What I Voted For: Buffa’s 2021 St. Louis Film Critics award ballot

You know what’s worse than spoiled shrimp? Stalling an article that revolves solely around picks and decisions with a long-winded and mostly meaningless opening paragraph. All I’ll say before we launch is that 2021 was the year of the indie delights, at least on my ballot.

Here are my picks for the 2021 St. Louis Film Critics awards. This isn’t my final ballot, where voters chose the best choice on a ballot with 5-6 choices per category. This is my initial ballot, listing all the films and categories I wanted to vote for and in. They are weighted, meaning #1 holds the most points while #5 holds the least.

Best Film

1) Pig

2) C’mon C’mon

3) The Tender Bar

4) Nine Days

5) The Dig


Best Director

1) Michael Sarnoski, Pig

2) Mike Mills, C’mon C’mon

3) Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza

4) Janicza Bravo, Zola

5) George Clooney, The Tender Bar


Best Actor

1) Nicolas Cage, Pig

2) Will Smith, King Richard

3) Joaquin Phoenix, C’mon C’mon

4) Ralph Fiennes, The Dig

5) Winston Duke, Nine Days


Best Actress

1) Kristen Stewart, Spencer

2) Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

3) Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza

4) Rosamund Pike, I Care a Lot

5) Lady Gaga, House of Gucci


Best Supporting Actor

1) Ciaran Hinds, Belfast

2) Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar

3) Jason Isaacs, Mass

4) Colman Domingo, Zola

5) Reed Birney, Mass


Best Supporting Actress

1) Caitriona Balfe, Belfast

2) Ann Dowd, Mass

3) Nina Arianda, Being the Ricardos

4) Polly Draper, Shiva Baby

5) Martha Plimpton, Mass


Best Ensemble

1) Belfast

2) Licorice Pizza


4) Pig

5) The Dig


Best Screenplay (Adapted)


2) Tick, Tick… Boom!

3) The Tender Bar

4) Nightmare Alley

5) The Dig


Best Screenplay (Original)

1. Pig

2) C’mon C’mon

3) Mass

4) Nine Days

5) Licorice Pizza


Best Cinematography

1) Belfast

2) Zola

3) Last Night in Soho

4) Nightmare Alley

5) Licorice Pizza


Best Editing

1) Pig

2) C’mon C’mon

3) Flee

4) Belfast

5) Nobody


Best Production Design

1) Last Night in Soho

2) Cruella

3) Nightmare Alley

4) Pig

5) Belfast


Best Costume

1) Cruella

2) Last Night in Soho

3) Zola

4) Dune

5) Spencer


Best Visual Effects

1) Finch

2) A Quiet Place Part II

3) Nightmare Alley

4) Dune

5) Nobody


Best Score

1) C’mon C’mon

2) Pig

3) The Mitchells versus the Machines

4) Power of the Dog

5) A Quiet Place II


Best Soundtrack

1) Cruella

2) Belfast

3) The Tender Bar

4) Last Night in Soho

5) The Card Counter


Best Comedy

1) Free Guy

2) Ghostbusters: Afterlife

3) I Care A Lot

4) Shiva Baby

5) Together Together


Best Animated Feature

1) The Mitchells Versus The Machines

2) Flee

3) Luca

4) Vivo

5) Raya and the Last Dragon


Best International Film

1) Flee

2) Riders of Justice

3) Drive My Car

4) Titane

5) Lamb


Best Horror Film

1) A Quiet Place Part II

2) Malignant

3) Halloween Kills

4) Lamb

5) Candyman


Best Action Film

1) Nobody

2) Wrath of Man

3) The Protégé

4) Copshop

5) Riders of Justice


Best Scene

1) Dinner table in “Pig”

2) Jay talking about son’s final moments, “Mass”

3) Kids taking down monsters in “A Quiet Place II” climax

4) “I’ll remember for you” in “C’mon C’mon”

5) Bus fight in “Nobody”


Best Documentary

1) Flee

2) Val

3) Summer of Soul

4) Crime of the Century

5) Sparks Brothers

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