Dublin Film Critics Circle announce 2021 awards

Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog was the big winner at the Dublin Film Critics Circle awards for 2021. The New Zealand director’s already highly acclaimed adaptation of Thomas Savage’s neo-western won best film, best director, best screenplay and, for Benedict Cumberbatch, best actor at the annual poll. Cumberbatch plays a Montana rancher in the 1920s whose life frays when his more timid brother marries a local widow. Campion won best director at the Venice Film Festival and the Netflix release has already taken multiple prizes from critics’ bodies throughout the world. It is rare for any film to score so highly with the DFCC.

Frances McDormand, who won best actress at this year’s Oscars for Nomadland, takes the equivalent prize from the DFCC jointly for her work on that film — released here in 2021 — and on Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth. Her performance as Lady Macbeth in the Shakespeare adaptation can be seen in cinemas from December 27th. Greig Fraser won best cinematography for his work on Denis Villeneuve’s epic science fiction release Dune.

First premiered in 2019, Tomás Ó Súilleabháin’s Arracht, a powerful tale from the Famine years, finally went on theatrical release in 2021 and won best Irish film from the critics. It was a competitive year in domestic cinema with Tadhg O’Sullivan’s To The Moon, Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor’s Rose Plays Julie, Phyllida Lloyd’s Herself and Cathy Brady’s Wildfire also receiving multiple votes.

Ahmir “ Questlove” Thompson’s crowd-pleasing Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could not Be Televised), a study of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, took best documentary from the Dublin critics. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, Questlove’s film features performances from Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, The Staple Singers and many others.

A degree of normality returned to the poll this year. As was the case in 2020, following Covid rearrangements, streaming releases were eligible, but the majority of winning titles did play in cinemas. Runners up in best film included Dune, Nomadland, The Green Knight and Another Round.

The Dublin Film Critics Circle comprises professional critics working regularly in the Irish capital. The body also hands out awards at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival.


  1. The Power of the Dog
  2. Dune
  3. Nomadland
  4. The Green Knight
  5. Another Round
  6. Promising Young Woman
  7. The Father
  8. Minari
  9. Pig
  10. Azor


  1. Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
  2. Denis Villeneuve, Dune
  3. Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
  4. David Lowery, The Green Knight
  5. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story
  6. Céline Sciamma, Petite Maman
  7. Leos Carax, Annette
  8. Michael Sarnoski, Pig
  9. Darius Marder, Sound of Metal
  10. Ben Sharrock, Limbo


  1. Summer of Soul
  2. Acasa, My Home
  3. The Sparks Brothers
  4. To the Moon
  5. Gunda
  6. The 8th
  7. Breaking Out
  8. Love Yourself Today
  9. The Truffle Hunters
  10. The Rescue


  1. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog
  2. Anthony Hopkins, The Father
  3. Oscar Isaac, The Card Counter
  4. Mads Mikkelsen, Another Round
  5. Nicolas Cage, Pig
  6. Steven Yeun, Minari
  7. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
  8. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
  9. Luca Marinelli, Martin Eden
  10. Stanley Tucci, Supernova


  1. Frances McDormand, The Tragedy of Macbeth; Nomadland
  2. Kristen Stewart, Spencer
  3. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman
  4. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
  5. Natasa Stork, Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time
  6. Jodie Comer, The Last Duel
  7. Deragh Campbell, Anne at 13,000 Ft.
  8. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
  9. Claire Dunne, Herself
  10. Youn Yuh-jung, Minari


  1. Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
  2. Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
  3. David Lowery, The Green Knight
  4. Lawrence Michael Levine, Black Bear
  5. Thomas Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm, Another Round
  6. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
  7. Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
  8. Kelly Reichardt and Jonathan Raymond, First Cow
  9. Andreas Fontana and Mariano Llinás, Azor
  10. Ben Sharrock, Limbo


  1. Greig Fraser, Dune
  2. Andrew Droz Palermo, The Green Knight
  3. Ari Wegner, The Power of the Dog
  4. Claire Mathon, Spencer
  5. Janusz Kamiński, West Side Story
  6. Daria D’Antonio, The Hand of God
  7. Caroline Champetier, Annette
  8. Gabriel Sandru, Azor
  9. Nick Cooke, Limbo
  10. Anthony Scott Burns, Come True


  1. Arracht
  2. To the Moon
  3. Rose Plays Julie
  4. Herself
  5. Wildfire