More critics groups go for “The Artist”

More critics groups go for “The Artist” (photo)

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In film nerds circles, yesterday is what’s known as “Super Sunday,” when a whole bunch of critics groups all announce their award winners on the same day. Do a couple of press releases qualify the day for an adjective reserved for presidential elections and internationally televised football games? If your movie wins something, absolutely.

Yesterday, the big winner once again with the silent film pastiche “The Artist” which earned Best Picture honors from The New York Film Critics Online and Boston Society of Film Critics. It also got a “special award” from the American Film Institute, a particularly impressive (or suspicious) honor considering the AFI only considers “incontrovertibly American” films and “The Artist” was made by a French cast and crew.

The other major critics groups who announced their winners on Sunday went for two other awards season favorites. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association voted for Alexander Payne‘s “The Descendants” while the San Francisco Film Critics Circle went for the full highbrow and picked Terrence Malick‘s “The Tree of Life.” All three films are Oscar frontrunners at this point; I’d be surprised if any of them don’t receive nominations next year.

At this point, the race is tightening, the actual end of the year is drawing closer, and the number of movies that can realistically shove their way into the conversation is shrinking. Still, it is nice to see the occasional surprise amongst the parade of wins for “A Separation” for Best Foreign Language Film and Emmanuel Lubezki for Best Cinematography for “The Tree of Life” (both admittedly deserving awards). Instead of giving Meryl Streep yet another accolade for “The Iron Lady,” LAFCA chose to honor the wonderful Yun Jung-hee from the South Korean film “Poetry.” Instead of giving Brad Pitt another slap on the back for “Moneyball” — where, let’s face it, he basically looked handsome and ate junk food for 100 minutes — the New York Film Critics Online showed some love to Michael Shannon for his unforgettable and far more impressive work in “Take Shelter.” And both the NYFCO and BSFC gave Best Supporting Actress honors to Melissa McCarthy for her scene stealing performance in “Bridesmaids.” Comic actors are so rarely recognized for the good work that they do. A supporting actress nomination at the Oscars still seems like a longshot for McCarthy, but it would be a delightful change of pace if it happened. Plus then we can all make jokes about taking craps in the Kodak Theatre bathroom sink.

The full list of Super Sunday winners is below.

AFI’s Top Ten Films of 2011
“The Descendants”
“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”
“The Help”
“J. Edgar”
“Midnight In Paris”
“The Tree Of Life”
“War Horse”
AFI Special Awards: “The Artist” and “The Harry Potter Series”

Boston Society of Film Critics Awards
Best Picture: “The Artist”
Best Actor: Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”
Best Actress: Michelle Williams, “My Week with Marilyn”
Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks, “Drive”
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”
Best Director: Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”
Best Screenplay: Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin, “Moneyball”
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, “The Tree of Life”
Best Documentary: “Project Nim”
Best Foreign-Language Film: “Incendies”
Best Animated Film: “Rango”
Best Film Editing: Christian Marclay, “The Clock”
Best New Filmmaker: Sean Durkin, “Martha Marcy May Marlene”
Best Ensemble Cast: “Carnage”
Best Use of Music in a Film: Tie: “Drive” and “The Artist”

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards
Best Picture: “The Descdendants”
Best Director: Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”
Best Actor: Michael Fassbender, “A Dangerous Method,” “Jane Eyre,” “Shame,” “X-Men: First Class”
Best Actress: Yun Jung-hee, “Poetry”
Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain, “Coriolanus,” “The Debt,” “The Help,” “Take Shelter,” “Texas Killing Fields,” “Tree of Life”
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
Best Screenplay: Asghar Farhadi, “A Separation”
Best Score: The Chemical Brothers, “Hanna”
Best Production Design: Dante Ferretti, “Hugo”
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, “The Tree of Life”
Best Foreign Language:“City of Life and Death”
Best Documentary: “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”
Best Animation: “Rango”

New York Film Critics Online Awards
Best Picture: “The Artist”
Best Actor: Michael Shannon, “Take Shelter”
Best Actress: Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks, “Drive”
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”
Best Breakthrough Performer: Jessica Chastain, half the movies of 2011
Best Debut Director: Joe Cornish, “Attack the Block”
Best Ensemble Cast: “Bridesmaids”
Best Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash, “The Descendants”
Best Documentary: “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”
Best Foreign Language: “A Separation”
Best Animated: “The Adventures of Tintin”
Best Cinematography: “The Tree of Life”
Best Use of Music: Ludovic Bource, “The Artist”

NYFCO’s Top Ten of 2011
1. “The Artist”
2. “The Descendants”
3. “Drive”
4. “The Help”
5. “Hugo”
6. “Melancholia”
7. “Midnight in Paris”
8. “Take Shelter”
9. “The Tree of Life”
10. “War Horse”

San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards
Best Picture: “The Tree of Life”
Best Director: Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”
Best Original Screenplay: J.C. Chandor, “Margin Call”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
Best Actor: Gary Oldman, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, “We Need to Talk About Kevin”
Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks, “Drive”
Best Supporting Actress: Vanessa Redgrave, “Coriolanus”
Best Animated Feature: “Rango”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Certified Copy”
Best Documentary: “Tabloid”
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, “The Tree of Life”

What’s your favorite movie of 2011? Tell us in the comments below or write to us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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