Thursday, June 11, 2015

The 2011 Fisti Awards

[Images May Be Enlarged by Clicking on Them]

2011.  I'm going to go on record now stating that I was thrilled The Artist swept at the Oscars, and I still love that film, very, very much.  That being said, it doesn't land on my Best Picture ballot.  A major step up from 2010, 2011 boasts some of the best films of the decade so far, a bounty of truly touching and poignant dramas that reveal a depth of human development that is so rich and sadly so rare.  This was also a really great year for gay themed cinema, and in all actuality it feels like this year started a trend of well made and deeply effecting portraits of a way of life that, for the most part, gets shoddy cinematic treatment.  With films like Beginners, Tomboy, Weekend, Heartbeats, 3, Pariah and even Albert Nobbs, we saw real stories with real people that helped bridge a gap often associated with gay themed stories.  Coming of age stories were also strong this year, with the aforementioned Tomboy and even Beginners (in a way) alongside films like Hugo, Hanna, Super 8 and The Tree of Life, and within that little cluster we also see another aspect of 2011 that is so special; the diversity of genre (and quality within that genre) is outstanding.  With that, I present to you the Fisti Awards of 2011!


















[EDIT:  Mysteries of Lisbon was, at one time, my clear winner in this category, but upon further exploration, it became clear that the majority of the music used in Mysteries of Lisbon was not original work, so it loses the win and the nomination.]


Award's Tally

[4 Wins]

Mysteries of Lisbon

[3 Wins]

Beginners

[2 Wins]

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo

[1 Win]

The Artist
Certified Copy
Drive
King of Devil's Island
Shame
X-Men: First Class

44 comments:

  1. Yeah! The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo, The Artist, Drive, Shame. The Academy can suck it 'cause your awards are better. You complete me :')

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    1. Glad you're a fan! This year was so great, and while I can't knock Oscar's winners (since they basically gave The Artist and Hugo everything, and those films are great), I hate so many of their awful nominees this year.

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  2. Nice to see love for Shame, Drive, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Weekend, and Young Adult. I would say your lineups here eclipse the actual Oscar categories. They might've well called the ceremony "The Politically Correct Academy Awards" considering how safe the Academy played it that year. But your ballot is absolutely fantastic!

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    1. Thanks Matt! Yeah, it was a shame to see such incredible films like the ones you mentioned get next to nothing (and sometimes, just that...nothing) come Oscar nomination morning, especially when Shame and Drive had received love for their actors and directors throughout the season.

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  3. Ugh, there's a big part of me that's like - 2011? So long ago already? Of course, Drive is one of those movies you'll always remember seeing. It kind of stops you in your tracks for a minute. And I have a Ryan Gosling paper doll on my desk and I like to keep him in his Drive costume because it's blood-splattered and I always catch people staring at it uncomfortably when they come into my office. ;)

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    1. OMG! You have a Ryan Gosling paper doll!?!?!?! That's amazing!!!

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    2. And a Bill Murray colouring book. Because apparently my sister thinks I already have everything, and this is what our gift giving has resorted us to. I'm a lucky asshole, aren't I?

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    3. I have a feeling she has an Urban Outfitter near her :-P

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  4. I really expected to love Beginners much more than I did, perhaps my expectations were too high. Same goes for Hugo which I just watched within the last two weeks. It was lovely to look at although at times I felt trapped in CGI, that took me out of the film and by the end I was left disappointed. Haven’t seen Mysteries of Lisbon or Tomboy but I loved the tension filled Drive (our only match).

    Picture:
    The Artist
    Drive
    Midnight in Paris
    Moneyball-Winner
    Source Code

    Loved all these films but being neither a big sports fan nor a whiz with numbers I was surprised how accessible Moneyball was for the lay person. That it was emotionally engaging on top of that made it my winner with The Artist my runner-up.

    Director:
    Woody Allen-Midnight in Paris
    Michael Hazanavicius-The Artist
    Duncan Jones-Source Code
    Bennett Miller-Moneyball-Winner
    Nicholas Winding Refn-Drive

    We’re a little closer on this and Nicholas Winding Refn is a terrific winner but I loved Miller's ability to take what was basically a story about percentages and guide it in such a way as to make it not just fun but interesting and involving.

    Actor:
    Dominic Cooper-The Devil's Double-Winner
    Michael Fassbender-Shame
    Ryan Gosling-Drive
    Brad Pitt-Moneyball
    Michael Shannon-Take Shelter

    Tough category because there was so much strong work this year. I haven’t seen Brendon Gleeson’s performance, or heard of his film, but he’s always a solid actor so I’m sure he excels. I liked MacGregor, I almost always do, and he was solid in Beginners but he’d be just below Jean Dujardin whose work I loved but such a packed field squeezed him into the sixth spot. Michael Shannon is great as a man trying hard to keep himself together as he feels things slipping away and Fassy is equally good as he faces different problems but a similar situation is the depressing Shame. Gosling is the calm center in the alternately icy cool and shockingly violent Drive. Pitt's my runner up with his meditative, emotionally rangy performance in Moneyball, his best so far, but Cooper in the dual role as The Devil's Double is simply extraordinary but sadly was passed over come nomination time.

