Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s drama “Drive My Car” was named best film of 2021 Saturday by Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
The three-hour film is based on a short story by Haruki Murakami and concerns the relationship between an aging actor and his young chauffer.
The critics group also honored Penelope Cruz as best actress for “Parallel Mothers,” named Simon Rex best actor for “Red Rocket,” and gave Jane Campion the best director award for “The Power of the Dog.”
The awards were announced on Twitter. All the winners will be honored during a ceremony in 2022.
Here is a list of winners announced Saturday:
— Best Picture:
— Best Actor: Simon Rex, “Red Rocket.”
— Best Actress: Penelope Cruz, “Parallel Mothers.”
— Best Director: Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog.”
— Best Supporting Actor: (tie) Vincent Lindon, “Titane,” and Kodi Smit-McPhee, “The Power of the Dog.”
— Best Supporting Actress: Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story.”
— Best Screenplay: Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe, “Drive My Car.”
— Best Cinematography: Ari Wegner, “The Power of the Dog.”
— Best Editing: Joshua Pearson, “Summer of Soul.”
— Best Production Design: Steve Saklad, “Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar.”
— Best Music/Score: Alberto Iglesias, “Parallel Mothers”
— Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film: “Summer of Soul.”
— Best Animated Film: “Flee.”
— New Generation: (tie) Shatara Michelle Ford, “Test Pattern,” and Tatiana Huezo, “Prayers for the Stolen.”
LAFCA is also giving Mel Brooks its 2021 career achievement award.
“Mel Brooks is a national treasure and a comedy filmmaking legend,” LAFCA president Claudia Puig said of the 95-year-old writer, director, actor and composer, best known for the comedy hits “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein” and “The Producers.”
Puig added, “He not only has made us laugh uproariously, he has broken comic barriers and paved the way for and influenced generations of filmmakers after him.”
Last year, LAFCA named “Small Axe,” a British anthology film series created and directed by Steve McQueen, as the best film of 2020.
Founded in 1975, LAFCA comprises Los Angeles-based, professional film critics working in print and electronic media.
On Dec. 3, the New York Film Critics Circle also named “Drive My Car” the best film of 2021.