Florida Film Critics go for ‘The Descendants’


The Florida Film Critics Circle have announced their list of winners for the best achievements in film for the year 2011 and leading the way was Alexander Payne’s dramedy The Descendants (My Review) which was cited in three categories – Best Supporting Actress for Shailene Woodley, Best Adapted Screenplay and the big one, Best Picture of 2011.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese was named Best Director for his loving homage to silent cinema, Hugo, (My Review) which was also cited for its stunning art direction by Dante Ferretti. Other than The Descendants and Hugo, the group spread the wealth equally over its remaining categories with no film picking up more than one award.

Joining Woodley in the acting winners circle were Irish-German actor Michael Fassbender who was named Best Actor for his harrowing performance as a sex addict in director Steve McQueen’s Shame (My Review), Michelle Williams who was cited for her touching work as Marilyn Monroe in Simon Curtis’ My Week with Marilyn (My Review), and veteran character actor Albert Brooks who was awarded the Best Supporting Actor prize for his chilly performance as a gangster in Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive (My Review). Also being singled out was actress Elizabeth Olsen who was awarded the Pauline Kael Breakout Award for her powerful work in Sean Durkin’s disturbing paranoia thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene.

Michel Hazanavicius’ black-and-white silent film The Artist (My Review), which has become the awards season frontrunner thanks to its multiple nominations and wins at numerous critics and industry groups this month, picked up another win today as it was cited in the Best Original Screenplay category. Before you question how a silent film can win a screenplay award, remember that screenplay doesn’t encompass just dialogue but plot, setting as well as action.

The Tree of Life (My Review), a favorite of many members in this group, which includes yours truly, was awarded the prize for Best Cinematography which I personally consider to be one of the, if not the most sumptuously-shot film of the year. Other winners were Spanish auteur Pedro Almodovar’s fascinating horror-tinged melodrama The Skin I Live In as Best Foreign Language Film, Steven Spielberg’s exhilarating adaptation of Hergé’s The Adventures of Tintin (My Review) as Best Animated Feature, James Marsh’s wonderful Project Nim as Best Documentary, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes for Best Visual Effects.

Founded in 1996, the Florida Film Critics Circle is comprised of 20 writers from state publications. For more information on the FFCC including list of previous year’s winners, visit floridafilmcriticscircle.webs.com.

Full List of Winners:

Best Picture: The Descendants

Best Actor: Michael Fassbender (Shame)

Best Actress: Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn)

Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks (Drive)

Best Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley (The Descendants)

Best Director: Martin Scorsese (Hugo)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (The Descendants)

Best Original Screenplay: Michael Hazanavicius (The Artist)

Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life)

Best Visual Effects: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Best Art Direction/Production Design: Hugo

Best Foreign Language: The Skin I Live In

Best Animated Film: The Adventures of Tintin

Best Documentary: Project Nim

Pauline Kael Breakout Award: Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene)


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