The North Texas Film Critics Crown The Green Knight


The North Texas Film Critics have announced their picks for the best of 2021!  All hail The Green Knight!

Best Picture
Dune
The Green Knight
Spencer
West Side Story

Best Director
Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth
David Lowery, The Green Knight
Steven Spielberg, West Side Story
Denis Villenueve, Dune

Best Actor
Nicolas Cage, Pig
Dev Patel, The Green Knight
Joaquin Phoenix, C’mon C’mon
Will Smith, King Richard

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Noomi Rapace, Lamb
Kristen Stewart, Spencer
Rachel Zegler, West Side Story

Best Supporting Actor
Barry Keoghan, The Green Knight
Troy Kotsur, CODA
Jeffrey Wright, The French Dispatch

Best Supporting Actress
Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Rita Moreno, West Side Story
Tilda Swinton, The French Dispatch

Best Animated Film
Luca
The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Raya and the Last Dragon

Best Documentary
Summer of Soul
Val
The Velvet Underground

Best Foreign Language Film
A Hero
Lamb
Titane

Best Cinematographer
Greig Fraser, Dune
Janusz Kamiński, West Side Story
Claire Mathon, Spencer

Best Newcomer
Jude Hill, Belfast
Emilia Jones, CODA
Rachel Zegler, West Side Story

Gary Murray Award (Best Ensemble)
Don’t Look Up
The French Dispatc

The Black Film Critics Circle Honors King Richard!


The Black Film Critics Circle has named King Richard the best from 2021!

Here are all of the winners from the BFCC!

Best Picture: “King Richard”
Director: Denis Villeneuve – “Dune”
Actor:  Will Smith – “King Richard”
Actress: Tessa Thompson, “Passing”
Supporting Actor: Kodi Smit-McPhee – “The Power of the Dog”
Supporting Actress: Aunjanue Ellis – “King Richard”
Original Screenplay: Zach Baylin – “King Richard”
Adapted Screenplay: Jane Campion – “The Power of the Dog”
Cinematography: Greig Fraser – “Dune”
Documentary: “Summer of Soul”
Animated Film: “The Mitchells vs. the Machines”
Foreign Film: “The Hand of God”
Ensemble: “The Harder They Fall”

BFCC Signature Awards
Pioneer Award: Janicza Bravo – “Zola”
Rising Star: Jeymes Samuel – “The Harder They Fall”
Special Mention: Questlove

Top 10 Films
1. King Richard
2. The Harder They Fall
3. The Power of the Dog
4. West Side Story
5. Respect
6. Summer of Soul
7. Dune
8. The Tragedy of Macbeth
9. Cyrano
10. Passing

Catching Up With The Films of 2021: Wild Indian (dir by Lyle Corbine, Jr.)


Wild Indian opens in the 80s, with two teenage boys living on a Ojibwe reservation in Wisconsin.  Both of them come from broken homes.  Both of the are bullied in school.  Makwa (played, as teenager, by Phoenix Wilson) is quiet but angry and spends most of his time trying to avoid the company of his alcoholic parents.  His cousin, Teddo (played, as a teenager, by Julian Goppal), is slightly more responsible and level-headed.  One day, after Makwa kills one of his classmates, he begs Teddo to help him hide the body.  Teddo is reluctant but eventually, he agrees.

We then jump forward several years.  Now played by Michael Greyeyes, the adult Macwa lives in California and he uses the name Michael Peterson.  He’s a businessman, a partner in a firm with Jerry (played by the film’s executive producer, Jesse Eisenberg).  Michael is married to a white woman (Kate Bosworth) and lives in an upscale apartment.  He and his wife have one child and another is on the way.  Though Michael doesn’t deny his Native heritage, he now uses it for a gimmick.  He describes it as being his “brand.”  He never speaks of his past in Wisconsin.  His wife doesn’t even know his original name.  Michael would seem to have everything that he’s ever wanted but it’s obvious that he’s still struggling with his inner demons.  He hires a stripper so that he can strangle her.  The rare time he does talk about other Native Americans, it’s to dismiss them as being dishonest and narcissistic, descriptions that many would use to describe Michael himself.

Meanwhile, Teddo (now played by Chaske Spencer) has spent the last several years in prison.  Wracked with guilt after helping Makwa cover up the murder of their classmate, Teddo became a drug dealer.  When he gets out of prison, his face is heavily tattooed, as if he’s trying to announce his crimes and sins to the world.  When he visits the mother of the boy that Makwa murdered, Teddo starts to cry uncontrollably.  Eventually, Teddo leaves Wisconsin, heading to California so that he can confront Makwa face-to-face.

Wild Indian is an atmospheric and, at times, rather disturbing thriller.  It’s not a surprise that Teddo wants and needs some sort of resolution with Makwa but, from that premise, the film’s story goes off in some unexpected directions and, in the end, neither Makwa nor Teddo turn out to be quite who the viewer was expecting them to be.  Teddo, the violent drug dealer, turns out to have a strong sense of moral obligation while Makwa, for all of his success, is so deeply in denial about his past and his sins that he can’t even be honest with himself about who he is, much less anyone else.  It all leads to a rather jarring ending, one that may seem abrupt but actually works perfectly.  In the end, the sins of the past cannot be escaped and they cannot be changed.  All one can do is live under the clouds of the past.

