Seattle, WA – The Seattle Film Critics Society (“SFCS”) announced the winners in 20 categories for the 2021 Seattle Film Critics Society Awards on Monday, January 17, 2022.
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car was the year’s big winner, picking up four awards, including Best Picture of the Year. From Japan, the film tells the story of an actor and director, who is assigned a chauffeur, and together they confront painful truths from their respective pasts. Hamaguchi’s film also earned him this year’s Best Director award, as well as Best Film Not in the English Language. Hamaguchi and co-writer Takamasa Oe also received honors for Best Screenplay for adapting the Haruki Murakami short story of the same name.
“Drive My Car has taken the critic world by storm, and we’re pleased to be the latest association to award it as the best movie of the year,” said SFCS President Erik Samdahl. “Ryûsuke Hamaguchi and team’s incredible attention to detail and careful pacing, brought to life by a sensational cast, enabled the film to stand above the rest.”
Denis Villeneuve’s science-fiction epic Dune, and David Lowery’s medieval fantasy The Green Knight each earned three awards apiece. Dune earned wins for Best Visual Effects and Best Film Editing, and for Best Original Score for Hans Zimmer. The Green Knight was honored for wins in Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design.
Nicolas Cage’s acclaimed performance in Pig earned him a Best Actor award for his portrayal of Rob, a truffle hunter living off the grid whose prized companion, a foraging pig, has been stolen.
Kristen Stewart’s harrowing turn as a tortured Diana, Princess of Wales, on the eve of her divorce for Prince Charles, saw her win Best Actress honors for Spencer.
This year’s most-nominated film, The Power of the Dog, won two awards, as Kodi Smit McPhee was named Best Supporting Actor and Benedict Cumberbatch was recognized as Villain of the Year. Cumberbatch portrays Phil Burbank, a malevolent, cruel ranch hand in 1920s Montana who crosses paths with Smit-McPhee’s Peter, the quiet, introverted son who is willing to stand by his mother through any and all challenges.
Ariana DeBose was named Best Supporting Actress in Steven Spielberg’s remake of the iconic musical, West Side Story, for her performance as Anita, a woman who finds herself in the middle of a conflict between two street gangs.
The groundbreaking animated documentary Flee earned the Best Animated Feature prize. It is the first film to be nominated in the Animated Feature, Documentary Feature and Best Film Not in the English Language categories.
Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical In the Heights became the first musical film to win the Best Action Choreography award. “Action can be described as any human movement, and despite four action movies being nominated, it’s understandable that our voters were won over by the incredible dance choreography on display in this lively musical,” added Samdahl.
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s archival documentary, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) earned the first-time director the Best Documentary Feature award, bringing to light musical performance footage from the summer of 1969 in New York City, once believed lost and ignored by the media.
Other winners include: Mass, which won Best Ensemble Cast, and CODA, which earned Emilia Jones recognition in the Best Youth Performance category.
After formation in the fall of 2016, The Seattle Film Critics Society officially became a non-profit organization in 2017, with a membership now consisting of 36 film critics, representing print, broadcast, podcasting and online film criticism. This year’s awards are the sixth to be held under the banner of the SFCS, honoring the best films and performances of the year.
The full list of recipients of the 2021 Seattle Film Critics Society Awards are as follows:
The 2021 Seattle Film Critics Society Award Winners:
Best Picture of the Year
- Drive My Car (Janus Films)
- Ryûsuke Hamaguchi – Drive My Car
Best Actor in a Leading Role
- Nicolas Cage – Pig
Best Actress in a Leading Role
- Kristen Stewart – Spencer
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
- Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power of the Dog
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
- Ariana DeBose – West Side Story
Best Ensemble Cast
- Mass – Henry Russell Bergstein, Allison Estrin, casting directors
Best Action Choreography
- In the Heights
- Drive My Car – Ryûsuke Hamaguchi & Takamasa Oe
Best Animated Feature
- Flee – Jonas Poher Rasmussen, director
Best Documentary Feature
- Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) – Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, director
Best Film Not in the English Language
- Drive My Car – Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, director
- The Green Knight – Andrew Droz Palermo
Best Costume Design
- The Green Knight – Malgosia Turzanska
Best Film Editing
- Dune – Joe Walker
Best Original Score
- Dune – Hans Zimmer
Best Production Design
- The Green Knight – Jade Healy (Production Design); Jenny Oman (Set Decorator)
Best Visual Effects
- Dune – Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brain Connor, Gerd Nefzer
Best Youth Performance:
- Emilia Jones – CODA
Villain of the Year:
- Phil Burbank – The Power of the Dog – portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch
Jacob is a Graduate of Western Kentucky University where he earned a History/Film Studies Degree. He is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is also a member of the North American Film Critics Association and the Music City Film Critics’ Association. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.