The New York Film Critics Circle has named Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car as the Best Film of 2021 as the group announced their yearly awards today.
Hamaguchi’s three-hour drama won three awards at the Cannes Film Festival this year including Best Screenplay and was recently named Best International Feature by the Gotham Awards. It’s only the 6th foreign-language film to win the award, following Z, Cries and Whispers, Day for Night, Amarcord, and Roma, all of which went on to earn Oscar attention. Last year’s Best Film winner, Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow, became the first NYFCC Best Film winner in history to earn zero Oscar nominations.
The Power of the Dog was the big winner of the day with Jane Campion taking Best Director, Benedict Cumberbatch with Best Actor and Kodi Smit-McPhee for Best Supporting Actor.
In a wild twist, Lady Gaga won Best Actress for her over the top turn as Italian murderess Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci. Although the film was met with mixed reviews, Gaga rose above with largely positive notices.
Elsewhere, supporting actress found an inspired win for Kathryn Hunter in Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth. The famed stage actress plays multiple characters in the film and is an outside contender for Oscar consideration. Her win here definitely gives her an extra boost at the beginning of the season.
A special awards were given 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, posthumous award for supporting daring and impactful filmmaking at Sundance and Participant.
All winner will be feted at a ceremony on January 11, 2022 in New York City.
Here is the full list of NYFCC winners.
Drive My Car
Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog
Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Benedict Cumberbatch for The Power of the Dog
Lady Gaga for House of Gucci
Best Supporting Actor
Kodi Smit-McPhee for The Power of the Dog
Best Supporting Actress
Kathryn Hunter for The Tragedy of Macbeth
Best Animated Film
The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Best Foreign Language Film
The Worst Person in the World
Best Non-Fiction Film
Janusz Kaminski for West Side Story
Best First Film
The Lost Daughter (dir. Maggie Gyllenhaal)