I’m a little bit stunned that the NYFCC could hold up The Artist as best picture when there are so many better choices. Hell, if you’re going for a nostalgia piece, they could’ve gone for Hugo. Don’t get me wrong. I liked The Artist, but it’s a softball and I expect a lot more from one of the more esteemed critics’ groups.

  • Best Picture: The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius
  • 2011 Special Award to be given posthumously to filmmaker Raoul Ruiz
  • 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, Asghar Farhadi
  • Best Actor: Brad Pitt, Moneyball and The Tree of Life
  • Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks, Drive
  • Best Actress: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
  • Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain, The Tree of Life, The Help and Take Shelter
  • Best Nonfiction Film: Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Werner Herzog
  • Best First Feature: Margin Call, J.C. Chandor

21 Responses to “2011 New York Film Critics Circle”

  1. I’m the one in New York, but it is YOU my friend out there in Los Angeles who is johnny-on-the-spot here with the Gotham voting.

    So will be it be HUGO or THE TREE OF LIFE for teh top spot? Or will be something else out of left field?

    As far as the two awards you note so far, I think Herzog’s film is a terrific choice, as it is also my own favorite doc this year as well, with the likes of Turturro’s PASSIONE.

    MARGIN CALL is an interesting choice. I’m not much of a fan of it, but I acknowledge the strong reviews.

    I’ll be following your further reports here.

  2. Meryl’s win is a surprise here, but like everyone else I’m still in the dark as to her work as Thatcher. Albert brooks is absolutely an excellent choice, one I would also vote for if I had a ballot in hand.

    Chastain for all three films is the smart choice, even if her work in THE TREE OF LIFE may be the most resonant. But yeah she was terrific in those other two films as well.

  3. Pitt’s win here puts him squarely in the Oscar race as the favorite, methinks, but the split win for two films of course raises the possibility he could cancel himself out. Clooney is obviously his major competition. I liked him in both films, but while most would probably prefer him in MONEYBALL, I stand by his work in Malick’s film. But I could be wrong about that speculation.

    God, do I want to see THE SEPARATION now, more than ever.

  4. Ah, a major surprise in the Best Director race, which may be the clue to where Best Picture goes.

    Like you I like THE ARTIST a lot, but Hazanavicius over Malick? Really. Well it’s certainly an original choice, but not the best one the way I size this up.

  5. My money is on Tree of Life, but we’ll see.

    Didn’t see Hazanavicius coming either.

  6. Not crazy at first about the Moneyball screenplay choice, but what the hell. The screenplay and Pitt/Hill made that movie what it was.

  7. So THE ARTIST has won Best Picture. How many could have seen that one coming?

    It’s a solid and endearing film for sure, but it probably will not make my own ten-best list, and won’t make yours either, methinks.

    Lubetzki wins cinematography at least.

  8. In this instance Craig I want to be the first to say that I agree with every last word of your summation!

    HUGO is definitely the better of the two silent film homages, yes.

  9. Yeah, I just don’t get it. Normally the NYFCC are sort of the gold standard. Maybe I just missed the boat on The Artist, much as I enjoyed it.

  10. I hate the way these acting performances are handled every year. Pitt was a supporting actor in Tree of Life. Hunter McCracken is the lead actor in that film, and he was damn good too. Oh well, even the NYFCC isn’t perfect.

  11. The more I think about their choices, the less enamored of them I am.

    It’ll be a shame though of McCracken doesn’t get noticed somewhere down the line. There was plenty of buzz about him when the film came out, but now it’s all about Pitt and Chastain… which is great, but that kid was awesome.

  12. McCracken is officially my choice as Best Actor of 2011.

    Craig: I have an online proposition for you here. If I agree to see THE ARTIST a second time over the next week in the same NYC theatre I saw it in over the past weekend, would you agree to see it in LA during that span as well?

    This way you and I can come back here and either strengthen our original conviction (very good film but not a masterpiece) or admit the folly of our ways and forever be in awe of the might New York contingent.


  13. Sounds like a deal Sam. It’ll probably be the weekend before I get a chance to see it, but let’s do it.

    Wow, I’m happy to see the McCracken enthusiasm bubbling up around here.

  14. Good show Craig!

    I’ll keep you abreast of my movement to this end.

    Amen on McCracken.

    Incidentally, I offer an explanation to the LIC readers who visit this thread, as to why (the thread) opened with four comments from Yours Truly. It wasn’t meant to come off as a shameless grab for attention, but rather as a series of revised responses to Craig’s morning updates that changed as the awards were being announced piecemeal. Just thought I’d mention that, as I know it is bizarre to comment over and over like that.

  15. From an AD thread:

    “The Artist” won best picture on the third ballot with 44 points under the NYFCC’s arcane weighted voting system, followed by 35 for “Melancholia” and 20 for “Hugo.” The von Trier tied with “The Artist” with 27 points apiece on the first ballot, with “Hugo” trailing with 16 points. Second ballot: “Artist” (40), “Melancholia” (33), “Hugo” (21). “The Descendants” never managed to amass more than 17 points in any round.

    The biggest horse race was for best director, ultimately won by Michel Haznavicius of “The Artist” with 47 points to 39 for Scorsese and 35 for Von Trier. In the first round, it was Haznavicius, 24; Von Trier, 22; and Malick 21 and in the second, a single point separated Haznavicius (33), Scorsese (32) and Von Trier (31).

    Streep wired the field on the first and only ballot with 38 points to 24 for Michelle Williams (“My Week With Marilyn”) and 23 for Kirsten Dunst (“Melancholia”). While Pitt (42 points) triumphed over Michael Fassbender (27) and Jean Dujardin (26) on the second ballot, on the initial go-round it was Pitt 24, Dujardin 23 and Fassbender 18.

    Brooks won on the second ballot with 43 points to 36 for Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”) and 18 for Viggo Mortensen (“A Dangerous Method”) Chastain had to go three rounds before her 33 points banquished Carey Mulligan’s 27 (for “Shame”) and Vanessa Redgrave’s 26 (for “Coriolanus”).

  16. I haven’t seen The Artist or Moneyball or The Iron Lady or several others of these yet.

    Sight unseen, the Streep nom bores me. Nothing about The Iron Lady interests me at this point.

    I’ll hop on the McCracken bus, too. He was great.

    I’m glad Brooks is getting critical acclaim. His acting hasn’t gotten much critical love in about 25 years, not since his Oscar nom for Broadcast News.

  17. lol Sam, it hadn’t occurred to me that your comments would seem strange after the fact, but I guess you’re right.

    Both Hugo and Melancholia would’ve been more interesting choices than the Artist in my humble opinion, Sartre.

    I’m having a hard time getting up for Margaret Thatcher too, JB but I hear streep really is excellent.

  18. I enjoyed and appreciated that voting breakdown from sartre.

    Wow, MELANCHOLIA nearly won!

  19. Thanks for the info, sartre. I forgot about the weird voting process behind their awards. And I agree with JB that even sight unseen, awarding Streep feels like a typical and fairly boring choice. I bet even Streep is bored with it.

  20. sartre:

    The NYFCC voting process with the various stages, reeks of politics and federation voting, but this is nothing that any of us haven’t already known for the longest time.

    One ballot with the winner being declated without all these compromising stipulations and second and third stages would uphold the intrgrity of the artistic choices.

    Instead we have vote swings based on affiliations. Dire stuff, sad to say.

  21. I’m just going to take from this that at least Melancholia was tied on the first ballot. That’s saying something.

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