2021 Endy Awards

These are the 2021 Endy Awards, wherein I pretend to give out maneki-neko statues to the best movies, performances, etc of this year in film. Awards for many other years can be found in the Rankings & Awards Index. Eligibility is determined by imdb date and by whether or not I’ve seen the movie in question. Films are presented in alphabetical order, and the winners are in bold. As always, the awards and nominees are subject to change as I watch more movies. And the Endy goes to. . .

Best Picture:

1. Benedetta
2. Drive My Car
3. Get Back
4. In Front of Your Face
5. Karnan
6. Licorice Pizza
7. The Night
8. Shadow Kingdom
9. West Side Story
10. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

Best Director:

1. Paul Verhoeven, Benedetta
2. Hamaguchi Ryūsuke, Drive My Car
3. Hong Sangsoo, In Front of Your Face
4. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story
5. Hamaguchi Ryūsuke, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

Best Actor:

1. Oscar Isaac, The Card Counter
2. Nishijima Hidetoshi, Drive My Car
3. Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah
4. Dhanush, Karnan
5. Matt Damon, The Last Duel
6. Cooper Hoffman, Licorice Pizza
7. Gordon Lam, Limbo
8. Scott Adkins, One Shot
9. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog
10. Bob Dylan, Shadow Kingdom

Best Actress:

1. Izawa Saori, Baby Assassins
2. Takaishi Akari, Baby Assassins
3. Virginie Efira, Benedetta
4. Alyssa Chia, The Falls
5. Nina Bergman, Hell Hath No Fury
6. Lee Hyeyoung, In Front of Your Face
7. Rajisha Vijayan, Karnan
8. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza
9. Jeon Jong-seo, Nothing Serious
10. Anna Cobb, We’re All Going to the World’s Fair

Supporting Actor:

1. Jeffrey Wright, The French Dispatch
2. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
3. Ben Affleck, The Last Duel
4. David Alvarez, West Side Story
5. Mike Faist, West Side Story
6. Shibukawa Kiyohiko, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

Supporting Actress:

1. Daphne Patakia, Benedetta
2. Charlotte Rampling, Benedetta
3. Park Yoorim, Drive My Car
4. Ana de Armas, No Time to Die
5. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
6. Urabe Fusako, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

Original Screenplay:

1. Sakamoto Yugo, Baby Assassins
2. Hong Sangsoo, In Front of Your Face
4. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
3. Qiu Jiongjiong, A New Old Play
5. Hamaguchi Ryūsuke, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

Adapted Screenplay:

1. Hosoda Mamoru, Belle
2. David Birke & Paul Verhoeven, Benedetta
3. Hamaguchi Ryūsuke & Oe Takamasa, Drive My Car
4. Lana Wachowski, David Mitchell & Aleksandar Hemon, The Matrix Resurrections
5. Tony Kushner, West Side Story

English Language Film:

1. The French Dispatch (Wes Anderson)
2. Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)
3. Shadow Kingdom (Alma Har’el)
4. West Side Story (Steven Spielberg)
5. Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched (Kier-La Janisse)

Non-English Language Film:

1. Benedetta (Paul Verhoeven)
2. Drive My Car (Hamaguchi Ryūsuke)
3. In Front of Your Face (Hong Sangsoo)
4. The Night (Tsai Ming-liang)
5. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Hamaguchi Ryūsuke)

Non-Fiction Feature Film:

1. Get Back (Peter Jackson)
2. The History of the Atlanta Falcons (Jon Bois)
3. Shadow Kingdom (Alma Har’el)
4. The Velvet Underground (Todd Haynes)
5. Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched (Kier-La Janisse)

Animated Film:

1. Belle (Hosoda Mamoru)
2. Evangelion 3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon a Time (Anno Hideaki)
3. Inu-oh (Yuasa Masaaki)
4. Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas (Steve Cox)
5. Pompo: The Cinephile (Hirao Takayuki)

Short Film:

1. The Night (Tsai Ming-liang)
2. Sycorax (Lois Patiño & Matías Piñeiro)

Unseen Film:

