‘The Power of the Dog’ Wins Its 21st Best Picture Prize, Surpassing ‘Roma’ for New


Netflix has been looking for its first best picture Oscar for the past few years. With the winners now announced for the North Dakota Film Critics, “The Power of the Dog” takes home its 21st awards season prize for best picture. The streamer has now surpassed its best awards season record, set by the 20 best picture prizes won by Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” (2018).

The last three awards seasons have seen the streaming giant fall short in favor of another film that benefits from a preferential ballot system. As a result, we’ve witnessed “Green Book” over “Roma,” “Parasite” over “The Irishman” and “Nomadland” over “Mank.”

Netflix’s win over the weekend from the Kansas City Film Critics, the second-oldest professional film critics association in the United States, tied their season-best. Looking forward, will that bring them their long-sought-after best picture trophy from the Academy Awards?

We’re 11 days from the opening of Oscar nomination voting. The contenders at the top of our Oscar prediction charts have started to separate themselves from the pack, while those towards the mid-range or presumed bottom might already be thinking about their next projects or looking ahead to the upcoming Emmy season, which is just a few months away.

The SAG nominations turned an already unordinary awards season into an utterly anxious one. Netflix’s “The Power of the Dog” and Focus Features’ “Belfast” look destined to battle it out for the top prize on Oscar night, but one point always remains clear and valid: critics groups don’t determine the Oscar race, Oscar voters do.

The films and performances that ultimately lead the winner tallies hardly ever amount to an Oscar statuette, with the year of “Roma” being a prime example. Cuarón’s drama about his childhood was the critical darling, leading in the precursors, only closely matched by Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite.” As history shows, Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book” emerged victorious, without a best director nod, and took home two other prizes for original screenplay and supporting actor for Mahershala Ali. The film didn’t lead in any category during its season.

Power of the Dog Film Editing

Lighter, more audience-friendly filmmaking has always benefited movies on a preferential ballot voting system, which is why so many pundits have anointed Kenneth Branagh’s portrait of his childhood the frontrunner. This isn’t to say that “Belfast” is anything like “Green Book” in story structure or tone, and we don’t see it eliciting the same divided responses on Film Twitter as Farrelly’s did during its run. Still, journalists have clear favorites based on the best picture winners across the country.

Looking back on years where an actor had the most precursors and failed to nab an Oscar nod, none is more pronounced than Ethan Hawke’s run for lead actor in “First Reformed.” Though Paul Schrader captured an original screenplay mention, Hawke’s 27 wins could only translate into a Critics Choice mention in the televised sector. That brings us to Kristen Stewart’s turn in “Spencer,” who was the jaw-dropping shocking omission from the SAG noms.

Dominating the best actress wins with 21, Stewart’s second closest competitor, Alana Haim in “Licorice Pizza,” only has six. If you include Haim’s seven breakthrough prizes, which critics are more mindful of splitting up between their winners, she has 13 individual citations for the season.

Stewart’s SAG miss is not necessarily a nail in the coffin — ask last year’s Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) and Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”) — but the chances of winning become an obstacle of its own. Only three actors in the history of the SAG Awards have been able to win without at least a nomination – Marcia Gay Harden in “Pollock” (2000), Christoph Waltz for “Django Unchained” (2012) and Regina King for “If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018). King, who was the critics’ darling with 34 wins, had the odds stacked against her as well. She won without an even more helpful BAFTA nod. Of course, Harden’s win trumps them both with only a single win from New York Film Critics and a nod from the Independent Spirit Awards, leading her to a stunning upset over that year’s Globe winner Kate Hudson (“Almost Famous”), SAG winner Judi Dench (“Chocolat”) and BAFTA winner Julie Walters (“Billy Elliot”).

Pundits also recall Olivia Colman’s stunning upset for “The Favourite” over presumed “lock” Glenn Close for “The Wife.” Colman also led the tally in best actress wins going into Oscar night. So perhaps the precursors can give us clues? Compared to last year, the numbers all seem to be on par, leading up to the ceremony.

Below, look at the top leaders for the year so far, compared to the film or performer from last year’s extended season.

