NY film critics name 'Drive My Car' Best Film of 2021

By AP | 5 December 2021

This image released by Janus Films and Sideshow shows Hidetoshi Nishijima (left) and Toko Miura in a scene from 'Drive My Car'.

NEW YORK: The New York Film Critics Circle on Friday named Drive My Car, Ryusuke Hamaguchi's intimate three-hour epic and Haruki Murakami’s short story adaptation, the best film of the year.

Hamaguchi's film, about a widowed actor played by Hidetoshi Nishijima, has been widely hailed since its debut earlier in the year at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won for best screenplay.

Drive My Car, which recently opened in limited theatrical release, is Japan's submission to the Academy Awards. The car itself is a red Saab 900, said to be the beloved vehicle of the character played by Nishijima.

It's only the second time in the last four decades that the critics' top honour went to a non English-language film. (The other was Alfonso Cuaron's Roma three years ago.)

Jane Campion's Montana gothic drama The Power of the Dog led all films with three awards. Campion took best director, Benedict Cumberbatch won best actor and best supporting actor went to Kodi Smit-McPhee.

The New York critics, as it typically does, otherwise spread its honours around.

The New York Film Critics Circle, founded in 1935, will hand out its 89th awards during a ceremony on Jan 10.