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Movie Quote of the Day – Drive, 2011 (dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)

Driver: Is he a bad guy?
Benicio: Yeah.
Driver: How can you tell?
Benicio: Because he’s a shark.
Driver: There’s no good sharks?
Benicio: No. I mean, just look at him. Does he look like a good guy to you?

Cinema Fanatic’s Favorite Fifteen Films of 2011

While, for me, 2011 was not as a great a year in cinema as 2009 (many of the films I loved from that year I didn’t get to see until Jan of 2010, but still), I found myself loving more films this year than I did last year. In fact, you may notice that although I claim this is a list of fifteen films, it in fact contains sixteen films. There is one tie and I will explain my choice when I get to it. Last year before the year ended I managed to watch 53 new releases; this year I saw 57 (which is kind of pitifully low when you consider how many new-to-me films I saw this year; but that’s neither here nor there and you have to wait until tomorrow to read about that cinematic odyssey). I want to point out that my top five films have not changed since October, but the ten (eleven) that follow have been shifted and adjusted many, many times since then. Probably when I rewatch those films late on this list might still evolve some. I also want to mention that there were at least two films that I wanted to see before the end of the year that I was not able to see (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn); as always, there is no way to know whether those films would have even made the list had I seen them, but I wanted to point out that I’ve yet to see them so that comments of “where is ***?!” didn’t ensue. Okay, enough chatter, on to the list.

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“Hugo” Named Best Picture, Nicolas Winding Refn Best Director By Austin Film Critics

Best Film
Hugo, directed by Martin Scoresese

Best Foreign Language Film
I Saw the Devil, South Korea, directed by Jee-woon Kim

Best Director
Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive

Best Actor
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

Best Actress
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Best Supporting Actor
Albert Brooks, Drive

Best Supporting Actress
Jessica Chastain, Take Shelter

Best Original Screenplay
Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen

Best Adapted Screenplay
Drive, Hossein Amini

Best Cinematography
The Tree of Life, Emmanuel Lubezki

Best Original Score
Attack the Block, Steven Price

Best Documentary
Senna, directed by Asif Kapadia

Best Animated Feature
Rango, directed by Gore Verbinski

Robert R. “Bobby” McCurdy Memorial Breakthrough Artist Award
Jessica Chastain, Take Shelter/The Tree of Life/The Help/The Debt/Coriolanus/Texas Killing Fields

Best First Film
Attack the Block, directed by Joe Cornish

Austin Film Award
Take Shelter, directed by Jeff Nichols

Utah Film Critics Like “Drive,” “The Artist”

Best Picture
Drive (runner-up: The Artist)

Best Director
Michael Hazanavicius, The Artist (runner-up: Nicholas Winding Refn, Drive)

Best Actor
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: 50/50 (runner-up: Jean Dujardin, The Artist)

Best Actress
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn (runner-up: Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo)

Best Supporting Actor
Albert Brooks, Drive (runner-up: Christopher Plummer, Beginners)

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Ryan, Win Win (runner-up: Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus)

Best Original Screenplay
Will Reiser, 50/50 (runner-up: Mike Mills, Beginners)

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants (runner-up: Jason Segel & Nicholas Stoller, The Muppets)

Best Cinematography
Newton Thomas Sigel, Drive (runner-up: Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life)

Best Documentary Feature
Senna (runner-up: Project Nim)

Best Non-English Language Feature
A Separation (runner-up: 13 Assassins)

Best Animated Feature
Rango (runners-up: The Adventures of Tintin and Kung Fu Panda 2)

“Drive”, “The Descendants” Top Golden Satellite Awards

Motion Picture: The Descendants
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
Actress: Viola Davis, The Help
Actor: Ryan Gosling, Drive
Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain, The Tree of Life
Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks, Drive
Foreign Film: Portugal, Mysteries of Lisbon
Animated or Mixed Media: The Adventures of Tin Tin
Documentary: Senna
Original Screenplay: Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants, Alexander Payne, Jim Rash, Nat Faxon
Original Score: Marco Beltrami, Soul Surfer
Original Song: Lay Your Head Down, Albert Nobbs
Cinematography: Janusz Kaminski, War Horse
Visual Effects: Robert Legato, Hugo
Film Editing: Chris Gill, The Guard
Sound (Editing & Mixing): Dave Patterson, Lon Bender, Robert Fernandez, Victor Ray Ennis, Drive
Art Direction and Production Design: Gregory S. Hooper, Laurence Bennett, The Artist
Costume Design: Jacqueline West, Water For Elephants

You can see all the nominees here.

Houston Film Critics Like “The Descendants”, “Drive”

Best Picture: The Descendants

Best Director: Nicholas Winding Refn, Drive

Best Actor: Michael Fassbender, Shame

Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks, Drive

Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Best Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Foxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants

Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life

Best Song: “Life’s a Happy Song,” from The Muppets, music & lyrics by Bret McKenzie

Best Score: Ludovic Bource, The Artist

Best Foreign Film: I Saw the Devil

Best Documentary: Project Nim

Best Animated: Rango

Worst Film of the Year: Your Highness

“The Artist” Named Best Picture, Nicolas Winding Refn Best Director By Las Vegas Film Critics

Best Picture: The Artist

Top 10 Films (in order of votes):

  1. The Artist
  2. Hugo
  3. Moneyball
  4. The Descendants
  5. Drive
  6. The Help
  7. 50/50
  8. Midnight in Paris
  9. Shame
  10. Warrior

Best Foreign Film: 13 Assassins

Best Director: Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive)

Best Actor: Jean Dujardin (The Artist)

Best Actress: Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn)

Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks (Drive)

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)

Best Screenplay: Moneyball

Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life

Best Costume Design: The Artist

Best Film Editing: Hugo

Best Score: The Artist

Best Visual Effects: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Best Animated Film: Rango

Best Documentary: Project Nim

Best Family Film: Hugo

Youth in Film: Asa Butterfield (Hugo)

Best DVD: Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy

William Holden Lifetime Achievement Award: Albert Brooks


Cinema Fanatic’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide

It’s that time of year. Everyone is frantically trying to finish end of the year projects at work or at school. People are freaking out because they are alone (hopefully not forever though!), etc. etc. It’s also that time of year when we celebrate those we love by giving them things we think they’ll love (or that we love and want to convince them to love, too). Thus I give you my first-ever Holiday Gift Guide, filled with 15 things that I think would make awesome gifts for the movie lover in your life.

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The Artist Still Frontrunner After Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards Nominations

I still think I need to see The Artist again before I decide my final thoughts on it. Really glad to see Drive and Michael Shannon still in the mix. Some interesting nominations in the supporting categories. The winners will be announced tomorrow.

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September Films Do So Much And For So Long

I always wanted to work Big Star’s September Gurls into a post, thank you September for existing. This was a great month. I started my second semester back at grad school (I’ve switched my focus, too! From Screenwriting to Film Editing). I actually only saw two films at the Castro Theatre this month, but one of them made it into my five featured films, so more on that later. I also saw seven 2011 releases. Oh and I got the internet back! Even with classes four days a week, I still managed to watch on average a little over 2 new-to-me films a day. My total for the year so far is 905 (yes, really). As always, my monthly round-up is after the cut.

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