LICORICE PIZZA Launches Awards Season With National Board Of Review Wins (AWARDS 2021)

Paul Thomas Anderson wins Best Film and Director for LICORICE PIZZA in the first awards list of 2021, from the National Board of Review.

After two straight years of honoring prestige Netflix flicks, The National Board of Review has gone full Cinema by naming Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Licorice Pizza as the Best Film of 2021.

The auteur’s nostalgia trip back to 1970s L.A. also earned PTA Best Director and co-leads Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman as the year’s Breakthrough Performances.

The Williams family tennis biopic King Richard also nabbed three awards: Best Actor for Will Smith, Best Supporting Actress Aunjanue Ellis (who plays Richard’s wife), and a spot on NBR’s Top 10 List of 2021.

Newcomer Rachel Zegler wowed NBR enough to earn Best Actress honors for her turn as Maria in Steven Spielberg‘s West Side Story, and Ciarán Hinds took Supporting Actor for his role in Kenneth Branagh‘s Belfast.

Other notable awards included Original Screenplay to Iranian neo-realist Asghar Farhadi for A Hero (it also won Best Foreign Language Film), and Joel Coen won Adapted Screenplay for The Tragedy of Macbeth. Coen’s DP Bruno Delbonnel also won for Best Cinematography, who filmed the Shakespearean classic in the old square Academy ratio of early cinema and in black-and-white.

Considering which films and artists have been receiving early awards season buzz, the biggest notable snub is the complete shutout of Jane Campion‘s acclaimed Western The Power of the Dog, which didn’t even land on NBR’s Top 10 List.

Here is the Board’s complete list of winners.

2021 Film Awards

Best Film: Licorice Pizza

Other Top Films (listed alphabetically)
Don’t Look Up
King Richard
The Last Duel
Nightmare Alley
Red Rocket
The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story

Best Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza

Best Actor: Will Smith, King Richard

Best Actress: Rachel Zegler, West Side Story

Best Supporting Actor: Ciarán Hinds, Belfast

Best Supporting Actress: Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Best Original Screenplay: Asghar Farhadi, A Hero

Best Adapted Screenplay: Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Best Animated Feature: Encanto

Breakthrough Performance (tie): Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman, Licorice Pizza

Best Directorial Debut: Michael Sarnoski, Pig

Best Foreign Language Film: A Hero (Iran)

Best Documentary: Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Best Ensemble: The Harder They FAll

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography: Bruno Delbonnel, The Tragedy of Macbeth

NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Flee

Top 5 Foreign Language Films 2021 (listed alphabetically)
Lingui, The Sacred Bonds
The Worst Person in the World

Top 5 Documentaries 2021 (listed alphabetically)
The Rescue
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain

Top 10 Independent Films 2021 (listed alphabetically)
The Card Counter
C’mon C’mon
The Green Knight

Old Henry
Shiva Baby
The Souvenir Part II

Honoring annual achievements in film since 1929, the National Board of Review is a “select group of film enthusiasts, filmmakers, professionals, academics, and students of varying ages and backgrounds” who watch over 250 films and participate in discussions with directors, actors, producers, and screenwriters before making and announcing their selections.


Click on links below for other major Critics Group Awards and Guild Nominees that have been announced so far for the 2021 / 22 season:

Writers Guild of America Nominees 2021
Producers Guild of America Nominees 2021
Screen Actors Guild Nominees 2021
American Film Institute Top Ten 2021
Los Angeles Film Critics Assocation 2021
New York Film Critics Circle 2021

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