    Actress:
    Viola Davis-The Help
    Anna Paquin-Margaret
    Tilda Swinton-We Need to Talk About Kevin
    Charlize Theron-Young Adult
    Kathleen Turner-The Perfect Family-Winner

    I haven’t seen three of your nominees Kekilli, Olsen and Binoche, although I’ve been wanting to see Certified Copy, I know she’s Josh’s winner over at the Cinematic Spectacle as well as yours. Of the other two Theron would be my runner up but in a reverse of the actors I don't feel passionately about any one performance in particular. However Turner, who doesn't get nearly enough opportunities these days, carries the entirety of Perfect Family on her shoulders and finds every possible nuance in her nutty complex character.

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    1. I love your Moneyball love, Joel. That movie is phenomenal!

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    2. Moneyball is great, Kevin. I was actually really shocked at how much I connected to that movie, since like Joel, I don't really care for math or baseball.

      I like all of your BP noms, Joel. I don't love Midnight in Paris. It's good, but very light and somewhat silly and the plot holes don't come together like I'd want them too, but it's such a charming film. Source Code is an inspired choice, and as an actioneer it's really well done.

      I wouldn't give Woody a nom (obviously) and I actually found his Oscar nomination in this category to be rather lazy and frustrating. Sure, the film is charming, but he does nothing with it that he hasn't done a million times, and better. To nominate him over Refn or Fincher or even Miller was just odd.

      I haven't seen your winner. I told myself like a million times that I was going to...and then I never did. I liked Gosling in Drive, but he's so borderline stagnant, which I know was the point, but there were so many performances that did more, if you know what I mean. The film was the overwhelming presence, not Gosling.

      I also have not seen your Actress winner, nor even heard of her movie...but I love Turner so much, so now I want to check it out. Swinton's movie did not work for me, at all, so I was indifferent to her performance and glad she was replaced by Mara at the Oscars. Davis is wonderful, but...I just didn't have room for her.

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  5. Supporting Actor:
    Albert Brooks-Drive
    Tom Hardy-Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    Jonah Hill-Moneyball
    Nick Nolte-Warrior
    Corey Stoll-Midnight in Paris-Winner

    Wow we really are miles apart on this one. Again I haven’t seen a couple of your choices, McCracken and Nilssen and while Kingsley and Oswalt were good I wasn’t blown away by either. Christopher Plummer just missed my list and while his work in Beginners is very fine he’d be my number 6. Hill really surprised me in Moneyball being able to flesh out his character remarkably well. Tinker is a plodding, disappointing slog but Hardy's portrait of the weary rogue agent is gold as is Nolte's worn out father in Warrior. But this was between Brooks’ atypical slimeball of a crime lord and Stoll's pinpoint perfect take on Hemingway in Midnight in Paris. I went with Stoll since he managed to steal his film handily in the least amount of time.

    Supporting Actress:
    Jessica Chastain-Take Shelter
    Anjelica Huston-50/50
    Carey Mulligan-Shame
    Vanessa Redgrave-Coriolanus-Winner
    Octavia Spencer-The Help

    I’m unfamiliar with Super 8 nor have I seen A Separation yet and Laurent didn’t really do much for me in Beginners, I was much more impressed with the men but your winner is my runner up.

    Anjelica Huston makes every one of her too few seconds count in 50/50, Spencer a no nonsense joy in The Help and Chastain handles the complexities of her role like a pro. Any other year Mulligan's searing work in Shame would be my winner but Vanessa Redgrave is so damn good in Coriolanus I couldn't imagine choosing anyone else and I’m delighted to see her in your line up, how she didn’t even score a nomination this year is beyond me.

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    1. Hardy, huh? I always thought that Cumberbatch was the standout from that cast. I liked the film more than you, but it hasn't aged well for me. I've mostly forgotten it. Stoll is a great win, and just misses my ballot. I was sad to leave him off, to be honest. Nolte is also wonderful, and Brooks, while a little one note, is terrifying.

      Hill...I really like and support as an actor and I LOVED his second nom (for Wolf of Wall Street)...but I don't think he did anything of note on Moneyball.

      I hate Spencer's win because I found it to be loud gimmick and no real meat, but that whole lineup was so...lazy. Mulligan misses Oscar's ballot was a disgrace. Redgrave being ignored all season was ridiculous! Chastain was a good nominee, but she was best in Take Shelter, I agree. I go full bore with her in my Top Twelve because all of her performances were good, but as you can see...she doesn't make my actual ballot for any of them.

