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With the movie awards season in full swing, several critic's groups met today to award their prizes for the best of the year, and while the love was spread all over the place-- there is definitely no runaway critical success like The Hurt Locker or The Social Network this year-- one film seemed to get the lion's share of attention. A few weeks after winning the Best PIcture and Best Director prizes from the early-voting New York FIlm Critic's Circle, The Artist took both prizes from the New York Film Critics Online, and was named Best Picture by the Boston Film Critic's Society as well. A number of other critic's groups also announced their nominees, and The Artist was included there as well, such as the nominee list from the Detroit Film Critic's Society.
The Los Angeles Film Critics also voted today, but as usual, managed to go their own way-- they named The Descendants their best film and Terrence Malick Best Director for Tree of LIfe, in addition to a true out-of-left-field choice, the Korean actress Yun Jung-hee for Poetry. The Tree of Life factored into other critic's awards too, with Jessica Chastain winning Breakthrough Performer from the New York Film Critics Online for her role in that and several other films from this year; the film also won Best Cinematography from the online group, though it's hard to imagine any critic's group taking a stand for a different film. There was lots of other good work this year, though pretty much only one right choice.
Below is a selected list of the winners from the New York Online Critics, the Boston Flim Critics, the Los Angeles Film Critics and the AFI Top Ten, which was also released today. Unlike in previous years, where The Social Network, The Hurt Locker and No Country for Old Men ran away with every critic's prize, there's no real consensus here this year-- though the critical support for the crowdpleasing The Artist bodes well for its Oscar chances. When the Golden Globes nominations come out on December 15, we may start to get an even better sense of where the critics and the more mainstream picks diverge.
All critic lists via the indispensable Awards Daily.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
BEST PICTURE, Winner: “The Descendants.” Runner-Up: “The Tree of Life.”
BEST DIRECTOR, Winner: Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life.” Runner-Up: Martin Scorsese, “Hugo.”
BEST ACTOR, Winner: Michael Fassbender, “A Dangerous Method,” “Jane Eyre,” “Shame,” “X-Men: First Class.” Runner-Up: Michael Shannon, “Take Shelter.”
BEST ACTRESS, Winner: Yun Jung-hee, “Poetry.” Runner-Up: Kirsten Dunst, “Melancholia.”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, Winner: Jessica Chastain, “Coriolanus,” “The Debt,” “The Help,” “Take Shelter,” “Texas Killing Fields,” “Tree of Life” Runner-Up: Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs.”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, Winner: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners.”Runner-Up: Patton Oswalt, “Young Adult.”
FILM: "The Artist"
DIRECTOR: Michal Hazanavicius for "The Artist"
ACTOR: Michael Shannon for "Take Shelter"
ACTRESS: Meryl Streep for "The Iron Lady"
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Albert Brooks for "Drive"
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Melissa McCarthy for "Bridesmaids"
CINEMATOGRAPHY: "The Tree of Life" - Emmanuel Lubezki
SCREENPLAY: "The Descendants" - Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
FOREIGN LANGUAGE PICTURE: "A Separation"
DOCUMENTARY: "Cave of Forgotten Dreams"
ANIMATED FEATURE: "The Adventures of Tin Tin"
USE OF MUSIC: "The Artist" - Ludovic Bource
BREAKOUT PERFORMER: Jessica Chastain for "The Tree of Life, "The Help,"The Debt," "Take Shelter"
DEBUT AS DIRECTOR: Joe Cornish for "Attack the Block"
ENSEMBLE CAST: "Bridesmaids"
TOP PICTURES OF 2011 (alphabetical)
"The Artist" (The Weinstein Company)
"The Descendants" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
"Drive" (Film District)
"The Help" (Walt Disney Pictures)
"Hugo" (Paramount Pictures)
"Melancholia" (Magnolia Pictures)
"Midnight in Paris" (Sony Pictures Classics)
"Take Shelter" (Sony Pictures Classics)
"The Tree of Life" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
"War Horse" (Dreamworks Pictures)
Best Picture - The Artist
Best Actor - Brad Pitt for Moneyball
Best Actress - Michelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn
Best Supporting Actor - Albert Brooks for Drive
Best Supporting Actress - Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids
Best Director - Martin Scorsese for Hugo
Best Screenplay - Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin for Moneyball
Best Cinematography - Emmanuel Lubezki for The Tree of Life
Best Documentary - Project Nim
Best Foreign-Language Film - Incendies
Best Animated Film - Rango
Best Film Editing (awarded in memory of Karen Schmeer) - Christian Marclay for The Clock
Best New Filmmaker (awarded in memory of David Brudnoy) - Sean Durkin for Martha Marcy May Marlene
Best Ensemble Cast - Carnage
Best Use of Music in a Film - Tie: Drive and The Artist