Sunday, December 12, 2021
Philadelphia Film Critics Circle Names The Power of the Dog the Best Film of 2021
The Philadelphia Film Critics Circle today voted on its fifth annual year-end awards, and
the choice for Best Film of 2021 was The Power of the Dog. It was one of six awards
granted to Jane Campion’s Western, with the others including Best Director and Best
Script (both for Jane Campion), Best Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), Best Supporting
Actor (for Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Best Soundtrack/Score (for Johnny Greenwood.)
In addition, two films won a pair of awards. Passing won both Best Supporting Actress
for Ruth Negga, and Best Directorial Debut, for Rebecca Hall. Meanwhile, the French
film Titane won for Best Foreign Language Film, as well as for Best Breakthrough Per-
ormance (Agathe Rouselle.)
Several other movies won one award each, as Kristen Stewart won Best Actress for
Spencer, Nightmare Alley won for Best Cinematography, while Flee won for Best Ani-
mated Film, after it was runner-up for both Best Documentary and Best Foreign Lan-
Summer of Soul, directed by Philadelphia native Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, won the
award for Best Documentary, while another Philly native, Colman Domingo, was the
runner-up for Best Supporting Actor, for Zola, joining Jenkintown’s Bradley Cooper, the runner-up for Best Actor for Nightmare Alley. Ariana DeBose, for West Side Story, was runner-up in two different categories, both Best Supporting Actress and Best Breakthrough Performance.
“This year we had more nominations across a wider spectrum than in any previous year
and all of it was top-heavy with unquestioned talent,” Rich Heimlich, the Philadelphia
Film Critics Circle’s co-founder, said. “All of us had selections we cheered and those we
hoped might do better, but all of us can be proud of the choices that were ultimately
“Our nomination list included a sizable number of impressive directorial debuts, particularly from women directors,” Le Anne Lindsay, a member of PFCC, said.
PFCC co-founder Stephen Silver said, “In this year in which many of us finally returned to the movies, we want to thank the theater operators, as well as the local and national film publicity community, for their help during this awards season, and throughout the year. We look forward to seeing you all at the movies in 2022.”
Full list of winners:
Best Film: The Power of the Dog. Runner-up: Nightmare Alley.
Best Director: Jane Campion, for The Power of the Dog. Runner-up Guillermo del Toro, for Nightmare Alley.
Best Actress: Kristen Stewart for Spencer. Runners-up: Agathe Rousselle for Titane.
Best Actor: Benedict Cumberbatch, for The Power of the Dog. Runner-up: Bradley Cooper, for Nightmare Alley.
Best Supporting Actress: Ruth Negga, for Passing. Runner-up: Ariana DeBose, for West Side Story.
Best Supporting Actor: Kodi Smit McPhee, for The Power of the Dog. Runner-up: Colman Domingo, for Zola.
Best Foreign Film: Titane (France). Runner-up: Flee (Denmark).
Best Animated Film: Flee, directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen. Runner-up: Raya and the Last Dragon, directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada.
Best Documentary: Summer of Soul, directed by Questlove. Runner-up: Flee, directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen.
Best Cinematography: Nightmare Alley (Dan Lausten). Runner-up: Dune (Greig Fraser).
Best Breakthrough Performance: Agathe Rousselle, for Titane. Runner-up: Ariana DeBose, for West Side Story.
Best Directorial Debut: Rebecca Hall, for Passing, Runner-up: Maggie Gyllenhaal, for The Lost Daughter.
Best Script: The Power of the Dog (adapted by Jane Campion.) Runner-ups: The French Dispatch (written by Wes Anderson), The Last Duel (written by Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon) and Zola (written by Janicza Bravo and Jeremy O. Harris.)
Best Score/Soundtrack: The Power of the Dog. Runner-up: Summer of Soul.
This was the fifth year of awards since the Circle’s inception in 2017. Get Out was the 2017 winner for Best Film, while Roma was the choice in 2018, Knives Out won in 2019 and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom won for 2020.