      I loved Laurent's performance. So soft and subtle and yet so charmingly powerful. You felt her. She enveloped you, but then again...I LOVED all things about Beginners, so that helps.

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    2. I wanted to love Tinker Tailor so much since spy films are one of my favorite genres, especially with that cast, but it bored me to sobs...until Hardy showed up with his subtle brilliance. Cumberbatch never does much for me although I thought he was wonderful in Imitation Game.

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    3. Yeah, I get that, and Hardy was good! Cumberbatch rarely does anything for me either, to be honest.

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  6. Thank you for reminding me I still have to see Martha Marcy..., Margaret, and Tomboy.

    This year is SO GOOD. For me though, it's all about The Artist, Beginners, Drive, Melancholia, Moneyball, A Separation, The Tree of Life, Weekend, and Young Adult. Taking any of them out of my Best Picture lineup would hurt far too much, each is so special in its own way. Plus Mission: Impossible and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. And We Bought A Zoo. And The Muppets. And Bridesmaids. And Take Shelter. (I even liked Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, which I think has been unfairly savaged for numerous stupid, mostly unfair reasons.) Even the films I didn't LOVE (The Adjustment Bureau, Fright Night, Source Code, Crazy Stupid Love, X-Men, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, etc.) have pieces that are incredible. Ultimately my Best Picture would probably end up being to A Separation, which is quite simply a perfect film.

    Best Actress is SO TOUGH between Theron, Dunst, Davis, Wiig, and Williams in My Week With Marilyn (the movie sucks but she and Branagh are great). And of course the incredible woman from Poetry.

    Best Actor is Dujardin, Pitt, McGregor, Gosling, and... Farrell? Clooney? Serkis? Dominic Cooper? Shannon? Cullen/New? TOO TOUGH.

    For Supporting Actress there is really no beating Redgrave, but McCarthy, Byrne, Chastain (LOVE that you go whole hog for her in your nominees but I would single her out for The Help), Bullock, Spencer, Fanning, Beyat, and Bejo all do excellent work. Mulligan, too, but I didn't really care much for Shame. I'd also probably put Gainsbourg here for Melancholia in an arguable case of category fraud. And also Vera Farmiga in Source Code, who takes a total stock role and makes her feel like an incredibly real person.

    Supporting Actor is Plummer, Pitt, Stoll, Branagh, and Oswalt. That's the easiest category by far.

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    1. Yeah, I loved this year as a whole. There was so much to be taken in by, and like you show in all the films you mention, there was such variety!

      I loved A Separation and it was on my ballot for years, but recent rewatches of Hugo especially edged it out, but it's my #6, and it pained me to remove it from my ballot. It's a great film, but the others have stuck with me longer.

      Actress is such a loaded category. That was total Sophie's Choice for me.

      Actor wasn't as hard, as I had three performances (Fassbender, Dujardin & Shannon) that were solidly in my lineup, and then McGregor was just so easy and anchored my BP winner so well. The Guard was new for me...just saw it a week ago, and Gleeson's comedic timing and fearless acting just took that last spot for me. Cullen was my #6.

      I'm pained that you didn't care for Mulligan, or Shame I should say. She does so much with that role...her rendition of New York, New York alone should have snagged her the Oscar.

      Have you seen King of Devil's Island? Nilssen gives one of my Top Five favorite supporting performances ever. He takes my breath away.

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    2. Shame. SIGH. I appreciate it, but I found it infuriating and maddening, and not in a good way. It was clearly meant to be compelling, but I didn't find that it had anything new to say about addiction, or sex, or these particular kinds of people. Fassbender and Mulligan are both very, VERY good - especially in their scenes together - but there just wasn't enough there to make me interested or want to see more of them.

      That said, Mulligan's rendering of New York New York is lovely... but it's SO on point as to be almost completely hilarious to me, and I don't think that was the intention. It's, like, SNL spoof-level good.

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    3. I haven't seen King of Devil's Island (or The Guard, for that matter). Just hasn't sparked any interest in me.

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    4. Shame is not a film I love, but a film I admire in many ways, and I felt like it was more what Fassy and Mully brought to the roles that made them special or 'real' and not what McQueen put on paper.

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    5. And see both those movies that didn't interest you...because they should :-D

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  7. Beginners is a movie I only saw like last year. I was blown away. I love that you have it taking the prize here! Great movie!

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    1. It's such a wonderful film! I rewatched it before posting these, and it still steals my heart with such effortless grace. Beautiful!

