The New York Film Critics Circle has selected Drive My Car as its best picture of 2021.
The Japanese film, which premiered at Cannes, is based on the short story of the same name by Haruki Murakami. The road movie from writer-director Ryusuke Hamaguchi explores love, loss, grief and healing.
The Hollywood Reporter reviewer Stephen Dalton calls the Drive My Car “an absorbing, technically assured piece of work with poetic depths and novelistic ambitions.”
Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog won three awards: best director, best actor (Benedict Cumberbatch) and best supporting actor (Kodi Smit-McPhee).
Lady Gaga won best actress for her work in House of Gucci, while The Tragedy of Macbeth‘s Kathryn Hunter won best supporting actress.
After being named the best film of 2021 by the National Board of Review on Thursday, Licorice Pizza won best screenplay from the NYFCC.
The NYFCC named The Mitchells vs. the Machines best animated film, and West Side Story scored best cinematography honors.
Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter, which dominated the Gotham Awards on Monday night, won best first film, while Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World was named best foreign-language film, and Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee was named best nonfiction film.
The NYFCC presented three special awards, one for Black Film Archive creator Maya Cade; a posthumous honor for Participant executive Diane Weyermann, who died in October; and one to critic, filmmaker and NYFCC general manager and four-time chairman Marshall Fine.
Founded in 1935, the NYFCC’s membership includes critics from daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and qualifying online publications. Every year the group meets in New York to vote on awards for the calendar year’s films.
In addition to the regular categories, which include best picture, director, actor and actress, special stand-alone awards are given to individuals and organizations that have made substantial contributions to the art of cinema, including producers, directors, actors, writers, critics, historians, film restorers and service organizations.
Last year the NYFCC selected First Cow as the best picture of 2020.
A full list of the 2021 winners follows:
Best Picture: Drive My Car
Best Director: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Best Actor: Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog
Best Actress: Lady Gaga, House of Gucci
Best Screenplay: Licorice Pizza
Best Supporting Actor: Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog
Best Supporting Actress: Kathryn Hunter, The Tragedy of Macbeth
Best Animated Film: The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Best Cinematography: West Side Story
Best First Film: The Lost Daughter
Best Foreign-Language Film: The Worst Person in the World
Best Nonfiction Film: Flee
Special Award 1: Maya Cade for the creation of the Black Film Archive
Special Award 2: Diane Weyermann, “posthumous award for supporting daring and impactful filmmaking at Sundance and Participant”
Special Award 3: Marshall Fine “for his years of service as NYFCC’s General Manager and decades on the NY film scene”