1. Annette (Leos Carax)
2. Macbeth (Joel Coen)
3. Memoria (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
4. 77 Heartwarmings (Herman Yau)
5. What We See When We Look at the Sky (Alexandre Koberidze)

Film Editing:

1. Drive My Car
2. Karnan
3. Licorice Pizza
4. The Velvet Underground
5. West Side Story


1. Cliff Walkers
2. The Green Knight
3. Licorice Pizza
4. One Shot
5. West Side Story

Art Direction:

1. Dune
2. Limbo
3. A New Old Play
4. West Side Story
5. A Writer’s Odyssey

Costume Design:

1. Cliff Walkers
2. The French Dispatch
3. Licorice Pizza
4. The Power of the Dog
5. West Side Story

Make-up and Hair:

1. The French Dispatch
2. Licorice Pizza
3. Malignant
4. Old
5. West Side Story

Original Score:

1. Dune
2. The French Dispatch
3. The Green Knight
4. Karnan
5. The Power of the Dog

Adapted Score:

1. Can’t Get You Out of My Head
2. The French Dispatch
3. Licorice Pizza
4. Shadow Kingdom
5. West Side Story


1. Baby Assassins
2. The Fable: The Killer Who Doesn’t Kill
3. Kate
4. One Shot
5. West Side Story


1. Drive My Car
2. Dune
3. Get Back
4. Licorice Pizza
5. West Side Story

Sound Editing:

1. Get Back
2. The Matrix Resurrections
3. Spider-Man: No Way Home
4. The Velvet Underground
5. Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Visual Effects:

1. Cloudy Mountain
2. Dune
3. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
4. Venom: Let There Be Carnage
5. A Writer’s Odyssey

The Best Older Movies I Saw in 2021

An annual tradition here at The End, this is a look at my favorite film discoveries of the year, any movie more than a few years old that I saw for the first time in 2021. Previous years include: 2020, 2019201820172016201520142013201220112010200920082007, and 2006. I watched just over 260 films this year, less than a quarter of which qualified for this list. Here are 55 of my favorites.

1. His Motorbike, Her Island (Ōbayashi Nobuhiko, 1986)
2. The Great Silence (Sergio Corbucci, 1968)
3. Yokohama BJ Blues (Kudō Eiichi, 1981)
4. The Shooting (Monte Hellman, 1966)
5. Hercules in the Haunted World (Mario Bava, 1961)
6. Django (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
7. Mirage (Tsui Siu-ming, 1987)
8. The Gunfighter (Henry King, 1950)
9. Hard Rain (Jacques Levy, 1976)
10. Conquest (Lucio Fulci, 1983)

11. Neil Young: Heart of Gold (Jonathan Demme, 2006)
12. Ride in the Whirlwind (Monte Hellman, 1966)
13. Hercules and the Captive Women (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1961)
14. The Iron Rose (Jean Rollin, 1973)
15. Jerichow (Christian Petzold, 2008)
16. Navajo Joe (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
17. Black Sunday (Mario Bava, 1960)
18. Queen of Sports (Sun Yu, 1934)
19. Debra Paget, For Example (Mark Rappaport, 2016)
20. The Street Fighter (Ozawa Shigehiro, 1974)

21. Ulysses (Mario Camerini, 1954)
22. The Cat o’Nine Tails (Dario Argento, 1971)
23. The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973)
24. Every Which Way But Loose (James Fargo, 1978)
25. The Holiday (Nancy Meyers, 2006)
26. Rust Never Sleeps (Neil Young, 1979)
27. The Mysterious Rider (Riccardo Freda, 1948)
28. Festival! (Murray Lerner, 1967)
29. The Road to Fort Alamo (Mario Bava, 1964)
30. The Eiger Sanction (Clint Eastwood, 1975)