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  8. I had forgotten about Beginners and we had just rented this 2 weeks ago. I was expecting to be wowed by the film but I have almost forgotten it. Ewan McGregor is always great in anything he does (even Obi Wan). Christopher Plummer was also quite good but I wanted to see more of him and aside from the dog I just don't have the love for it. It didn't grab me. I have not seen Mysteries of Lisbon and it does look intriguing. I love The Artist and felt Jean Dujardin deserved the award...so did the dog:). I love Hugo because I felt Scorsese brought George Melies back to the public and it looked magical to me. I also enjoyed The Help even though it is typical fare. We watched Moneyball again just the other night. Have no bloody idea about the stats stuff and all that but it made for a great story which is true. My brother, who is an expert in baseball and worked with a magazine writing for the magazine about baseball and even wrote the back of baseball cards said the film was quite accurate but, after all these years, that idea still has not shown to truly work. I think there are so many films that came out this year that so many deserved an award.

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    1. I'm weeping over your reaction to Beginners.

      WEEPING!

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  9. I absolutely LOVED Drive and adored Beginners. I remember 2011 being such a fantastic year, and those two films were my favorites.

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    1. Yeah, this year was just great all around!

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  10. For me, The Tree of Life is the best film that year as it was more than a film. It was an experience. Drive is my 2nd favorite film that year. There's just so many great films that year.

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    1. I like The Tree of Life, but I don't love it. Malick is a great director, and he's so ambitious and visionary, but he gets in his own way at times...at least in my opinion.

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  11. Love that Johnny Depp nom! ;) Your Best Picture lineup looks great! Glad that Beginners is still your winner.

    Binoche wins! So much YES!!! The Best Actor changes are awesome, and it's nice to see The Skin I Live In pop up in Score. I threw that and A Dangerous Method in Makeup, since I wanted to honor them somewhere.

    Did you see Senna?

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    1. I had a feeling you'd like the massive Hugo love. UGH...that movie has grown so much for me!

      I wanted to reward The Skin I Live In with a nom somewhere, and I almost squeezed it into Art Direction too...but I couldn't shake that lineup...I loved it too much.

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    2. Oh, and I didn't see Senna! I had it in my queue, but it was a long wait and I got impatient...and I loved my Film Editing lineup, and I knew that is where it would be competing the most, so I felt ok with skipping it since I didn't want to shake up my lineup.

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  12. Great stuff here! I'm glad to see you celebrate Carey Mulligan's role in Shame. I was amazed at the wealth of character development achieved through things that were unsaid.

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    1. Exactly! She adds so many layers to this role, creates such a backstory that isn't on paper but is so completely there!

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  13. Very interesting choices! Glad to see Theron nominated, for what is such an underrated movie, but my win is Mara. Oh Kekili...when you get to Thrones you will see her being the worst in the ensemble there

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    1. Yes, I keep hearing that Kekili is awful on Thrones, and I ONLY know her from her devastating work in this film, so I'm shocked to hear all the negative. She's great here though...like...SO GOOD!

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  14. LOVE Like Crazy being included for Best Editing, and Fanning's nom for Super 8 is so on point. Also love that Carey pulled out the win for Shame though. That movie IS my 2011.

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  15. What a rich year, this is. Lots of great films here and plenty more deserving ones. My Best Pic ballot would be:

    13 Assassins
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    Drive
    Martha Marcy May Marlene
    Tyrannosaur.

    Tyrannosaur would get my win with Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman both probably getting acting noms. Speaking of acting noms, my only real gripe is with your Best Lead Actress category. My winner would be Elizabeth Olsen in a walk, but that's not my beef. I think Rooney Mara is sorely missing from your list of noms. Good stuff, overall.

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    1. To be honest, Lead Actress was SO HARD, and Mara wasn't even my #6...she was still behind Colman, Heran and Dunst. Loved her though. My entire Top 12 is just incredible. So many wonderful performances.

      I love that Olsen is your winner. That was such a richly textured performance. She nailed it.

      Have you seen Certified Copy or When We Leave?

      I've never seen 13 Assassins...

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    2. I've not seen either of those.

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    3. I hope you do. I was not happy to leave off Mara, because I wanted her to win the Oscar when she was nominated. She was far and away the best of the nominees! But this particular year was just TOO GOOD in this category, too rich, and I couldn't fit her. See Binoche and Kekili and Heran and you'll see what I mean.

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    4. I know I'm in the minority on this, but I think Mara is AWFUL in Dragon Tattoo. She cuts a striking figure, but Lisbeth is supposed to be largely unknowable: She never lets anyone know what she's thinking or feeling, and that's a large reason why she's so fascinating. Mara makes it all too obvious what she's thinking and feeling at all times, and it feels like a betrayal of the character. Put another way, she plays the character, not the person.

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    5. Interesting take. I really liked her, but I do prefer what Rapace does with the character.

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