New from Kevin Wozniak on Kevflix: Best Movies of 2021: Best of the Techs

Continuing my look back at the best movies of 2021, I am now going to look at the best technical achievements of 2021. I will be looking at the best screenplays of the years, the best camera and set work, the best music, and other technical categories. Like Best of the Genres, each category will have five “nominees” (a.k.a my personal top five) with my “winner” (my favorite) in bold, followed by short reasoning as to why I picked it the best. Here are my picks for the best technical achievements of 2021.

 

 

 Amir Jadidi as Rahim in A HERO
A HERO (Amazon Studios)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

The Card Counter

A Hero

Licorice Pizza

Parallel Mothers

Pig

  • As much as I loved Paul Thomas Anderson’s blissful look at the dullness of adulthood, Asghar Farhadi’s smart, tense, layered look at communication and rumors is one of the great director’s best works.

 

Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Burbank in THE POWER OF THE DOG
THE POWER OF THE DOG (Netflix)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

CODA

Drive My Car

Old

The Power of the Dog

Zola

  • Jane Campion came roaring back in 2021 with her stunning and tense adaptation of Thomas Savage’s novel.

 

Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Burbank and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Peter Gordon in THE POWER OF THE DOG
THE POWER OF THE DOG (Netflix)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Dune

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story

  • We were spoiled this year with great cinematography in 2021, but Ari Wegner’s gorgeous work on Jane Campion’s western should win her an Oscar.

 

Cate Blanchett as Dr. Lilith Ritter and Bradley Cooper as Stanton Carlisle in NIGHTMARE ALLEY
NIGHTMARE ALLEY (Searchlight Pictures)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

Dune

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

  • From the seedy circus to the nightmarish cemetery, Nightmare Alley is one of the best-looking Guillermo del Toro movies to date.

 

Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci, Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci, Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani, and Al Pacino as Aldo Gucci in HOUSE OF GUCCI
HOUSE OF GUCCI (MGM)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Cruella

House of Gucci

Nightmare Alley

Spencer

West Side Story

  • Though the lavish costumes of Cruella and the period look of West Side Story are excellent, the slick suits, colorful dresses, and authentic style of House of Gucci are eye-popping.

 

Ariana DeBose as Anita in WEST SIDE STORY
WEST SIDE STORY (20th Century Studios)

BEST EDITING

Driver My Car

The Last Duel

Licorice Pizza

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

  • Sometimes the best editing is knowing when not to cut and Steven Spielberg and editors Sarah Broshar and Michael Kahn knew how to put this lavish remake together, allowing the film to flow with ease while giving us thrilling dance sequences that aren’t cut to shreds.

 

Keanu Reeves as Neo in THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS
THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS (Warner Bros.)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Dune

Eternals

Godzilla vs Kong

The Matrix Resurrections

Old

  • As much as I loved seeing King Kong and Godzilla beat the hell out of each other, The Matrix Resurrection’s unique, colorful look and exciting, effects-heavy action brought us back into a world we once loved while also making it feel new.

 

Rufus Sewell as Charles in OLD
OLD (Universal)

BEST MAKE-UP & HAIR

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

House of Gucci

Nightmare Alley

Old

Titane

  • The Eyes of Tammy Faye and House of Gucci might have the most makeup, but the progression of the makeup in M. Night Shyamalan’s Old is one of the movie’s great magic tricks.

 

Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Burbank in THE POWER OF THE DOG
THE POWER OF THE DOG (Netflix)

BEST SCORE

Dune

Nightmare Alley

Parallel Mothers

The Power of the Dog

Spencer

  • Jonny Greenwood had one hell of a year, composing the scores for Licorice Pizza, Spencer, and the best of the year, The Power of the Dog.

 

Daniel Craig as James Bond in NO TIME TO DIE
NO TIME TO DIE (MGM)

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“Beyond the Shore” – CODA

“Just Look Up” – Don’t Look Up

“Waiting on a Miracle” – Encanto

“Guns Go Bang” – The Harder They Fall

“No Time to Die” – No Time to Die

  • Billy Eilish’s haunting Bond theme is one of the franchise’s best and the perfect song to end Daniel Craig’s reign as James Bond.

 

 

 

 

 

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