A dark performance based on a truly horrific event, the father of a teen who wants to chase their singing dreams, and the man who is challenged to a duel to the death. There were plenty of supporting dramatic performances this year that hit hard.

Here are our picks for the Best Supporting Performances in a Drama Movie in 2021.

5.) Adam Driver (The Last Duel)

In The Last Duel, Adam Driver plays Jacques Le Gris, a man accused by Matt Damon’s character, Sir Jean de Carrouges, of sexually assaulting his wife. But the role isn’t one-dimensional, and Driver’s performance is never as clear-cut as similar roles in other films. He portrays the role usually filled with very stereotypical performances with a charm that can come off as ugly. Instead, the film’s structure lets you see Driver play Carrouges from three sides of the story, and it gives newfound freedom for such a role.

– Dylan Blight

4.) Jessica Henwick (The Matrix Resurrections)

A stand out of the new additions to the franchise, Jessica Henwick plays the captain of the hovercraft Mnemosyne and the instigator of the events of the film. Delivering a performance filled with charisma, Henwick is a fantastic addition to the Matrix franchise as she’s given the most Matrix-like action set pieces, jumping off from high places and doing cartwheels while fighting off agents. More great work from an actress building her reputation as an action star.

– Ashley Hobley

The Matrix Resurrections Review

“The supporting cast is fantastic as well with Jessica Henwick and Jonathan Groff being great additions to the world.”

The Matrix Trilogy [Blu-ray]

3.) Tony Leung Chiu-wai (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings)

Tony Leung is a living legend of Asian cinema, so his presence alone was a big deal for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. As the true leader of the Ten Rings organization and Shang Chi’s father, Leung gives the MCU one of its more interesting and impactful villains to date as a man driven to reunite his family, no matter the cost. Everything this film asks of him, whether it emotional scenes after the loss of his wife, big fight set pieces or moments of misguided faith in his cause, he absolutely hits out of the park.

– Ashley Hobley

2.) Judy Davis (Nitram)

As the hard-as-nails mother of Nitram, Judy Davis delivered one of the most haunting and sad portrayals in 2021. With every conversation with her son, you can see her trust, worry, and ultimately the confusion about how to raise and handle someone who shows many mental health issues from a very young age. Just before the credits roll, the film leaves you with a lasting and haunting shot of Davis, and it was the perfect bottle capture of her performance.

– Dylan Blight

Nitram Review

“Judy Davis in one of her best screen performances”

1.) Troy Kotsur (CODA)

As Ruby’s surprisingly boisterous deaf father Frank, Troy Kotsur gives an astounding performance that showed that you don’t need a voice to be funny or capture your heart. He provides a lot of comedic moments, a scene in which he tries to ask Ruby’s friend if he had brought condoms springs to mind. But it is the emotional moments and the arc of a fisherman who comes to see his daughter’s passion for music that was truly beautiful. A fantastic performance from a longtime actor who seized this opportunity with both hands.

– Ashley Hobley

Dylan Blight and Ashley Hobley compiled this Top 5 list. The movies nominated must have had a theatrical release in a cinema, VOD or on a streaming platform within December 27th 2020 – December 27th 2021.