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 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, Jim Rash, The Descendants

Best First Feature

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

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

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

Hello Lonesome
The Dynamiter

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, 50/50
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