LA film critics pick ‘Drive My Car’ as year’s best

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FILE - This image released by Janus Films and Sideshow shows Hidetoshi Nishijima, left, and Toko Miura in a scene from "Drive My Car." (Janus Films and Sideshow via AP, File)

LOS ANGELES – It was a showdown between Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car” and Jane Campion’s “ The Power of the Dog ” for members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, but the group managed to give top honors to both on Saturday.

The Japanese film “Drive My Car” was named best picture and “The Power of the Dog,” a Western drama set in 1925, got runner up. Campion, meanwhile, received best director with Hamaguchi as her runner up.

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Simon Rex took best actor for his turn as an ex porn star in Sean Baker’s “ Red Rocket,” and Penelope Cruz was named best actress for playing a photographer and new mother in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Parallel Mothers.”

Supporting actress went to Ariana DeBose, who plays Anita in “West Side Story,” while supporting actor was a tie between Vincent London for “Titane” and Kodi Smit-McPhee for “The Power of the Dog.”

The nonfiction film “ Flee, " about an Afghan refugee, got best animated film, while the documentary award went to Questlove's “ Summer of Soul," which chronicles a largely forgotten music festival in the summer of 1969.

“Our awards cover a lot of ground and genres and they also span the globe,” said Claudia Puig, the president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. “We are thrilled to spread our love and appreciation for this breadth of outstanding films.”

The LA group isn’t the first to single out “Drive My Car,” about a widowed actor and director and the relationship he develops with his chauffeur, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. The New York Film Critics Circle and the Boston Society of Film Critics awarded “Drive My Car” best picture honors as well. It also took best international feature at the Gotham Independent Film Awards.

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