"Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange." -Inception

Friday, December 2, 2011

New York Film Critics and National Board Review announce the best of the year.

It's December, which officially heralds the start of awards season with the critics across America bring out their "best of" lists.  Up first was the New York Film Critics Circle which handed out their awards.  Here is the list.

Best Picture: The Artist
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life)
Best Screenplay: Steven Zaillian and 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 Actress: Jessica Chastain (The Tree Of Life, The Help and Take Shelter)
Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks (Drive)
Best Nonfiction Film: Cave Of Forgotten Dreams
Best First Feature: Margin Call2011 Special Award: Raoul Ruiz (posthumous)

Surprises? Brad Pitt for Moneyball when most people might have assumed George Clooney or even Michael Fassbender as Best Actor.  The absence of the other actresses from The Help is also noticeable.  No surprise at Meryl Streep winning yet another Best Actress accolade.  She may be accepting her third (but long overdue) Oscar of her career.  But a great opening for The Artist which many people assume is going to win the big prize come Oscar night.

Onto the National Board of Review and their favorite films of the year.

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 Filmmaking: The Harry Potter Franchise – A Distinguished Translation from Book to Film
Top Films
(in alphabetical order)
The Artist
The Descendants
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Ides of March
J. Edgar
Tree of Life
War Horse
Top 5 Foreign Language Films
(in Alphabetical Order)
13 Assassins
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within
Le Havre
Point Blank
Top 5 Documentaries
(in Alphabetical Order)
Born to be Wild
George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Project Nim
Top 10 Independent Films
(in Alphabetical Order)
Another Earth
A Better Life
Cedar Rapids
Margin Call
Take Shelter
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Win Win
I'm really happy to see Martin Scorsese's first foray into 3D win a big prize.  I can't wait to see Hugo.  I'm also happy to see the final Harry Potter and Rango get some well-deserved recognition.  Point to be noted, these winners were decidedly different than the New York Film Critics Circle.  Who can be called a frontrunner now? Let's wait and watch.  

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