The Japanese drama's big wins clear a promising path for it this awards season.

Drive My Car sped away from this year's National Society of Film Critics awards with four big wins, cementing its ascendant road through awards season. The Japanese film received the prizes for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, as well as Best Actor for its star Hidetoshi Nishijima.

The movie was also recently named the best film of 2021 by the New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, making it the first movie since 2010's The Social Network to receive top honors from all three major film critic groups. It was also among EW's top 10 best movies of the year, with critic Leah Greenblatt calling it "a gauntlet of despair, desire, and control so hauntingly lovely and immersive it's almost spiritual."

Hidetoshi Nishijima and Tōko Miura in 'Drive My Car'
| Credit: Everett Collection

Other winners at the 56th edition of the NSFC's awards included Penélope Cruz, who was named Best Actress for her performance in Pedro Almodóvar's Parallel Mothers; Ruth Negga, who took home Best Supporting Actress for Passing; and the animated documentary Flee, which won Best Nonfiction Film. Per the group's rules, no award for Best Foreign-Language Film was given after Drive My Car was named Best Picture.

The NSFC, which is made up of 60 of the country's most prominent movie critics, has chosen the same Best Picture as the Academy Awards for two years running, naming Parasite and Nomadland the best films of 2019 and 2020, respectively. See the full list of this year's winners below.

Best Picture: Drive My Car, dir. Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Runners-up: Petite Maman; The Power of the Dog

Best Director: Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car and Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
Runners-up: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog; Céline Sciamma, Petite Maman

Best Actor: Hidetoshi Nishijima, Drive My Car
Runners-up: Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog; Simon Rex, Red Rocket

Best Actress: Penélope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
Runners-up: Renate Reinsve, The Worst Person in the World; Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza

Best Supporting Actor: Anders Danielsen Lie, The Worst Person in the World
Runners-up: Vincent Lindon, Titane; Mike Faist, West Side Story; Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Best Supporting Actress: Ruth Negga, Passing
Runners-up: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story; Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter

Best Screenplay: Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe, Drive My Car
Runners-up: Pedro Almodóvar, Parallel Mothers; Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza

Best Cinematography: Andrew Droz Palermo, The Green Knight
Runners-up: Ari Wegner, The Power of the Dog; Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, Memoria

Best Nonfiction Film: Flee
Runners-up: Procession; The Velvet Underground

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