Note: The tally is for winners announced up to Jan. 17, 2022. The 2020 data is based on 68 regional critics groups and major televised ceremonies, including the Academy Awards.

Best Picture

  1. The Power of the Dog” (Netflix) – 21
    “Nomadland” (37): won best picture
  2. Licorice Pizza” (MGM/United Artists Releasing) – 6
    “Promising Young Woman” (9): Oscar-nominated
  3. Drive My Car” (Janus Films/Sideshow) – 5
    “Minari” (7): Oscar-nominated
  4. Belfast” (Focus Features) – 4
    “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (3): Oscar-nominated
  5. CODA” (Apple Original Films) and “The Green Knight” (A24) – 2
    “First Cow” (2): Not nominated

Best Director

  1. Jane Campion (“The Power of the Dog”) – 32
    Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland” (54): won best director
  2. Denis Villeneuve (“Dune”) and Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (“Drive My Car”) – 3
    Regina King, “One Night in Miami” (4): Not nominated
  3. Guillermo del Toro (“Nightmare Alley”) – 2
    Spike Lee, “Da 5 Bloods” (2): Not nominated

Best Actor

  1. Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Power of the Dog”) – 18
    Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (27): Oscar-nominated
  2. Nicolas Cage (“Pig”) – 10
    Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal” (21): Oscar-nominated
  3. Andrew Garfield (“Tick, Tick … Boom!”) – 7
    Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods” (11): Not nominated 

**Best Actor winner Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) had six wins, placing him fourth in the season.

Best Actress

  1. Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”) – 21
    Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman” (27): Oscar-nominated
  2. Alana Haim (“Licorice Pizza”) – 6
    Frances McDormand, “Nomadland” (26): won best actress
  3. Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”), Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”), Penélope Cruz (“Parallel Mothers”) and Tessa Thompson (“Passing”) – 3
    Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (4): Oscar-nominated

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Power of the Dog”) – 22
    Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah” (21): won supporting actor
  2. Troy Kotsur (“CODA”) – 6
    Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal” (19): Oscar-nominated
  3. Bradley Cooper (“Licorice Pizza”) – 4
    Leslie Odom Jr, “One Night in Miami” (9): Oscar-nominated

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”) – 13
    Yuh-jung Youn, “Minari” (34): won supporting actress
  2. Ruth Negga (“Passing”) – 8
    Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (15): Oscar-nominated
  3. Kirsten Dunst (“The Power of the Dog”) – 7
    Amanda Seyfried, “Mank” (5): Oscar-nominated

Original Screenplay

  1. Licorice Pizza” (MGM/UAR) – 11
    “Promising Young Woman” (26): won original screenplay
  2. Belfast” (Focus Features) and “Mass” (Bleecker Street) – 6
    “Minari” (12): Oscar-nominated
  3. Pig” (Neon) – 3
    “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (7): Not nominated
    “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (7): Oscar-nominated

Adapted Screenplay

  1. The Power of the Dog” (Netflix) – 25
    “Nomadland” (20): Oscar-nominated
  2. Drive My Car” (Janus Films/Sideshow) – 7
    “The Father” (5): won adapted screenplay
    “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” (5): Not nominated
    “One Night in Miami” (5): Oscar-nominated
  3. CODA” (Apple Original Films) and “The Lost Daughter” (Netflix) – 2
    “First Cow” (3): Not nominated

Animated Feature

  1. The Mitchells vs. the Machines” (Netflix) – 26
    “Soul” (36): won animated feature
  2. Flee” (Neon) – 8
    “Wolfwalkers” (15): Oscar-nominated
  3. Encanto” – 6
    “Josep” (1): Not nominated
    “Lupin III: The First” (1): Not nominated
    “The Wolf House” (1): Not nominated

Production Design

  1. Dune” (Warner Bros) – 6
    “Mank” (22): won production design
  2. Nightmare Alley” (Searchlight Pictures) – 5
    “The Personal History of David Copperfield” (2): Not nominated
  3. The French Dispatch” (Searchlight Pictures) – 4
    “Birds of Prey” (1): Not nominated
    “First Cow” (1): Not nominated
    “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (1): Not nominated

Cinematography

  1. Dune” (Warner Bros) –…



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