December 10, 2016

ANALYSIS: “The Artist” is the Critics’ Choice for Best Movie of 2011 – AWARDS ALLEY


By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: If the “Critics” have their way this year, the Academy Award will be a silent affair.

That’s because Michel Hazanavicius’ silent, black-and-white “The Artist” has claimed the Best Picture award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association at the 17th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards, a relatively accurate predictor of the Oscars. Though the BFCA went with “The Social Network” last year, a movie that went on to lose to “The King’s Speech,” the group usually lines up with the Academy, and I expect that they will in several categories this year, as well.

If an award existed for best speech of the evening, Viola Davis of “The Help” would win hands down. Her Best Actress speech was emotional, heartfelt, poignant and beautiful. Performances at early awards programs can help set the stage for later awards shows (the Golden Globes, the SAG, the Oscars), and Davis seems well on her way to an Oscar nomination and probable win.

George Clooney, always classy, would come in second. The Oscar winner collected the Best Actor trophy for “The Descendants,” and also presented Sean Penn with the evening’s Joel Siegel Award. (Penn accepted via satellite, as he was in Haiti.)

Overall, Tate Taylor’s “The Help” was a big winner on the evening. In addition to Davis, the movie spawned winners in Best Acting Ensemble and Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer. Right out of the gate, Christopher Plummer continued to fill his mantle with trophies for his work on “Beginners.” He collected the BFCA’s trophy for Best Supporting Actor.

Surprises were in short order, if you have been paying close attention to the awards race. Gore Verbinski’s “Rango” likely locked up the Best Animated Feature Oscar with a win at the CCMAs. The screenplay categories still have some flexibility to them, but honestly, I could see BFCA choices “Moneyball” (for Adapted) and “Midnight In Paris” (for Original) going the way of the Academy.

But the highlight of the evening likely belonged to Martin Scorsese, who collected the evening’s Music+Film Award, which was preceded by a stellar clip package celebrating the legend’s body of work. Multiple directors who took the stage after the reel commented on the power of Scorsese’s images. On a night filled with beauty, I have to agree.

Here’s a complete list of the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards winners:

BEST PICTURE
“The Artist”

BEST ACTOR
George Clooney – “The Descendants”

BEST ACTRESS
Viola Davis – “The Help”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christopher Plummer – “Beginners”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Octavia Spencer – “The Help”

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
Thomas Horn – “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
“The Help”

BEST DIRECTOR
Michel Hazanavicius – “The Artist”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“Midnight in Paris” – Woody Allen

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“Moneyball” – Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Story by Stan Chervin

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY (TIE)
“The Tree of Life”
AND
“War Horse”

BEST ART DIRECTION
“Hugo”

BEST EDITING
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
“The Artist”

BEST MAKE-UP
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

BEST SOUND
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“Rango”

BEST ACTION MOVIE
“Drive”

BEST COMEDY
“Bridesmaids”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“A Separation”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“George Harrison: Living in the Material World”

BEST SONG
“Life’s a Happy Song” – The Muppets
Performed by Jason Segel, Amy Adams and Walter
Written by Bret McKenzie and The Muppets

BEST SCORE
“The Artist”

JOEL SIEGEL AWARD
Sean Penn

CRITICS’ CHOICE MUSIC+FILM AWARD
Martin Scorsese

Awards Alley brings you the best Oscar coverage. Click below to read our exclusive interviews with:
Harvey Weinstein
– The cast of “The Artist.”
Kenneth Branagh for “My Week With Marilyn.”
Bennett Miller talks “Moneyball.”
Sir Ben Kingsley and Chloe Grace Moretz for “Hugo.”
Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
David Fincher, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for “The Help.”
Tate Taylor for “The Help.”
Woody Harrelson for “Rampart.”
Gavin O’Connor for “Warrior.”
Gary Oldman and Colin Firth for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”
Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody for “Young Adult.”
Steve McQueen for “Shame.”
Glenn Close for “Albert Nobbs.”
Seth Rogen and Will Reiser for “50/50.”

For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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