Jenny Nulf’s Top 10 Films 0f 2021

The Power of the Dog

1) Drive My Car

Ryûsuke Hamaguchi's deeply moving sonata about how painful it is to love sometimes, especially those now gone.

2) Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

My second Hamaguchi, a triptych of shorts, explores raw honesty amongst broken and lost people.

3) The Power of the Dog

A triumph of pacing and storytelling, simply masterful work.

4) Undine

It made my 2020 list by a technicality (we could put festival films!), but Christian Petzold's film is so timeless, it was never forgotten.

5) Titane

A whirlwind exploration of femininity in masculine spaces. Julia Ducournau didn't quite hit Raw levels, but it's still a sucker punch.

6) The Hand of God

Paolo Sorrentino's coming-of-age film is a glamorous yet subdued tribute to the films that made him fall in love with cinema.

7) Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry

A documentary that feels like Richard Linklater should have directed it.

8) Annette

I'm still blown away that Leos Carax made me forget that Baby Annette was a puppet – truly epic filmmaking.

9) The Souvenir: Part II

Painfully gutting for any artist ever paralyzed by grief, and somehow both funnier and sadder than its predecessor.

10) Red Post on Escher Street

Sion Sono's celebration of film extras doubles as a powerful commentary on China's takeover of Hong Kong.

Near Misses

The Green Knight; This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection.

Most Overrated

Last Night in Soho, Belfast.

Most Underrated

This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection; The Last Duel.

Wild Card

Fred Hechinger had one hell of a year (The White Lotus, Fear Street series, The Underground Railroad, The Woman in the Window).

Acting Kudos (Male)

Dev Patel (The Green Knight), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog), Lee Kang-Sheng (Days)

Acting Kudos (Female)

Jodie Comer (The Last Duel), Mary Twala (This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection), Patti Harrison (Together Together)

Best Director

Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy), Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog), Paolo Sorrentino (The Hand of God)

Best Original Screenplay

Christian Petzold (Undine), Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy), Julia Ducournau (Titane)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog), David Lowery (The Green Knight), Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth (Dune)

TV Series / Event

The Underground Railroad Barry Jenkins crafted the best TV series this year, fully absorbing and emotionally draining.

Worst Film

Dead & Beautiful: As a fan and lover of vampires, this movie is the most insulting piece of work I have ever seen.

The Little Film That Could

Fan Girl: A biting commentary on idol culture, Antionette Jadaone’s dark film about a young girl who follows her favorite Filipino superstar home is one of the most engrossing films of the year.

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More Top 10s 2021
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March 10: Austin Police Officer Christopher Taylor is indicted for first-degree murder in the 2020 killing of Michael Ramos

Brant Bingamon, Dec. 17, 2021

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