And The Winners Are (2011 Version)

No new movies today, so we’ll continue Mega Movie Madness Week by running down the recently announced winners of the St. Louis Film Critics’ awards. Let’s see how far out of touch I am this year.

Best Film
The Artist – winner
The Descendants – runner up
My Week With Marilyn
Tree of Life

My vote: The Artist. All good choices (I was glad to see Drive in there) but The Artist was the standout.

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist – winner
Terrence Malick for Tree of Life – runner up
Alexander Payne for The Descendants
David Fincher for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive

My vote: Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist. Hey, I’m 2 for 2.

Best Actor
George Clooney for The Descendants – winner
Ryan Gosling for Drive – runner up
Jean Dujardin for The Artist
Gary Oldman for Tinker Tailor Soildier Spy
Michael Fassbender for Shame
Brad Pitt for Moneyball

My vote: Ryan Gosling for Drive. And so my streak ends, but at least my guy came in second. I curse Michael Fassbender for getting a nomination, thus forcing me to sit through Shame. If it had been for X-Men: First Class I might have voted for him.  

Best Actress
Rooney Mara for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – winner
Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady – runner up
Michelle Williams for My Week With Marilyn – runner
Saoirse Ronan for Hanna
Elizabeth Olsen for Martha Marcy May Marlene
Viola Davis for The Help

My vote: Meryl Streep, but I’m pleased to see Mara win. She was a close second.

Best Supporting Actor
Albert Brooks for Drive – winner
Alan Rickman for Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part 2 runner-up
John Hawkes for Martha Marcy May Marlene
John Goodman for The Artist
Jonah Hill for Moneyball

My vote: Alan Rickman. Choosing between Rickman and Brooks was the hardest vote I had to make. I’m glad to see Brooks win but I do feel that Alan Rickman was the best thing about the whole Harry Potter franchise. 

Best Supporting Actress
Bérénice Bejo for The Artist – winner
Shailene Woodley for The Descendants – runner up
Octavia Spencer for The Help – runner up
Cate Blanchett for Hanna
Jessica Chastain for Tree Of Life

Oops. Looking back at my ballot I forgot to vote in this category. If I had voted I would have gone with Shailene Woodley. Bejo was very good but I saw that role as a lead actress not a supporting.  

Best Original Screenplay
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist – winner
Will Reiser for 50/50 – runner up
Terrence Malick for Tree Of Life
Woody Allen for Midnight In Paris
Seth Lochhead and David Farr for Hanna
Thomas McCarthy and Joe Tiboni for Win Win

I didn’t vote because I haven’t seen Midnight in Paris. I did see 50/50 but couldn’t remember what it was about until I looked it up. If I had to choose one, I’d have gone with The Artist.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash and Kaui Hart Hemmings (novel) for The Descendants – winner
Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, Stan Chervin and Michael Lewis (book) for Moneyball – runner up
Tate Taylor and Kathryn Stockett (novel) for The Help
Hossein Amini and James Sallis (book) for Drive
Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller and Jim Henson (characters) for The Muppets

In every awards program there’s always at least one nomination that makes you go “What were they thinking?” For me, it’s The Muppets as Best Adapted Screenplay. Adapted from what? At any rate, once again I forgot to vote in a category (I hope I do better in next year’s presidential election) but if I had voted, I would have gone with Moneyball. Anyone who can take baseball and statistics and turn it into something entertaining deserves some kind of award.

Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki for Tree Of Life – winner
Janusz Kaminski for War Horse – runner up
Jeff Cronenweth for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – runner up
Newton Thomas Sigel for Drive
Guillaume Schiffman for The Artist

My vote: Emmanuel Lubezki for Tree Of Life. I originally voted for War Horse but changed my mind at the last minute. Dinosaurs should always triumph over horses.

Best Visual Effects
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part 2 – winner
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes – runner up
Tree Of Life
Super 8
Captain America

My vote: Harry Potter. I’m confused as to how Captain America and Super 8 got in this category over movies like Thor, Green Lantern, Transformers, Mission Impossible and Sucker Punch. Granted, some of those movies were lousy, but a movie doesn’t have to be good to have good special effects. Captain America was best known for the skinny Chris Evans effect, but I found that creepy and unrealistic. 

Best Music
The Artist – winner
Drive – runner up
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Muppets
Tree of Life

My vote: The Artist. Obviously a movie with no spoken dialogue is going to rely heavily on its music, and The Artist was up to the challenge. 

Best Foreign-Language Film
13 Assassins – winner
Winter in Wartime – runner up
Point Blank
I Saw The Devil

I saw three of the nominees, which is three more than I usually see in the foreign film category. I would’ve gone for 13 Assassins, although I would’ve been happy to see Trollhunter pull an upset.

Best Documentary
Being Elmo – winner
Tabloid – runner up
The Interrupters
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop

I watched three documentaries in recent months and none of them made the cut. 

Best Comedy
Bridesmaids – winner
Midnight In Paris – runner up
The Muppets
Crazy, Stupid, Love

I still haven’t got around to watching Bridesmaids. Maybe over the holidays. I didn’t know what Paul was until I looked it up and realized that, yes, I did see it. 

Best Animated Film
The Adventures of Tintin – winner
Rango – runner up
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss In Boots

Usually when it comes to this category I just look up whatever Pixar put out and vote accordingly, but this year they gave us Cars 2: Tow Mater’s Revenge, so the field was wide open. I didn’t see Rio so I was shut out of voting. I would’ve gone with Rango, or maybe Kung Fu Panda 2.

Best Art-House or Festival Film
(for excellence in art-house cinema, limited to films that played at film festivals or film series here or those that had a limited-release here, playing one or two cinemas.)

We Need To Talk About Kevin – winner
Win Win – runner up
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Tucker and Dale vs Evil

My vote: Win Win. You know it’s been an odd year when I haven’t seen all the animated films but I have seen all the art house films. Here I was torn between Win Win and Beginners but ultimately sided with the great Paul Giamatti.

Best Scene
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: opening credits – winner
The Artist: dance scene finale – runner up
Drive: the elevator beating scene
Drive: opening get-away scene
Melancholia: the last scene
Hanna: Hanna’s escape from captivity sequence

My vote: Hanna. I found the opening credits of Dragon Tattoo creepy and disturbing, which I’m sure was the point, but not something I would vote for.


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