Drive My Car, the Japanese drama co-written and directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi based on a short story by Haruki Murakami and the country’s submission to the International Feature Oscar race, been been named the Best Film of the year by the New York Film Critics Circle.
The group also voted on Lady Gaga as Best Actress for her portrayal of Patrizia Reggiani in MGM/United Artists Releasing’s House of Gucci, while Benedict Cumberbatch nabbed Best Actor for The Power of the Dog.
Hamaguchi’s pic premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival, where it scored the Screenplay prize. It becomes another title to watch in an awards season that has seen other early honors go to the likes of The Lost Daughter (Gotham Awards’ Best Feature) and Licorice Pizza (National Board of Review’s Best Film).
Both of those films also were winners today in voting by the New York critics, with Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza from MGM/UA taking Best Screenplay and Maggie Gyllenhaal scoring Best New Director for Netflix’s Lost Daughter (she won the Breakthrough Director and Screenplay awards at the Gothams earlier this week).
Jane Campion was named Best Director by the NYFCC today for Netflix’s The Power of the Dog, which also scored with Cumberbatch and Kodi Smit-McPhee, who took the Best Supporting Actor vote. Kathryn Hunter was named Best Supporting Actress for her performance The Tragedy of Macbeth.
West Side Story took the group’s award for Best Cinematography, while two more International Feature Oscar submissions also won today: Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee from Denmark won the Best Non-Fiction Film award, and Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World from Norway was named Best Foreign-Language Film.
The NYFCC bestowed Special Awards to Maya Cade for the creation of the Black Film Archive; Marshall Fine “for his years of service as NYFCC’s General Manager and decades on the NY film scene”; and Diane Weyermann, a posthumous award for “supporting daring and impactful filmmaking at Sundance and Participant.”
The NYFCC, founded in 1935, includes critics from daily and weekly newspapers, magazines and online publications and tends to favor more independent fare. Last year, it chose Kelly Reichardt and A24’s First Cow as its Best Film, the marquee among 12 categories up for grabs. Chloé Zhao, who eventually won two Oscars for Searchlight’s Nomadland (Best Picture and Director), won the group’s directing award a year ago.
Past NYFCC Best Film winners include The Irishman (2019), Roma (2018), Lady Bird (2017), La La Land (2016), Carol (2015) and Boyhood (2014).
This year’s winners will be honored at the NYFCC’s gala awards dinner which is planned for January 10 at Tao Downtown.
Here’s the full list of 2021 winners:
Best Film: Drive My Car
Best Cinematography: West Side Story
Best Screenplay: Licorice Pizza
Best First Film: The Lost Daughter
Best Director: Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog
Best Animated Film: The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Best Actor: Benedict Cumberbatch for The Power of the Dog
Best Actress: Lady Gaga for House of Gucci
Best Non-Fiction Film: Flee
Best Supporting Actress: Kathryn Hunter for The Tragedy of Macbeth
Best Foreign Language Film The Worst Person in the World
Best Supporting Actor: Kodi Smit-McPhee for The Power of the Dog
Special Awards: Maya Cade, Black Film Archive; Marshall Fine, NYFCC; Diane Weyermann, posthumous
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