Precursor Roundup: Boston, Los Angeles, and New York Online Critics Chime In

Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 10:48 pm by Danny King in the Awards category

As far as precursor awards goes, today has been an absolute whirlwind, with three major critics groups chiming in with their year-end winners: Boston Society of Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and New York Film Critics Online. There’s plenty to chew on, so take a good look below through the full list of winners. And, as always, click here to update yourself with the precursors that have already announced their best-of-the-years. I’ll throw in a few bullet points worth of my personal reactions after the jump, too.

  • The dual Best Supporting Actress wins for Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) are, frankly, a joke. And don’t give me the “comedies aren’t rewarded often enough” argument. If it’s comedy you want, I’d reward Win Win‘s Amy Ryan ten times over before even giving McCarthy a second look. To set the record straight, McCarthy gives an effective comic-relief performance, but it’s depthless work that has no business winning — let alone getting nominated for — high-profile year-end awards such as these. I’m all for thinking outside of the box, but if you’re going to do so, give it to someone who actually merits the consideration. This whole McCarthy thing just rubs me the wrong way — it’s like these groups are fighting to keep up with some minuscule bandwagon effect and are neglecting their own true opinions in the process.
  • Kudos to several of the decisions made by the Los Angeles group, including their embracing of Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. Malick won Best Director, and the film got narrowly bumped out by The Descendants in the Best Picture vote. It’s also hard not to love the citation for The Chemical Brothers’ blazing, brilliant electronic score for Joe Wright’s Hanna, a dynamite action film that, unfortunately, seems to have been lost — in terms of awards presence — in the start-of-the-year shuffle.
  • Drive‘s Albert Brooks raked in two Best Supporting Actor wins — perhaps he’ll be able to contend for the Oscar victory after all. Continuing on the acting front, it’s lovely to see Michael Shannon finally garnering the critical respect that his Take Shelter performance should be reigning in with ease. And the Bostonian’s Best Actor nod to Moneyball‘s Brad Pitt is another legitimately inspired choice — it’s one of the best star turns in ages.

    Best Picture: The Artist [Runners-up: Hugo, Margaret]

    Best Director: Martin Scorsese (Hugo) [Runner-up: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)]

    Best Actor: Brad Pitt (Moneyball) [Runners-up: George Clooney (The Descendants), Michael Fassbender (Shame)]

    Best Actress: Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn) [Runner-up: Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)]

    Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks (Drive) [Runner-up: Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)]

    Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) [Runner-up: Jeannie Berlin (Margaret)]

    Best Screenplay: Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin (Moneyball) [Runner-up: Kenneth Lonergan (Margaret)]

    Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life) [Runner-up: Robert Richardson (Hugo)]

    Best Documentary: Project Nim [Runner-up: Bill Cunningham New York]

    Best Foreign Language Film: Incendies [Runners-up: A Separation, Poetry]

    Best Animated Film: Rango

    Best Film Editing: Christian Marclay (The Clock) [Runner-up: Thelma Schoonmaker (Hugo)]

    Best New Filmmaker: Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene) [Runner-up: J.C. Chandor (Margin Call)]

    Best Ensemble Cast: Carnage [Runner-up: Margaret]

    Best Use of Music: Drive and The Artist (tie) [Runner-up: The Descendants]


    Best Picture: The Descendants [Runners-up: The Tree of Life]

    Best Director: Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life) [Runner-up: Martin Scorsese (Hugo)]

    Best Actor: Michael Fassbender (A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre, Shame, X-Men: First Class) [Runners-up: Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)]

    Best Actress: Yun Jung-Hee (Poetry) [Runner-up: Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia)]

    Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer (Beginners) [Runner-up: Patton Oswalt (Young Adult)]

    Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain (Coriolanus, The Debt, The Help, Take Shelter, Texas Killing Fields, The Tree of Life) [Runner-up: Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs)]

    Best Screenplay: Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) [Runner-up: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rush (The Descendants)]

    Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life) [Runner-up: Cao Yu (City of Life and Death)]

    Best Production Design: Dante Ferretti (Hugo) [Runner-up: Maria Djurkovic (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)]

    Best Foreign Language Film: Incendies [Runners-up: A Separation, Poetry]

    Best Animated Film: Rango

    Best Music Score: The Chemical Brothers (Hanna) [Runner-up: Cliff Martinez (Drive)]

    Best Foreign Language Film: City of Life and Death [Runner-up: A Separation]

    Best Documentary Film: Cave of Forgotten Dreams [Runner-up: The Arbor]

    Best Animation: Rango [Runner-up: The Adventures of Tintin]

    New Generation: Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin, Josh Mond, Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene)

    Career Achievement: Doris Day

    Best Independent/Experimental Film: Bill Morrison (Spark of Being)


    Best Picture: The Artist

    Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)

    Best Actor: Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)

    Best Actress: Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)

    Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks (Drive)

    Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)

    Breakthrough Performer: Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life, The Debt, The Help, Take Shelter, Coriolanus, Texas Killing Fields)

    Best Debut Director: Joe Cornish (Attack the Block)

    Best Ensemble Cast: Bridesmaids

    Best Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash (The Descendants)

    Best Documentary: Cave of Forgotten Dreams

    Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation

    Best Animated Film: The Adventures of Tintin

    Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life)

    Best Use of Music: Ludovic Bource (The Artist)

    Top Ten Films of 2011 (in alphabetical order)

  • The Artist
  • The Descendants
  • Drive
  • The Help
  • Hugo
  • Melancholia
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Take Shelter
  • The Tree of Life
  • War Horse
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