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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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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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