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Category: Beginners

National Society of Film Critics: 'Melancholia' best of 2011

January 7, 2012 |  1:51 pm

 

Kirsten Dunst, from left,  Alexander Skarsgaard, Kiefer Sutherland and Charlotte Gainsbourg  in "Melancholia."

The National Society of Film Critics, which is made up of 58 the country's major film critics, rarely agrees with the choices of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the Oscars. And the group probably stayed true to form with its picks for its 46th annual awards, naming Lars Von Trier's end-of-the-world drama "Melancholia" best picture Saturday.

Terrence's Malick's "The Tree of Life" came in second and the lauded Iranian drama "A Separation" placed third. "Separation" also won best foreign-language film and best screenplay for Asghar Farhadi.

Malick took best director honors with Martin Scorsese for "Hugo" coming in second and Von Trier placing third.

The annual voting, using a weighted ballot system, is held at Sardi's Restaurant in New York City; this year 48 of the 58 members participated.

Best actor went to Brad Pitt for both "Moneyball" and "The Tree of Life." Pitt also won best actor from the New York Film Critics' Circle and is nominated for a Golden Globe, a SAG award and a Critics Choice award. Runner-up was Gary Oldman for "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," and Jean Dujardin placed third for "The Artist."

Notably missing from the list was Michael Fassbender for "Shame" and George Clooney for "The Descendants."

Best actress honors went to Kirsten Dunst for "Melancholia," with Yun Jung-hee for the Korean film "Poetry" coming in second. Meryl Streep's turn in "The Iron Lady" placed third.

Best supporting actor went to Albert Brooks for a his dramatic turn in "Drive." Christopher Plummer placed second for "Beginners," followed by Patton Oswalt for "Young Adult."

Best supporting actress was given to Jessica Chastain for her roles in three films: "The Tree of Life," "Take Shelter" and "The Help." Jeannie Berlin came in second for "Margaret" and Shailene Woodley placed third for "The Descandants."

"Tree of Life" also took home best cinematography for Emanual Lubezki with Manual Alberto Claro placing second for "Melancholia" and Robert Richardson taking third for "Hugo."

Werner Herzog's "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" was best nonfiction film. He also came in third place in the category for "Into the Abyss." Steve James' "The Interrupters" placed second.

In best screenplay category, Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin's script for "Moneyball" was second behind "A Separation" and Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" took third.

 The Experimental Award went to Ken Jacobs for "Seeking the Monkey King."

There were also several Film Heritage honors given out:

-- BAM Cinematek for its complete Vincente Minnelli retrospective, with all titles shown in 16mm or 35mm.

-- Lobster Films, Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema and the Technicolor Foundation for Cinema for the restoration of the color version of Georges Melies' "A Trip to the Moon."

-- New York's Museum of Modern Art for its extensive retrospective of Weimar Cinema.

-- Flicker Alley for its box set "Landmarks of Early Soviet Film."

-- Criterion Collection for its two-disc DVD package, "The Complete Jean Vigo."

RELATED:

'Melancholia' -- Kirsten Dunst ponders the end of the world [video]

Veteran Koreanactress Yun Jung-hee comes out of retirement for 'Poetry'

Jessica Chastain heading to Broadway in 'The Heiress'

-- Susan King

Photo: Kirsten Dunst, from left,  Alexander Skarsgaard, Kiefer Sutherland and Charlotte Gainsbourg star in "Melancholia." Credit: Christian Geisnaes/Magnolia Pictures.

 


SAG Awards: Christopher Plummer on 'wonderful' honor for 'Beginners'

December 14, 2011 | 10:58 am

Christopher Plummer talks about his SAG Award nomination for "Beginners"
For Christopher Plummer, news of his SAG Award nomination for "Beginners" comes at a "frantic" time. The veteran actor just celebrated his 82nd birthday Tuesday, he's preparing a one-man theater show, "A Word or Two" and tonight he heads into New York for the U.S. premiere of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

Amid the frenzy, Plummer's not even sure how he learned of the nomination for his supporting role in Mike Mills' film. "I think somebody called me. I can't remember who," he said, speaking by phone from his Connecticut home.

Even as Plummer is busy with current and future projects, he's appreciative that his fellow actors recognized his work in “Beginners,” which opened in theaters the first weekend of June.

"What was extraordinary and wonderful at the same time is that it has been out for a long time. And suddenly people are remembering it as being charming. They're getting together and showing their respect for it," he said.

In "Beginners," the Canadian actor plays a father and widower who comes out about his homosexuality near the end of his life as he rekindles his relationship with his son, played by Ewan McGregor. The story is a semi-autobiographical one for director Mills.

The nod marks Plummer's fourth SAG Award nomination -- his previous nomination was for his performance in 2009’s “The Last Station” -- but he said the recognition for "Beginners" is still special to him because the character was a unique role for him.

"I'm sort of unexpected in it. It's totally different for me, which I welcome. I thought the film was absolutely charming, charmingly written by Michael Mills. And he really did my character proud," the actor said. “I had a marvelous time filming it, and it was just a gift."

RELATED:

SAG Awards: The full nominations list

SAG Awards: TV nominations are announced

SAG Awards: "The Help," "Bridesmaids" among outstanding cast nominees

–- Emily Rome

Photo: Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor in "Beginners." Credit: Focus Features


"Beginners," "Tree of Life" tie for Gotham Film Awards

November 28, 2011 |  8:07 pm

CA.0408.beginners.049
Mike Mills' semi-autobiographical drama "Beginners," about a young man whose widower father comes out of the closet, and Terrence Malick's mystical family epic "Tree of LIfe" tied for best film of 2011 at the 21st annual Gotham Independent Film Awards given out Monday evening in New York City.

"Beginners," which stars Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer, also won for ensemble cast. Felicity Jones took home the breakthrough actor award for her role as a lovestruck British woman in 
"Like Crazy." Breakthrough director honors went to Dee Rees for "Pariah." The documentary prize went to "Better This World."

Other awards given out included:

The Best Film Not Playing At a Theater Near You: "Scenes of a Crime"

Festival Genius Award, which is voted on by filmgoers online: "Girlfriend"

Spotlight on Women Filmmakers "Live the Dream" Grant: Lucy Mulloy, "Una Noche"

The awards are presented by the Independent Filmmaker Project, which is the oldest and largest U.S. organization of indie filmmakers. It is one of two key awards given to independent films. Nominations for the other, Film Independent's Spirit Awards, will be announced Tuesday.

PHOTOS: 21st Gotham Film Awards arrivals

Besides the competitive awards, career achievement awards were given out to actors Charlize Theron and Gary Oldman, director David Cronenberg and co-chair and chief executive of Fox Film Entertainment Tom Rothman.

Last year's top winner, "Winter's Bone," went on to receive four Oscar nominations including for best picture and lead actress (Jennifer Lawrence). The Gotham's 2009 selection, "The Hurt Locker," won the Academy Award for best picture, director and original screenplay.

Related:

"Descendants," "Beginners" among Gotham Independent Film nominations

Gotham Awards give top prize to 'Winter's Bone'

— Susan King

Photo: Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor in "Beginners." Photo credit: Andrew Tepper.


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