Boston and NYFCO Pick The Artist , L.A. Goes with The Descendants


It’s another furious day of film critics awards and honors. Three prominent film critics groups picked their best of the year with the Boston Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Online (aka NYFCO, of which’s Edward Douglas is a member) picked their top movies, performances and technical awards of the year.

The New York Film Critics Online and Boston Film Critics both picked Michel Hazanavicius’ silent film The Artist as their top movie of the year with NYFCO also honoring Hazanavicius, while Boston gave Martin Scorsese Best Director for his film Hugo. The L.A. Film Critics are the first group to honor Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, although NYFCO did give it an award for its screenplay, co-written by Payne.

The acting honors were all over the place with a couple of familiar names such as Brad Pitt for
Moneyball, picked by Boston, and NYFCO going with Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady, the previous picks by the New York Film Critics Circle. Los Angeles honored Michael Fassbender for every movie he was in this year including David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method and Steve McQueen’s Shame. NYFCO went with Michael Shannon for Take Shelter, a fairly new name in the race. (He was in a head-to-head battle with Shannon.)

Jessica Chastain received the Supporting Actress award from L.A. for her body of work, including The Tree of Life, The Help and four other films, while NYFCO considered her their Breakthrough Performer. NYFCO and Boston agreed on their supporting performances, honoring Albert Brooks for Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive and Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids.

Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki was the big winner in the Cinematography field, being honored by all three groups for his work on Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life with L.A. honoring Malick himself for his direction.

The Full Awards for each group is below:

New York Film Critics Online

Film – The Artist
Actor –Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)
Actress – Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
Director – Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
Supporting Actor – Albert Brooks (Drive)
Supporting Actress – Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)
Breakthrough Performer – Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life, The Debt, The Help, Take Shelter, Coriolanus, Texas Killing Fields)
Debut Director – Joe Cornish (Attack the Block)
Ensemble Cast –Bridesmaids
Screenplay – The Descendants (Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash) Documentary – Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Foreign Language – A Separation
Animated – The Adventures of Tintin
Cinematography – The Tree of Life (Emmanuel Lubezki)
Use of Music – The Artist (Ludovic Bource)

TOP 10 FILMS OF 2011 (in alphabetical order)

1 The Artist (The Weinstein Company)
2 The Descendants (Fox Searchlight)
3 Drive (FilmDistrict)
4 The Help (DreamWorks Pictures)
5 Hugo (Paramount)
6 Melancholia (Magnolia Pictures)
7 Midnight in Paris (Sony Pictures Classics)
8 Take Shelter (Sony Pictures Classics)
9 The Tree of Life (Fox Searchlight)
10 War Horse (DreamWorks Pictures)

Boston Film Critics

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

Los Angeles Film Critics Association

BEST PICTURE – The Descendants

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.”

BEST SCREENPLAY, Winner: Asghar Farhadi, “A Separation.”

BEST MUSIC/SCORE: Winner: The Chemical Brothers, “Hanna.” Runner-Up: Cliff Martinez, “Drive.”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Winner: Dante Ferretti, “Hugo.” Runner-Up: Maria Djurkovic, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY, Winner: Emmanuel Lubezki, “The Tree of Life.”

BEST DOCUMENTARY/NONFICTION, Winner: “Cave of Forgotten Dreams.”