Wild Indian is triumphant directorial debut for Lyle Corbine, Jr., an uncompromising character study of two men who can never escape the past no matter how much they may want to.  Both Michael Greyeyes and Chaske Spencer give wonderful performances as Makwa and Teddo.  This is definitely a film to track down and watch.

The Florida Film Critics Circle Honors The Power of the Dog!


The Florida Film Critics Circle is the latest group of critics to name Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog as the best film of 2021!

BEST PICTURE
ANNETTE (RUNNER-UP)
MASS
THE POWER OF THE DOG (WINNER)

BEST ACTOR
NICOLAS CAGE – PIG
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH – THE POWER OF THE DOG (RUNNER-UP)
ADAM DRIVER – ANNETTE (WINNER)
ANDREW GARFIELD – TICK, TICK… BOOM
OSCAR ISAAC – THE CARD COUNTER

BEST ACTRESS
JESSICA CHASTAIN – THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE (RUNNER-UP)
LADY GAGA – HOUSE OF GUCCI
ALANA HAIM – LICORICE PIZZA (WINNER)
KRISTEN STEWART – SPENCER

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
JAMIE DORNAN – BELFAST
JARED LETO – HOUSE OF GUCCI
VINCENT LINDON – TITANE (RUNNER-UP)
J.K. SIMMONS – BEING THE RICARDOS
KODI SMIT-MCPHEE – THE POWER OF THE DOG (WINNER)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
ARIANA DEBOSE – WEST SIDE STORY (WINNER)
KIRSTEN DUNST – THE POWER OF THE DOG
RUTH NEGGA – PASSING (RUNNER-UP)

BEST ENSEMBLE
LICORICE PIZZA
MASS (WINNER)
THE POWER OF THE DOG
WEST SIDE STORY
WHEEL OF FORTUNE AND FANTASY (RUNNER-UP)

BEST DIRECTOR
KENNETH BRANAGH – BELFAST
JANE CAMPION – THE POWER OF THE DOG (WINNER)
LEOS CARAX – ANNETTE (
RUNNER-UP)
RYUSUKE HAMAGUCHI – WHEEL OF FORTUNE AND FANTASY

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON – LICORICE PIZZA (3rd RUNNER-UP)
WES ANDERSON – THE FRENCH DISPATCH (WINNER)

KENNETH BRANAGH – BELFAST
LEOS CARAX, RON & RUSSELL MAEL – ANNETTE (1st RUNNER-UP)
RYUSUKE HAMAGUCHI – WHEEL OF FORTUNE AND FANTASY (2nd RUNNER-UP)
FRAN KRANZ – MASS
KRISTEN WIIG & ANNIE MUMOLO – BARB & STAR GO TO VISTA DEL MAR

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
JANE CAMPION – THE POWER OF THE DOG (WINNER)
STEVEN LEVENSON – TICK, TICK…BOOM! (1st RUNNER-UP)
TONY KUSHNER – WEST SIDE STORY (2nd RUNNER-UP)

FRANÇOIS OZON – SUMMER OF 85

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
GREIG FRASER – DUNE
MIKE GIOULAKIS – OLD
JANUSZ KAMIŃSKI – WEST SIDE STORY (1st RUNNER-UP)
CLAIRE MATHON – SPENCER (2nd RUNNER-UP)
ARI WEGNER – THE POWER OF THE DOG (WINNER)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
ANNETTE (RUNNER-UP)
DUNE (WINNER)

SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS

BEST ART DIRECTION/PRODUCTION
ANNETTE
BARB & STAR GO TO VISTA DEL MAR (RUNNER-UP)
DUNE (WINNER)
WEST SIDE STORY

BEST SCORE
ALEXANDRE DESPLAT – THE FRENCH DISPATCH
JONNY GREENWOOD – THE POWER OF THE DOG (RUNNER-UP)
RON & RUSSELL MAEL – ANNETTE
HANS ZIMMER – DUNE (WINNER)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
FLEE
PROCESSION (RUNNER-UP)
SUMMER OF SOUL (WINNER)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
DRIVE MY CAR (1st RUNNER-UP)
THE HAND OF GOD (WINNER)
RIDERS OF JUSTICE
TITANE (2nd RUNNER-UP)
WHEEL OF FORTUNE AND FANTASY (3rd RUNNER-UP)

BEST ANIMATED FILM
BELLE
ENCANTO (WINNER)
EVANGELION 3.0+1.0 THRICE UPON A TIME 
(1st RUNNER-UP)
FLEE (2nd RUNNER-UP)
JOSEP (3rd RUNNER-UP)
LUCA
THE MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES

BEST FIRST FILM
THE LOST DAUGHTER
MASS (1st RUNNER-UP)
PASSING 
(2nd RUNNER-UP TIE)
PIG (WINNER)
SHIVA BABY

BREAKOUT AWARD
JUDE HILL – BELFAST
COOPER HOFFMAN – LICORICE PIZZA (WINNER)
RACHEL ZEGLER – WEST SIDE STORY (RUNNER-UP)