For almost half a century, the National Society of Film Critics (NSFC) , which was founded in 1966, rarely previewed the Oscar winner for Best Picture, doing so only five times in 49 years. But it has done just that four times in the last six years: “Spotlight” (2016), “Moonlight” (2017), “Parasite” (2020) and “Nomadland.”
That stat bodes well for the Oscar hopes of “Drive My Car,” which dominated this year’s awards with wins on January 8 for Best Picture, Director (Ryusuke Hamaguchi), Actor (Hidetoshi Nishijima) and Screenplay. The Japanese film has already been feted by both the New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association this awards season.
The three-hour film tells the story of a grieving theater director (Hidetoshi Nishijima), who is assigned a young woman (Toko Miura) as his chauffeur when he helms a production of “Uncle Vanya.” It debuted at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and won Best Screenplay, the FIPRESCI Prize, and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. In late November it claimed Best International Feature at the Gotham Awards over “The Worst Person in the World,” which has also made the Oscars’ shortlist of 15 international titles.
Unlike most critics groups, the NSFC discloses the results of voting. Voting is conducted via a weighted ballot system. If no winner is declared on the first ballot, the category goes to a second ballot, this time without the proxies.
“Drive My Car” (48)
Runners-up: “Petite Maman” (25); “The Power of the Dog” (23)
Ryusuke Hamaguchi, “Drive My Car” and “Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy” (46)
Runners-up: Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog” (36); Céline Sciamma, “Petite Maman” (28)
Hidetoshi Nishijima, “Drive My Car” (63)
Runners-up: Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Power of the Dog” (44); Simon Rex, “Red Rocket” (30)
Penélope Cruz, “Parallel Mothers” (55)
Runners-up: Renate Reinsve, “The Worst Person in the World” (42); Alana Haim,“Licorice Pizza” (32)
Best Supporting Actor
Anders Danielsen Lie, “The Worst Person in the World” (54)
Runners-up: Vincent Lindon, “Titane”; (33); Mike Faist, “West Side Story” (26); Kodi Smit-McPhee, “The Power of the Dog” (26)
Best Supporting Actress
Ruth Negga, “Passing” (46)
Runners-up: Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story” (22); Jessie Buckley, “The Lost Daughter” (21)
Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe, “Drive My Car” (46)
Runners-up: Pedro Almodóvar,“Parallel Mothers” (22); Paul Thomas Anderson, “Licorice Pizza” (20)
Andrew Droz Palermo, “The Green Knight” (52)
Runners-up: Ari Wegner, “The Power of the Dog” (40);Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, “Memoria” (35)
Best Non-Fiction Film
Runners-up: “Procession” (28); “The Velvet Underground” (28)
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