Drive My Car

Source: The Match Factory

‘Drive My Car’

Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car maintained its strong awards season form as it was named Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s (LAFCA) best film of 2021 while Jane Campion was anointed best director for The Power Of The Dog.

It’s the second major US critics’ award for Hamaguchi’s Japanese Oscar submission after New York Film Critics Circle honoured the drama earlier this month. LAFCA, which announced its winners live on Twitter on Saturday (December 17), also gave Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe the best screenplay award.

Campion’s recognition for directing mirrors the choice by the New York critics and LAFCA made it a good day for The Power Of The Dog as Kodi Smit-McPhee tied in the best supporting actor category with Vincent Lindon of Titane, and Ari Wegner claimed the vest cinematography prize.

In a rare surprise on Saturday Simon Rex was named best actor for Red Rocket. The group stuck closer to the form book when it awarded Penelope Cruz the best actress prize for Parallel Mothers, whose Alberto Iglesias earned the best music/score award. Ariana DeBose from West Side Story prevailed in the best supporting actress contest.

Celine Sciamma’s Petite Maman won the best foreign language award and Questlove’s Summer Of Soul took best documentary honours. Flee won the animation prize and is a triple threat this season in the categories of foreign-language, animation and documentary. It won the New York critics’ documentary prize in early December.

In the most genuinely left-field selection of the night Steve Saklad won best production design for Kristen Wiig comedy Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar. Prayers For The Stolen director Tatiana Huezo tied the New Generation Prize with Shatara Michelle Ford for Test Pattern.

Last year the group anointed Small Axe its best film and Chloe Zhao best director for Nomadland. Acting awards went to Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman), Gynn Turman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Youn Yuh-jung (Minari). Beanpole was named best foreign language film.

At the start of the month LAFCA issued a set of proposed screening protocols urging mask-wearing and proof of vaccine or a recent negative Covid test at all in-person screenings and called on screener links to be sent in cases where it was not possible to accommodate journalists “at higher risk and/or those with disabilities”. The group suggested the guidance apply ”beyond the scope of awards season, beyond the scope of the pandemic and beyond the scope of our membership”.

LAFCA 2021 winners in full:

Best Picture: Drive My Car
Runner-up: The Power Of The Dog

Best Director: Jane Campion, The Power Of The Dog
Runner-up: Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car

Best Actor: Simon Rex, Red Rocket
Runner-up: Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power Of The Dog

Best Actress: Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
Runner-up: Renate Reinsve, The Worst Person In The Day

Best Supporting Actor (tie): Vincent Lindon, Titane, and Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power Of The Dog

Best Supporting Actress: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Runner-up: Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Best Animated Film: Flee
Runner-up: Belle

Best Documentary/Non-Fiction: Summer Of Soul
Runner-up: Procession

Best Foreign Language Film: Petite Maman
Runner-up: Quo Vadis Aida?

Best Screenplay: Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe, Drive My Car
Runner-up: Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza

Best Cinematography: Ari Wegner, The Power Of The Dog
Runner-up: Greig Fraser, Dune

Best Editing: Joshua L. Pearson, Summer Of Soul
Runner-up: Andy Jurgensen, Licorice Pizza

Best Music/Score: Alberto Iglesias, Parallel Mothers
Runner-up: Jonny Greenwood, The Power Of The Dog and Spencer

Best Production Design: Steve Saklad, Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar
Runner-up: Tamara Deverell, Nightmare Alley

New Generation Prize: Shatara Michelle Ford, Test Pattern, and Tatiana Huezo, Prayers For The Stolen.

Douglas Edwards Experimental Film Award: The Works And Days (Of Tayoko Shiojiri In The Shiotani Basin)

Career Achievement: Mel Brooks.