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Alan French’s 2021 Best in Film Superlatives – Oscar Categories, Genre Picks and More

With the Oscars this weekend, I wanted to make sure that we focused on some of the great performances of 2021. While I’ve voted for critic’s prizes (shoutout to my critic’s group, the Critics Association of Central Florida), there were still films and performances I had missed when I sent in my ballot. After all, it is impossible to get to everything. Rewatches and first watches changed my opinions of some films, while I could not share my favorite work for other performances. I’ll try to keep things focused, but let’s be honest, brevity has never been my strong suit.

One last note, I’ll be considering the entire year of 2021, not just those that were Oscar eligible. That means you will see some different nominees who were not eligible this Oscar season but were eligible the season before. I’m not going to bend over backward to justify which year certain films were eligible. I’m simply going to call it like I see it.

And the Nominees are…

Best Editing

The French Dispatch

Judas and the Black Messiah

Shiva Baby

Summer of Soul (Or When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)* WINNER

Titane *RUNNER UP

Best Production/Art/Set Design

Annette

Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

The French Dispatch* RUNNER-UP

Tamara Deverell, Brandt Gordon & Shane Vieau – Nightmare Alley

The Tragedy of Macbeth* WINNER

 

Best Costume Design

Jenny Beavan – Cruella* WINNER

Milena Canonero – The French Dispatch

Luis Sequeira – Nightmare Alley 

Mary Zophres – The Tragedy of Macbeth

Paul Tazewell – West Side Story * RUNNER UP

Best Cinematography

Andrew Droz Palermo – The Green Knight

Eduard Grau – Passing* RUNNER-UP

Ari Wegner – The Power of the Dog

Bruno Delbonnel – The Tragedy of Macbeth* WINNER

Kasper Andersen – The Worst Person in the World

Best Makeup & Hair

Dune* RUNNER UP

The Green Knight

Malignant

Titane* WINNER

Zola

Best Choreography

Annette

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

Cyrano

In the Heights* RUNNER UP

West Side Story* WINNER

Best Stunts

Bad Trip

Black Widow

No Time to Die* WINNER

Nobody

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings* RUNNER UP

Best Visual Effects

Dune* WINNER

Godzilla vs. Kong* RUNNER UP

No Time to Die

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Best Sound Design

Dune* WINNER

Last Night in Soho

Memoria 

The Tragedy of Macbeth *RUNNER UP

West Side Story

Best Original Score

Hans Zimmer – Dune

Daniel Hart – The Green Knight

Dan Romer – Luca* RUNNER-UP

Johnny Greenwood – Spencer* WINNER

Johnny Greenwood – The Power of the Dog 

Best In-Movie Original Song

Cast of Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar – “Palm Vista Hotel” – Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

The cast of Encanto – “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” – Encanto

Jamie Dornan & Amy Keys – “Edgar’s Prayer” – Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar* WINNER

Stephanie Beatriz & Diane Guerrero – “What Else Can I Do?” – Encanto* RUNNER UP

Sparks – “So May We Start” – Annette

Best Credits Original Song

Anderson.Paak – “Fire in the Sky” – Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Beyoncé – “Be Alive” – King Richard* RUNNER UP

Billie Eilish – “No Time to Die” – No Time to Die* WINNER

Emilia Jones – “Beyond the Shore” – CODA

Jay-Z & Kid Cudi – “Guns Go Bang” – The Harder They Fall

Best Adapted Song

Hayley Bennett – “Someone To Say” – Cyrano

The cast of Tick, Tick…Boom! – “30/90″ – Tick, Tick…Boom!* WINNER

Emilia Jones – “Both Sides Now” – CODA* RUNNER UP

Daphne Rubin-Vega, Stephanie Beatriz, Leslie Grace, Dascha Polanco & Melissa Barrera – “No Me Diga” – In the Heights

Olga Merediz – “Paciencia y Fe” – In The Heights

Best “Needledrop”

Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar – “My Heart Will Go On” – Celine Dion

Bergman Island – “The Winner Takes It All” – ABBA

Licorice Pizza – Let Me Roll It” – Paul McCartney

Spencer – All I Need is a Miracle” – Mike + the Mechanics* WINNER

Summer of Soul (Or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) – “It’s Your Thing” – Stevie Wonder* RUNNER UP

Best Playlist/Soundtrack

Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

Last Night in Soho

Licorice Pizza* RUNNER UP

Summer of Soul (Or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)* WINNER

The Suicide Squad

Best Adapted Screenplay

Drive My Car – Screenplay Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe – Based on “Men Without Women” by Haruki Murakami* WINNER

Dune – Screenplay by Jon Spaihts, Dennis Villeneuve, and Eric Roth – Based on the Novel “Dune” by Frank Herbert 

The Green Knight – Screenplay by David Lowery – Based on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Anonymous

The Power of the Dog – Screenplay by Jane Campion – Based on the Novel “The Power of the Dog” by Thomas Savage

