The National Society of Film Critics (NSFC) announces their winners tomorrow, January 8.
Awards go for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Cinematography, and, should the Society choose to award these, Best Nonfiction Film, Best Foreign-Language Film, Best Production Design, Best Experimental work, Film Heritage award and “Film Awaiting American Distribution.”
Any film that opens in the U.S. during the year 2021, in theaters or on streaming platforms, is eligible for consideration. There is no nomination process; submissions are not necessary. Unlike many groups, the NSFC reveals not only the winner but #2 and #3 spots with vote totals that show just how close some races are. Last year, for example, Nomadland beat out First Cow for Best Picture by just two votes, 52 to 50. Sometimes there are complete blowouts, like in 2017 when Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project) beat out Michael Stuhlbarg for his trio of films that year (Call Me by Your Name, The Shape of Water, The Post) 62-25.
I expect Drive My Car, The Power of the Dog, Licorice Pizza and The Worst Person in the World to be top contenders with the org chaired by Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times and with members of some of the most prestigious newspapers, magazines, outlets as well as top tier freelancers like Carlos Aguilar and Molly Haskell.
Here are my predictions for their winners and potential runners-up and/or spoilers.
Prediction: Drive My Car
Runner–up/Spoiler: The Power of the Dog
Prediction: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Runner–up/Spoiler: Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car
Prediction: Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
Runner–up/Spoiler: Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe, Drive My Car
Prediction: Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog
Runner–up/Spoiler: Hidetoshi Nishijima, Drive My Car
Prediction: Penélope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
Runner–up/Spoiler: Renate Reinsve, The Worst Person in the World
Best Supporting Actor
Prediction: Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog
Runner–up/Spoiler: Anders Danielsen Lie, The Worst Person in the World
Best Supporting Actress
Prediction: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Runner–up/Spoiler: Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
Best Foreign-Language Film
Prediction: The Worst Person in the World
Runner–up/Spoiler: Petite Maman
Best Nonfiction Film
Prediction: Summer of Soul
Prediction: Ari Wegner, The Power of the Dog
Runner–up/Spoiler: Bruno Delbonnel, The Tragedy of Macbeth
Best Production Design
Prediction: West Side Story
Runner–up/Spoiler: The Tragedy of Macbeth