Sunday, February 26, 2012

Best Film Awards for 2011

Current list of best film awards winners for 2011 releases
[Updated 2.27.12]


Cannes, Palm d’Or: The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
Malick has a degree in philosophy from Harvard, was a Rhodes scholar, and a professor at MIT. This is only his fifth film in 38 years, beginning with Badlands (1973). This film won't please the masses because it lacks a typically literary story with an easy to follow plot, but is one of the most visually stunning films ever made, on a very short list with 2001: A Space Odyssey, Seven Samurai and L'avventura.

Academy Awards: The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius)
British Academy Awards: The Artist
Independent Spirit Awards: The Artist
Golden Globe Awards: The Descendents (Drama), The Artist (Musical/Comedy)

Directors Guild Awards: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Producers Guild Awards: The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius)
Screen Actors Guild Awards: The Help (Ensemble Cast)

I know a lot of people like to scoff at these, notably those who think each Harry Potter film is the best of the year, but the critics are the people who watch hundreds of films annually, so it takes a creative work of artistry to even get their attention and keep them awake amid a plethora of crime, teen comedy, vampire, and gore films.

The Broadcast Film Critics Association: The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius) A silent film?
Online Film Critics Society: The Tree of Life

Austin Film Critics: Hugo (Martin Scorsese)
Boston Society of Film Critics: The Artist
Capri Hollywood: The Artist
Chicago Film Critics Association: The Tree of Life
Dallas-Ft Worth Film Critics: The Descendants (Alexander Payne)
Gotham Awards: The Tree of Life
Hamptons Int’l Film Festival, Audience Award: The Artist
London Critics Circle: not awarded yet
Los Angeles Film Critics: The Descendants (2nd: Tree of Life)
National Board of Review: Hugo (Martin Scorsese)
National Society of Film Critics: Melancholia (Lars Von Trier) 2nd: Tree of Life, Hugo
New York Film Critics Circle: The Artist
Phoenix Film Critics Soceity: The Artist
San Diego Film Critics: not awarded yet
San Francisco Film Critics: The Tree of Life
Satellite Awards: not awarded yet
Toronto Film Critics: The Tree of Life
Washington DC Area Film Critics: The Artist

The Artist (#196 at IMDB) has currently won 74 awards, the most this year so far

The Tree of Life (my favorite so far) has currently won 45 awards out of 67 nominations. It's ranked higher by critics, 85, than fans, 73, typical for a cinematic work of art without a simplistic plot.

The Descendants has currently won 42 awards

Drive (#208 at IMDB) has currently won 38 awards
I liked this a lot, it should have been nominated for best picture; a review is to follow shortly.

Hugo (#205 at IMDB) has currently won 39 awards

The Help has currently won 40 awards (ranked much higher by fans, 81, than critics, 62) I grew up in this environment in Georgia, so this will strike an honest and nostalgic chord for me.

Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen), has won 13 awards
A beautiful Woody Allen fantasy about the immortality of art and artists, and how great art (primarily literature and visual arts) can influence lives for generations, all centered around creative artists who spent time in Paris: Cole Porter, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Luis Bunuel, Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Salvador Dali ("I paint you, with your lips melting into the sand - and of course, a rhinoceros!"), and Toulouse-Lautrec are just a few of the famous artists who come alive for Owen Wilson on his post-midnight walks around Paris. Most of the awards are for Allen's screenplay, which should be a favorite for an Oscar. As an artist (painting and writing) this film reinforced my lifelong belief in the power of creativity.

Senna, a documentary about Gran Prix driver Ayrton Senna, has won 8 awards
This is without doubt the scariest, least controllable sport in the world. My favorite computer game program ever is the Gran Prix simulator from the early 90's - just a 15 minute race left me shaking and stressed, and these guys drive for two hours with their lives on the line. I could never last that long even in a game, not without a morphine drip.

War Horse has currently won 5 awards

We’re not including film festivals since those aren’t typically open for all films, just films entered and accepted into the various festivals.

Actress Jessica Chastain, who is a breakthrough winner this year for The Tree of Live and other films (The Help, The Debt, Texas Killing Fields, Coriolanus, Take Shelter), has already won 17 awards out of 29 nominations

Actor Albert Brooks has won 8 awards for supporting actor in Drive [photo below]. I'm glad, he only won 3 for Broadcast News, and has been overlooked both as a screenwriter and an actor, so this is the most awards he's ever received in his long career.

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