The Detroit Film Critics society weighs in.

December 12, 2011
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Now in it’s fifth year of operation; the Detroit Film Critics Society, of which I and my friend Jeff Meyers are proud members, have released their nominations. It’s an intriguing list, in what was a somewhat unusual year, with fewer obvious, big budget favorites than is often the case. Many smaller films garnered acclaim; with intense indie drama Take Shelter leading the way with four nominations, including one for Best Supporting actress Jessica Chastain, a relative unknown who was ubiquitous this year, as reflected by her “Breakthrough Performance” nomination for her work in multiple films. New categories were introduced this season, with the inclusion Screenplay and Documentary leading to many spirited debates, and an even more varied field than we could have imagined. The winners will be announced on Friday, and I will outline some of my personal choices later on in the week, but until then here is the official press release about the nominees:

BEST OF 2011 NOMINATIONS!

(Detroit, Michigan – December 12, 2011)…The Detroit Film Critics Society is pleased to announce the BEST OF 2011 nominees in ten categories. The society was founded in Spring 2007 and consists of a group of 22 Michigan film critics who write or broadcast in the Detroit area as well as other major cities within a 150-mile radius of the city including Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, and Flint, Michigan.

Each critic submitted their top 5 picks in the following categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Ensemble, and Breakthrough Performance, Best Screenplay, and Best Documentary. From these submissions, each entry was given a point value and the top 5 in each category have been placed on the final ballot. One category, Best Ensemble, has a tie with 6 nominees. The 2011 winners will be announced on December 16th, 2011.

Leading with 6 nominations this year is “TAKE SHELTER”. Other top nominees include “THE ARTIST” with 5 nominations and “THE HELP” with 4 nominations. Both Michel Hazanavicius and Jeff Nichols have been nominated twice this year for Best Director and Best Screenplay. Jessica Chastain has received 3 nominations for Best Supporting Actress, Best Ensemble, and Breakthrough performance. New categories this year include Best Screenplay and Best Documentary.

THE NOMINATIONS FOR 2011
PICKED BY THE DETROIT FILM CRITICS SOCIETY
(in alphabetical order)

1. BEST PICTURE
• THE ARTIST
• THE DESCENDANTS
• HUGO
• TAKE SHELTER
• THE TREE OF LIFE

2. BEST DIRECTOR
• MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS – THE ARTIST
• TERRENCE MALICK – THE TREE OF LIFE
• JEFF NICHOLS – TAKE SHELTER
• MARTIN SCORSESE– HUGO
• NICHOLAS WINDING REFN – DRIVE

3. BEST ACTOR
• GEORGE CLOONEY– THE DESCENDANTS
• JEAN DUJARDIN – THE ARTIST
• MICHAEL FASSBENDER – SHAME
• BRAD PITT – MONEYBALL
• MICHAEL SHANNON – TAKE SHELTER

Detroit Film Critics Society Press Release – continued – page 2

4. BEST ACTRESS
• VIOLA DAVIS – THE HELP
• FELICITY JONES – LIKE CRAZY
• MERYL STREEP – THE IRON LADY
• CHARLIZE THERON – YOUNG ADULT
• MICHELLE WILLIAMS – MY WEEK WITH MARILYN

5. BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
• KENNETH BRANAGH – MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
• ALBERT BROOKS – DRIVE
• RYAN GOSLING – CRAZY STUPID LOVE
• PATTON OSWALT – YOUNG ADULT
• CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER – BEGINNERS

6. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
• BERENICE BEJO – THE ARTIST
• JESSICA CHASTAIN – TAKE SHELTER
• CAREY MULLIGAN – SHAME
• VANESSA REDGRAVE – CORIOLANUS
• OCTAVIA SPENCER – THE HELP

7. BEST ENSEMBLE
• CARNAGE
• CEDAR RAPIDS
• CRAZY STUPID LOVE
• THE HELP
• MARGIN CALL
• WIN WIN

8. BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE
• JESSICA CHASTAIN – THE HELP/TAKE SHELTER/THE TREE OF LIFE
• FELICITY JONES – LIKE CRAZY
• MELISSA MCCARTHY – BRIDESMAIDS
• ELIZABETH OLSEN –MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE
• SHAILENE WOODLEY– THE DESCENDANTS

9. BEST SCREENPLAY
• 50/50 – WILL REISER
• THE ARTIST – MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS
• BEGINNERS – MIKE MILLS
• MONEYBALL – AARON SORKIN & STEVEN ZAILLIAN
• TAKE SHELTER– JEFF NICHOLS

10. BEST DOCUMENTARY
• INTO ETERNITY
• INTO THE ABYSS

• TABLOID
• WE WERE HERE

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  • nick

    The Detroit Film Critics Society?  Those must be some lonely get-togethers.