Sunday, January 15, 2012

Movie Critic Dave's 2011 Awards

With the Golden Globe Awards airing tonight on NBC and this being the stretch run to the Oscars, now is as good a time as any to announce my personal picks for the 2011 cinematic year. I postponed this announcement until I could see Meryl Streep's performance in The Iron Lady. I've seen around 100 films released in 2011 alone, and this gives me a strong basis to make my selections. Before I begin, let me preface by naming a few titles that I still haven't seen:

A Dangerous Method, Albert Nobbs, Rampart, A Better Life, and Coriolanus.

Otherwise, I've seen just about every other big name Oscar contender out there. So without wasting anymore time, here are my nominees and winners for the 6 major award categories.

Best Picture

And the nominees are:

1. 50/50

2. The Artist

3. The Ides of March

4. The Music Never Stopped

5. We Need to Talk About Kevin

And the winner is ...


This perfectly scripted look at a 27 year old's surprise diagnosis of a rare form of spinal cancer is a wonderful blend of comedy and drama. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen star as a pair of best friends that struggle through this unfortunate ordeal together. 50/50 is a truly powerful film that will undoubtedly hit home with most audiences, and it's my pick for Best Picture of 2011

Best Lead Actor

And the nominees are:

1. George Clooney - The Descendants

2. Dominic Cooper - The Devil's Double

3. Jean Dujardin - The Artist

4. Michael Fassbender - Shame

5. Michael Shannon - Take Shelter

And the winner is ...

Jean Dujardin - The Artist

I'm a pretty impatient person and for a black and white silent film to entertain me over the course of nearly 2 hours, the acting must be brilliant. There's no doubt about it, Jean Dujardin's fine work in this year's Oscar frontrunner, The Artist, is 2011's best lead performance. Dujardin molds together such a lovable character without ever uttering a word. It's a difficult task he's faced with, but Dujardin makes it look elementary and routine.

Best Lead Actress

And the nominees are:

1. Viola Davis - The Help

2. Rooney Mara - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

3. Tilda Swinton - We Need to Talk About Kevin

4. Charlize Theron - Young Adult

5. Michelle Williams - My Week with Marilyn

And the winner is ...

Viola Davis - The Help

One of 2011's most acclaimed blockbusters, The Help, succeeds at the hands of it's leading star, Viola Davis. Davis will make you laugh and cry in her role as Aibileen Clark, a strong-willed black woman facing segregation in 1960's Mississippi. She is magnificent in every sense of the word and her portrayal of a small town civil rights crusader is unforgettable.

Best Supporting Actor

And the nominees are:

1. Kenneth Branagh - My Week with Marilyn

2. Albert Brooks - Drive

3. Nick Nolte - Warrior

4. Patton Oswalt - Young Adult

5. Christopher Plummer - Beginners

And the winner is ...

Kenneth Branagh - My Week with Marilyn

Each actor in this field gives a great performance, but Branagh's proved most memorable. His portrayal of actor/director Sir Laurence Olivier was spot on and precise. The film is a biopic intended to show the on site disputes between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe while filming The Prince and the Showgirl. Although Michelle Williams will be My Week with Marilyn's most remembered star, Branagh goes toe to toe with the gifted actress in every scene.

Best Supporting Actress

And the nominees are:

1. Berenice Bejo - The Artist

2. Jessica Chastain - Take Shelter

3. Carey Mulligan - Shame

4. Octavia Spencer - The Help

5. Shailene Woodley - The Descendants

And the winner is ...

Jessica Chastain - Take Shelter

Most of Jessica Chastain's notoriety has come from her strong work in The Help, but I'll argue that the gifted actress' best performance of 2011 was in the independent thriller Take Shelter. Chastain's wonderful as a loving and nurturing mother but when her husband continues spiraling further into madness, her character adds another dimension. Michael Shannon is rightfully praised for his work in Take Shelter, but Chastain's the glue that holds it together.

Best Director

And the nominees are:

1. George Clooney - The Ides of March

2. David Fincher - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

3. Michael Hazanavicius - The Artist

4. Nicolas Winding Refn - Drive

5. Martin Scorsese - Hugo

And the winner is ...

Nicolas Winding Refn - Drive

When Drive was released, it caught many moviegoers off guard. Thanks to its visionary director, Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive's stylish edge and Grimm-like plot translates perfectly on screen. Couple all of its revenge-filled madness with an ear-deafening score, and you've got pure magic. Illustrated beautifully in Drive is Refn's rare gift for storytelling and bringing words to life

This concludes my awards for the year. Feel free to drop a comment and argue my selections. Better yet, leave a comment validating my picks. Either way, let's talk these 6 major categories and all of this awards season hype.

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