I’ll Go First, Academy; My Personal 2011 Film Awards

Because I’m such a nice person, I’ll give the diva status a break and let that “other” awards show go on later tonight. You know, so they can get all the primetime publicity. Mine certainly don’t need it.

As much as I love to loathe the choices the Academy makes every year, 2011 harbored many a pleasant surprise that suited my fancy (because I’m the only one that matters, you know), and tonight could prove, if anything, that the Academy still has it in them to throw us a few curveballs in terms of  just who they dole out those precious few little bald men to.

But alas, that’s another blog post for another time (i.e.; about an hour from now) because I’m here not to cast shade on the Academy’s handlings of 2011’s cinematic offerings, but rather to enforce my own set of standards for which the Academy will undoubtedly model their proceedings on next year (I can dream, right?).

Here’s how my personal nominations and awards stack up (with 100% less commercial time than ABC allows for the Oscars. If that be your only incentive to look at mine by all means, I’ll take it where I can get it).

 

Best Motion Picture of 2011:

 

Pariah

The Tree of Life

Melancholia

Beginners

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Young Adult

The Artist

Take Shelter

Bridesmaids

Submarine

Best Foreign Motion Picture of 2011:

 

Trollhunter

Life, Above All

The Artist

Submarine

Viva Riva!

Best Performance By An Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture:

 

The Tree of Life

Bridesmaids

The Help

Melancholia

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Contagion

Beginners

Best Actress in a Leading Role:

 

Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady

Charlize Theron – Young Adult

Jessica Chastain – The Tree of Life

Kirsten Dunst – Melancholia

Kristen Wiig – Bridesmaids

Elizabeth Olsen – Martha Marcy May Marlene

Rooney Mara – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Best Actor in a Leading Role:

 

Leonardo DiCaprio – J. Edgar

Ewan McGregor – Beginners

Brad Pitt – The Tree of Life

Michael Shannon – Take Shelter

Jean Dujardin – The Artist

David Hyde Pierce – The Perfect Host

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

 

Kim Wayans – Pariah

Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids

Manie Malone – Viva Riva!

Harriet Lenabe – Life, Above All

Octavia Spencer – The Help

Jessica Chastain – The Help

Shailene Woodley – The Descendants

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

 

Christopher Plummer – Beginners

Charles Parnell – Pariah

Armie Hammer – J. Edgar

Jonah Hill – Moneyball

Hunter McCracken – The Tree of Life

Christoph Waltz – Carnage

Best Film Direction:

 

Lars Von Trier – Melancholia

Steven Soderbergh – Contagion

Mike Mills – Beginners

Joe Wright – Hanna

Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life

Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist

Best Film Screenplay (Adapted + Original):

 

Take Shelter

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Beginners

Young Adult

Bridesmaids

Carnage

Pariah

Best Cinematography:

 

Pariah

The Tree of Life

Submarine

Hanna

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Best Film Editing:

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Moneyball

The Tree of Life

Take Shelter

Hanna

Best Film Sound:

 

Hanna

War Horse

Take Shelter

The Tree of Life

Trollhunter

Best Original Score:

 

War Horse

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The Artist

Hanna

Contagion

Best Costume Design:

The Artist

The Iron Lady

My Week With Marilyn

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

War Horse

Best Hair & Makeup:

The Iron Lady

The Artist

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

If nothing else is apparent about 2011, it’s that my boner for both The Tree of Life and Jessica Chastain has surpassed any and all healthy levels of obsession. In a year that was surprisingly, well, “un” technical (the “little” categories simply weren’t as fun to sift through this year), Malick created a masterpiece of the medium, mixing styles and techniques with abstract philosophical concepts to create one of the most arresting (in every sense) pictures I’ve ever seen. The film stands on its own as an experience, not merely an intellectual approach to “dissect and digest” (which can be applied to its structure as well), reminding us of the power of the visual arts to truly take us somewhere “else,” whether that’s the world Malick created for us or a distant one we’ve since pushed to the back of our mind. Tree brings both to the forefront of the experience, and begs us to do something most of us have been conditioned not to do; view the medium differently.

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