31. Iron Angels 2 (Teresa Woo, 1987)
32. Erik the Conquerer (Mario Bava, 1961)
33. Ninja, a Band of Assassins (Yamamoto Satsuo, 1962)
34. Scream 3 (Wes Craven, 2000)
35. Bury Me High (Tsui Siu-ming, 1991)
36. Hercules Unchained (Pietro Francisci, 1959)
37. China 9, Liberty 37 (Monte Hellman, 1978)
38. The American Epic (Bernard MacMahon, 2017)
39. The Mystery of Chess Boxing (Joseph Kuo, 1979)
40. The Other Side of the Mirror (Murray Lerner, 2007)

41. Iron Angels 3 (Teresa Woo, 1989)
42. Red Hollywood (Thom Andersen & Noël Burch, 1996)
43. Scream 4 (Wes Craven, 2011)
44. Hercules (Pietro Francisci, 1958)
45. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (Brad Silberling, 2004)
46. Akeelah and the Bee (Doug Atchison, 2006)
47. Corpse Bride (Tim Burton & Mike Johnson, 2005)
48. Feel Like Going Home (Martin Scorsese, 2003)
49. Trouble No More (Jennifer LeBeau, 2017)

50. Fatal Termination (Andrew Kam, 1990)
51. Jumanji (Joe Johnston, 1995)
52. The Rocketeer (Joe Johnston, 1991)
53. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (Danny Cannon, 1998)
54. Paper Marriage (Alfred Cheung, 1988)
55. Princess Madam (Godfrey Ho, 1989)

Books of 2021

This is a ranked list of the books I finished reading in 2021:

1. Moby-Dick, Herman Melville
2. Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson
3. Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
4. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
5. Hard Times, Charles Dickens
6. As You Like It, William Shakespeare
7. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Unknown
8. The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler
9. The Old Weird America, Greil Marcus
10. Hawkeye, Matt Fraction
11. The Dragon Waiting, John M. Ford
12. Nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson
13. The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
14. All of the Marvels, Douglas Wolk
15. Shakey, Jimmy McDonough
16. Watching the River Flow, Paul Williams
17. Performing Artist 1960-1973, 1974-1986, & 1986-1990 & Beyond, Paul Williams
18. Crabgrass Frontier, Kenneth T. Jackson
19. The ABC Murders, Agatha Christie
20. A Hundred Years of Japanese Film, Donald Richie
21. Alright Alright Alright, Melissa Maerz
22. When We Were Good, Robert Cantwell
23. Bob Dylan, Greil Marcus
24. Sketches by Boz, Charles Dickens
25. Neil Young: Love to Burn, Paul Williams
26. Hellboy Vol. 1, Mike Mignola
27. True Believer, Abraham Riesman
28. Revolution in the Air & Still on the Road, Clinton Heylin
29. One More Night, Andrew Muir
30. The Time Machine Did It, John Swartzwelder

And here are the books I’m still working on, in order of how long I’ve been reading them:

  1. Against the Day, Thomas Pynchon
  2. The Fourth World Omnibus, Jack Kirby
  3. The Path to Power, Robert Caro
  4. City of Quartz, Mike Davis
  5. Emerson: The Mind on Fire, Robert D. Richardson
  6. The History of Jazz, Ted Gioia
  7. Don Quixote, Cervantes
  8. American Renaissance, FO Matthiessen
  9. The Ramayana: A New Retelling, Linda Egenes & Kumuda Reddy
  10. James Joyce, Richard Ellman
  11. Before the Storm, Rick Perlstein
  12. Debt: the First 5000 Years, David Graeber
  13. Crisis on Infinite Earths (plus Crossovers), Marv Wolfman, etc
  14. Bach: The Learned Musician, Christoph Wolff
  15. The Story of the Stone (Dream of the Red Chamber), Cao Xueqin
  16. Dickens, Peter Ackroyd
  17. The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens
  18. Chaucer: A European Life, Marion Turner
  19. The Canterbury Tales (Riverside), Geoffrey Chaucer
  20. The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, Robert E. Howard
  21. The Dawn of Everything, David Graeber & David Wengrow
  22. The Annotated Arabian Nights, trans. Yasmine Seale
  23. The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Robert Irwin
  24. Revolution in the Head, Ian MacDonald
  25. Player Piano, Kurt Vonnegut
  26. Norwood, Charles Portis