Best Performances, Directing, Quotes, Kills, and More of 2011

     December 27, 2011

As we cruise through awards season, eventually all of the Oscar categories will firm up.  Four nominees will be certain and there will be a little debate concerning who gets the fifth slot.  Some of those choices will be correct and others will be boring and predictable.  After the jump, I’ve put forward my picks for best actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, director, cinematography, animated film and documentary.  I’ve also thrown in my choices for non-Oscar categories for Breakthrough Performance, “A Very Good Year”, Best Villain, “Who’s a Good Boy?”, Best Quote, Best Kill, Best Surprise, and Biggest Disappointment.  I hope that one day the Academy will recognize the validity and necessity of a “Best Kill” Oscar.

Hit the jump to check out my miscellaneous “Best of 2011″ picks.

[Note: Runners-Up are listed in alphabetical order]

BEST ACTOR:


Michael Fassbender as “Brandon” in Shame

Runners-Up:

George Clooney as “Matt King” in The Descendants

Jean Dujardin as “George Valentin” in The Artist

Ryan Gosling as “Driver” in Drive

Woody Harrelson as “Dave Brown” in Rampart

BEST ACTRESS:


Tilda Swinton as “Eva” in We Need to Talk about Kevin

Runners-Up:

Viola Davis as “Aibileen Clark” in The Help

Kirsten Dunst as “Justine” in Melancholia

Elizabeth Olsen as “Martha” in Martha Marcy May Marlene

Charlize Theron as “Mavis Gary” in Young Adult

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:


Albert Brooks as “Bernie Rose” in Drive

Runners-Up:

John Hawkes as “Patrick” in Martha Marcy May Marlene

Christopher Plummer as “Hal” in Beginners

John C. Reilly as “Michael Longstreet” in Carnage

Andy Serkis as “Caesar” in Rise of the Planet of the Apes

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:


Carey Mulligan as “Sissy” in Shame

Runners-Up:

Berenice Bejo as “Peppy Miller” in The Artist

Melissa McCarthy as “Megan” in Bridesmaids

Amy Ryan as “Jackie Flaherty” in Win Win

Shailene Woodley as “Alexandra King” in The Descendants

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE:

(For an actor or actress whose career is likely to have a positive and dramatic shift based off one performance)

Melissa McCarthy as “Megan” in Bridesmaids

Runners-Up:

John Boyega as “Moses” in Attack the Block

Jean Dujardin as “George Valentin” as in The Artist

Elizabeth Olsen as “Martha” in Martha Marcy May Marlene

Shailene Woodley as “Alexandra King” in The Descendants

A VERY GOOD YEAR

(For an actor or actress who was noteworthy in multiple films this year; please note that I’ve only written down the films I’ve seen for each actor this year, not every movie they appeared in)

Michael Fassbender (Jane Eyre, X-Men: First Class, A Dangerous Method, Shame)

Runners-Up:

Jessica Chastain (Take Shelter, The Tree of Life, The Help, The Debt, Coriolanus)

Elle Fanning (Super 8, Twixt, We Bought a Zoo)

Tom Hiddleston (Thor, Midnight in Paris, War Horse)

[Note: Fassbender didn’t get “Breakthrough Performance” for two reasons: 1) His star status isn’t due to only one movie; 2) More people will probably recognize him from X-Men: First Class than Shame, but both have been huge for his career.  But the larger point still stands: 2011 has been his year]

BEST DIRECTOR:


Nicolas Winding Refn – Drive

Runners-Up:

Sean Durkin – Martha Marcy May Marlene

Steve McQueen – Shame

Oren Moverman – Rampart

Joe Wright – Hanna

BEST VILLAIN:


Albert Brooks as “Bernie Rose” in Drive

Runners-Up:

Kevin Bacon as “Sebastian Shaw” in X-Men: First Class

Cate Blanchett as “Marissa Wiegler” in Hanna

John Hawkes as “Patrick” in Martha Marcy May Marlene

Hugo Weaving as “Johann Schmidt/Red Skull” in Captain America: The First Avenger

WHO’S A GOOD BOY? (Best Dog)

the-artist-movie-image-dog-uggie-01

Uggie in The Artist

Also Deserving of Treats:

Arthur in Beginners

Snowy in The Adventures of Tintin

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

the_tree_of_life_movie_image_slice_01

Emmanuel Lubezki – The Tree of Life

Runner-Up: Newton Thomas Sigel –  Drive

BEST SCORE

drive-character-banner-slice

Cliff Martinez – Drive

Runner-Up: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:

rango_movie_image_slice_01

Rango

Runner-Up: Winnie the Pooh

BEST DOCUMENTARY:

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Project Nim

Runner-Up: Tabloid

BEST QUOTE:

“Why cookie Rocket?” – Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Runner-Up:

“It’s not the end!  He’s been reincarnated as a tricycle!” – Rubber

BEST KILL:

Will It Blend? – You’re Next

Runners-Up:

Piano Man – The Details

Disco Inferno – Hobo with a Shotgun

Magneto Returns Shaw’s Coin – X-Men: First Class

I’ve Got Someone on My Shoe – Drive

[Note: I don’t see a lot of horror movies, and I missed Final Destination 5, so if you have a suggestion for a better kill, let loose in the comments section.  Be sure to provide a spoiler warning or at least try to make it so only people who have seen the movie will get what you’re referencing]

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT:

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Green Lantern

A fair share of films this year disappointed me, but the one with the biggest ramifications is the failure of Green Lantern.  Green Lantern is a superhero with a rich, interesting world and immense possibilities.  Instead, the story was an absolute mess and instead of blaming the crappy script, folks will draw erroneous conclusions like “People don’t want space aliens in their superhero movies” and “Green Lantern needs to be edgier and darker.”  Ironically, Green Lantern‘s best asset—how the scenes work better out of context and away from the “story”—made it ideal for trailers, which only added to the eventual disappointment.

Runners-Up:

Butter

Conan the Barbarian

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Your Highness

BEST SURPRISE:

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Bad Teacher

When you only see one TV spot for a movie and the only good joke in it is a crack about LeBron James, there’s cause for concern.  I went to Israel this summer and missed the press screening of Bad Teacher, but when I got back I heard the movie was shockingly good.  I bought a ticket and ended up laughing my ass off all the way through the picture.  I was pleased to see Cameron Diaz had such a delightfully mean-spirited character in her and she played it wonderfully.  And when I’m feeling down, I just think about Justin Timberlake saying how much he hates slavery.

Runners-Up:

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Real Steel

Anonymous

Winnie the Pooh

Monday: Top 10 Posters of 2011

Tuesday: Top 10 Trailers of 2011

Wednesday: Best Performances, Directing, and other Miscellany of 2011

Thursday: Worst 5 of 2011

Friday: Top 10 of 2011

For everyone who says that I hate everything, I would like to point out that you can’t be disappointed if you didn’t have hope in the first place.
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