Tuesday, December 6, 2011


The award season has officially been kicked off with two critics groups; New York Film Critics Circle and The National Board of Review declaring their picks for the best achievements in cinema during this year and the Independent Spirit Awards selecting their nominees.

Long before any announcements were even made, there was a little bit of controversy as The NYFCC decided to jump ahead of the NBR, who traditionally are the first to present their list of winners, to November 28th to proclaim their selections. However, that change created a problem for the New York critics as they were not able to see a few possible contenders because of their new date and even decided to push it back by a day to allow them to screen David Fincher's English- language remake of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". The group believes that this move will help them effectively affect the Oscar race but it's nothing more than delusional thinking as there is no way to get an accurate gauge of this year's best films if they haven't seen all of them before their new deadline.

This year, there seems to be no particular film that is dominating the awards as the picks are all over the place with no real front-runners for the coveted Oscar nominations, which leaves the field very wide open.  The good news is that hopefully this will lead to generating some new attention to some wonderful but challenging films that could always use a little more help in getting more people in to the theaters such as "The Artist", "Margin Call", "Drive" and "Take Shelter".

Here is the list  from the following groups:


Best Picture: "The Artist"

Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, "The Tree of Life"

Best Screenplay: Steven Zaillian & Aaron Sorkin, "Moneyball"

Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"

Best Foreign Language Film: "A Separation"

Best Actor: Brad Pitt, "Moneyball" & "The Tree of Life"

Best Actress: Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"

Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks, "Drive"

Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain, "The Tree of Life", "The Help", and "Take Shelter"

Best First Feature: "Margin Call"

Best Non-Fiction Film: "Cave of Forgotten Dreams"


Best Film: "Hugo"

Best Director: Martin Scorsese, "Hugo"

Best Actor: George Clooney, "The Descendants"

Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, "We Need to Talk About Kevin"

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"

Best Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants"

Best Original Screenplay: Will Reiser, "50/50"

Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, "The Descendants"

Best Animated Feature: "Rango"

Breakthrough Performance: Felicity Jones, "Like Crazy"

Breakthrough Performance: Rooney Mara, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

Debut Director: J.C. Chandor, "Margin Call"

Best Ensemble: "The Help"

Spotlight Award: Michael Fassbender ("A Dangerous Method", "Jane Eyre", "Shame", "X-Men: First Class")

NBR Freedom of Expression: "Crime After Crime"

NBR Freedom of Expression: "Pariah"

Best Foreign Language Film: "A Separation"

Best Documentary: "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory"

Special Achievement in Film Making: "The Harry Potter Franchise" - A Distinguished Translation from Book to Film


Here are the 2011 Indie Spirit nominations:

Best Feature

"Take Shelter"
"The Artist"
"The Descendants"

Best Director

Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Mike Mills, "Beginners"
Jeff Nichols, "Take Shelter"
Alexander Payne, "The Descendants"
Nicolas Winding Refn, "Drive"

Best Screenplay

Joseph Cedar, "Footnote"
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Tom McCarthy, "Win Win"
Mike Mills, "Beginners"
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, "The Descendants"

Best First Feature

"Another Earth"
"In the Family"
"Margin Call"
"Martha Marcy May Marlene"
"Natural Selection"

Best First Screenplay

Mike Cahill & Brit Marling, "Another Earth"
J.C. Chandor, "Margin Call"
Patrick deWitt, "Terri"
Phil Johnston, "Cedar Rapids"
Will Reiser, "50/50"

Best Female Lead

Lauren Ambrose, "Think of Me"
Rachael Harris, "Natural Selection"
Adepero Oduye, "Pariah"
Elizabeth Olsen, "Martha Marcy May Marlene"
Michelle Williams, "My Week with Marilyn"

Best Male Lead

Demián Bichir, "A Better Life"
Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
Ryan Gosling, "Drive"
Woody Harrelson, "Rampart"
Michael Shannon, "Take Shelter"

Best Supporting Female

Jessica Chastain, "Take Shelter"
Anjelica Huston, 5"0/50
Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs"
Harmony Santana, "Gun Hill Road"
Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants"

Best Supporting Male

Albert Brooks, "Drive"
John Hawkes, "Martha Marcy May Marlene"
Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"
John C. Reilly, "Cedar Rapids"
Corey Stoll, "Midnight in Paris"

Best Cinematography

Joel Hodge, "Bellflower"
Benjamin Kasulke, "The Off Hours"
Darius Khondji, "Midnight in Paris"
Guillaume Schiffman, "The Artist"
Jeffrey Waldron, "The Dynamiter"

Best Documentary

"An African Election"
"Bill Cunningham New York"
"The Interrupters"
"The Redemption of General Butt Naked"
"We Were Here"

Best International Film

"A Separation"
"The Kid With a Bike"

The Robert Altman Award (Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast):

"Margin Call"

The John Cassavetes Award – (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000)

"Hello Lonesome"
"The Dynamiter"