Zola – Screenplay by Janicza Bravo and Jeremy O. Harris – Based on a Tweet thread by Aziah “Zola” King and “Zola Tells All: The Real Story Behind the Greatest Stripper Saga Ever Tweeted” by David Kushner* RUNNER UP

Best Original Screenplay

Parallel Mothers – Screenplay by Pedro Almodóvar * RUNNER UP

Petite Maman – Screenplay by Céline Sciamma

Pig – Screenplay by Michael Sarnoski

Red Rocket – Screenplay by Chris Bergoch and Sean Baker  

The Worst Person in the World – Screenplay by Eskil Vogt and Joachim Trier* WINNER

Best Ensemble

CODA

Drive My Car* WINNER

Licorice Pizza* RUNNER UP

Mass

The Power of the Dog

Hybrid Performance (Vocal or CGI Character)

Stephanie Beatriz – Encanto* WINNER

Emma Berman – Luca

Ray Chase – Malignant

Abbi Jacobson – The Mitchells vs. The Machines* RUNNER UP 

Devyn McDowell – Annette

Best Actress in a Supporting Role 

Jessie Buckley – The Lost Daughter

Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard 

Gaby Hoffman – C’Mon C’Mon

Kathryn Hunter – The Tragedy of Macbeth* WINNER

Ruth Negga – Passing* RUNNER UP

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Anders Danielsen Lie – The Worst Person in the World* RUNNER UP

Colman Domingo – Zola

Alex Hassell – The Tragedy of Macbeth

Vincent London – Titane* WINNER

Jeffrey Wright – The French Dispatch

Best Actress In a Leading Role

Penélope Cruz – Parallel Mothers* WINNER

Alana Haim – Licorice Pizza

Renate Reinsve – The Worst Person in the World

Agathe Rousselle – Titane

Tessa Thompson – Passing* RUNNER UP

Best Actor In a Leading Role

Nicholas Cage – Pig* RUNNER UP

Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power of the Dog

Peter Dinklage – Cyrano* WINNER

Hidetoshi Nishijima – Drive My Car

Simon Rex – Red Rocket

Best Director Documentary

Jimmy Chin & Chai Elizabeth Vassarhelyi – The Rescue

Traci A. Curry & Stanley Nelson – Attica

Todd Haynes – The Velvet Underground

Jonas Poher Rasmussen – Flee* RUNNER UP

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson – Summer of Soul (Or When the Revolution Count Not Be Televised)* WINNER

Best First Time Director

Janicza Bravo – Zola* WINNER

Maggie Gyllenhaal – The Lost Daughter

Rebecca Hall – Passing

Shaka King – Judas and the Black Messiah* RUNNER UP

Emma Seligman – Shiva Baby

Best Director

Pedro Almodóvar – Parallel Mothers *RUNNER UP

Julia Ducournau – Titane* WINNER

Ryusuke Hamaguchi – Drive My Car

David Lowery – The Green Knight

Michael Sarnoski – Pig

GENRE Awards

*NOTE – Each film is only eligible in one category. Placement in a category determined by highest rank. Ties are broken by Alan’s preference.

Best Action/Adventure Film

Godzilla vs. Kong* RUNNER UP

The Harder They Fall* WINNER

The King’s Man

No Time to Die

Nobody

Best Animated Film

Belle

Encanto

Luca* WINNER

The Mitchells Vs. the Machines* RUNNER UP

Raya and the Last Dragon

Best Comedy

Bad Trip* RUNNER UP

Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar* WINNER

The French Dispatch

Licorice Pizza

Red Rocket

Best Drama

Drive My Car* RUNNER UP

Pig* WINNER

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Zola

Best Documentary (Archival)

Attica* RUNNER UP

The Rescue

The Sparks Brothers

Summer of Soul (Or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)* WINNER

The Velvet Underground

Best Documentary (Contemporary)

Beba

Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry

Flee* WINNER

President* RUNNER UP

Procession

Best International Feature

Benedetta

A Hero

Parallel Mothers* WINNER

Petite Maman

The Worst Person in the World* RUNNER UP

Best Horror/Thriller

Censor

Malignant* RUNNER UP

Nightmare Alley

Titane* WINNER

Werewolves Within

Best Musical

Annette

Cyrano* WINNER

In the Heights

Tick, Tick…Boom!

West Side Story* RUNNER UP.

Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Dune

The Green Knight* WINNER

I’m Your Man

The Matrix Resurrections* RUNNER UP

Prisoners of the Ghostland

Best Superhero Film

Eternals

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings* WINNER

Spider-Man: No Way Home* RUNNER UP

The Suicide Squad

Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage

Best Picture 

*Honorable Mentions – Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar, Cyrano, A Hero, Judas and the Black Messiah, Malignant, Petite Maman, Licorice Pizza, The Souvenir Part II, Summer of Soul (Or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), Zola

10. Luca

9. The Tragedy of Macbeth

8. The Power of the Dog

7. Flee

6. The Worst Person in the World

5. Titane

4. The Green Knight

3. Parallel Mothers

2. Drive My Car* RUNNER-UP

1.. Pig* WINNER

 

 

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