film – at an awards gala in March.

The complete list of winners and finalists for the 2022 Toronto Film Critics Association Awards:

BEST PICTURE
WINNER

Drive My Car (Movies We Love)

MENTIONED

Licorice Pizza (Universal Pictures Canada)

The Power of the Dog (Netflix)

BEST DIRECTOR
WINNER

Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog

MENTIONED

Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car

Denis Villeneuve, Dune

BEST ACTRESS
WINNER

Olivia Colman, the lost girl

MENTIONED

Penélope Cruz, parallel mothers

Kristen StewartSpencer

BEST ACTOR
WINNER

Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

MENTIONED

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

Andrew Garfield, tick, tick… BOOM!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
WINNER

Jessie Buckley, the lost girl

MENTIONED

Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

Ruth Negga, by the way

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
WINNER

Bradley Cooper, licorice pizza

MENTIONED

Ciaran Hinds, Belfast

Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

BEST SCENARIO, ADAPTED OR ORIGINAL
WINNER

Drive My Car, Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe
based on the story by Haruki Murakami

MENTIONED

Licorice Pizza, Paul Thomas Anderson

The power of the dog, Jane Campion
based on the novel by Thomas Savage

BEST FIRST FILM
WINNER

The lost girl
directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal

MENTIONED

Who passed
directed by Rebecca Hall

Pig
directed by Michael Sarnoski

Baby Shiva
directed by Emma Seligman

BEST ANIMATED FILM
WINNER

To run away

MENTIONED

Encanto

The Mitchells Vs. The Machines

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
WINNER

drive my car

MENTIONED

Little mom

The worst person in the world

ALLAN KING AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY
WINNER

soul summer

MENTIONED

To run away

The Velvet Underground

ROGERS AWARD FINALISTS FOR BEST CANADIAN FILM

Beans
night raiders
Scarborough

@normwilner

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