Black Film Critics Circle Loves "The Help," "Pariah" 


The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) has announced the winners of its annual awards and Tate Taylor's "The Help" won Best Film of 2011. But "Pariah's" Dee Rees took home the Best Director award. Viola Davis won Best Actress for "The Help" while Olivier Litondo took home the Best Actor award for "The First Grader."

Harry Belafonte was honored with the Pioneer award while Adepero Oduye was given the Rising Star Award for her performance in "Pariah." The fantastic sci-fi film that you missed (watch it now on DVD), "Attack the Block" was given a special mention.

Here's the complete list of winners (If you're interested to see the winners/nominees from other award-giving bodies, visit our Awards Avenue coverage right here):

Best Picture - THE HELP
Best Director - Dee Rees for PARIAH
Best Actor - Olivier Litondo for THE FIRST GRADER
Best Actress - Viola Davis for THE HELP
Best Supporting Actor - Albert Brooks for DRIVE
Best Supporting Actress - Octavia Spencer for THE HELP
Best Independent Film - PARIAH
Best Original Screenplay - Dee Rees for PARIAH
Best Adapted Screenplay - Tate Taylor for THE HELP
Best Documentary - BEING ELMO: A Puppeteer's Journey
Best Foreign Film - LIFE, ABOVE ALL
Best Animated Film - RANGO
Best Ensemble - THE HELP

BFCC Signature Awards include:

PIONEER - HARRY BELAFONTE

A renaissance artist who brought his unique talent to all areas of entertainment in a career that has spanned nearly 60
years, Belafonte is a multi-Grammy© winning artist, an Emmy© Award winner with the distinct designation as the first
African American television producer, a Tony© Award winner, motion picture film actor and producer, Civil Rights Activist
and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. From his music, films, and humanitarian work, Harry Belafonte has continued to
embody the very essence of the word Pioneer.

RISING STAR - ADEPERO ODUYE

Adepero’s performance in PARIAH is a moving, powerful unforgettable portrayal of a young woman of color coming to terms
with herself, her sexuality, and her family. We believe she is truly a Talent to Watch.

SPECIAL MENTION - ATTACK THE BLOCK:
Attack is a genre film that defies a number of conventions, not only by having a primarily black cast but portraying each
character with a dignity seldom seen on screen and even more rarely in a Science-Fiction film.

BFCC'S TOP TEN FILMS OF 2011

1. The Help
2. The Artist
3. Pariah
4. Drive
5. The Descendants
6. Attack the Block
7. Tree of Life
8. Hugo
9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
10. Warrior

Founded in 2010, the Black Film Critics Circle is a membership organization comprised of film critics of color from daily
newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines, radio, television and qualifying on-line publications. The organization is
dedicated to honoring excellence of professionals in the theatrical motion picture industry in U.S. and World Cinema. Its
mission is to celebrate contributions and achievements in film by people of the black Diaspora who work in front of and
behind the camera, maintain the integrity of a true Critics organization and advance a collective vision of journalists of the
black Diaspora. BFCC assists in the development of new talent in the field of entertainment journalism through educational
opportunities, mentoring and strategic partnerships and raises awareness of the significance of black film and black film
history as a critical part of film culture and preservation. The organization meets annually in December to vote on the year’s
films. BFCC’s Founding Members are journalists Mike Sargent (WBAI-FM NY/Tor.com), Wilson Morales (Blackfilm.com),
and Shawn Edwards (WDAF-TV Fox Affiliate Kansas City, MO).


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Dublin Film Critics Hail "Drive," "The Guard" 


Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" continues to muscle its way through the awards season. This time, the noir thriller took home the Best Picture award from the Dublin Film Critics' annual kudofest. "Drive" also won Best Director for Refn and Best Actor for Ryan Gosling.

The excellent film "The Guard" won Best Irish Film and Best Domestic Breakthrough for director John Michael McDonagh. The International Breakthrough Award went to Jessica Chastain for her excellent year -- starring in "The Help," "The Tree of Life," and "Take Shelter."

Here's the complete list of winners (If you're interested to see the winners/nominees from other award-giving bodies, visit our Awards Avenue coverage right here):

Best Picture: "Drive"

Best Director: Nicolas Winding Refn, "Drive"

Best Actor: Ryan Gosling, "Drive"

Best Actress: Jessica Chastain, "The Tree of Life"

Best Documentary: "Senna"

Best Foreign Language Film: "A Separation"

Best Irish Film: "The Guard"

Best Irish Documentary: "Knuckle"

International Breakthrough: Jessica Chastain, "The Help," "Take Shelter" and "The Tree of Life"

Domestic Breakthrough: John Michael McDonagh, "The Guard"

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"Drive" Tops Utah Film Critics Awards 


The Utah Film Critics announced the winners of their annual awards and it's all over the place...in a very good way! Nicholas Winding Refn's "Drive" took home the big prize, the Best Picture award. "Drive" also won Best Cinematography. Refn was the runner-up in the Best Director category which was garnered by Michel Hazanavicius for "The Artist."

There were also some surprises in the acting category. Besides the usual suspects of Michelle Williams as Best Actress for "My Week with Marilyn" and Albert Brooks for Best Supporting Actor for "Drive," Joseph Gordon-Levitt scored the Best Actor Award for "50/50" while Amy Ryan took home the Best Supporting Actress Award for "Win Win."

I told you, the winners are all over the place, but it's a good thing!

Here's the complete list of winners (If you're interested to see the winners/nominees from other award-giving bodies, visit our Awards Avenue coverage right here):

Best Picture
Drive (runner-up: The Artist)

Best Achievement in Directing
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist (runner-up: Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive)

Best Lead Performance by an Actor
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: 50/50 (runner-up: Jean Dujardin, The Artist)

Best Lead Performance by an Actress
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn (runner-up: Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Best Supporting Performance by an Actor
Albert Brooks, Drive (runner-up: Christopher Plummer, Beginners)

Best Supporting Performance by an Actress
Amy Ryan, Win Win (runner-up: Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus)

Best Original Screenplay
Will Reiser, 50/50 (runner-up: Mike Mills, Beginners)

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants (runner-up: Jason Segel & Nicholas Stoller, The Muppets)

Best Cinematography
Newton Thomas Sigel, Drive (runner-up: Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life)

Best Documentary Feature
Senna (runner-up: Project Nim)

Best Non-English Language Feature
A Separation (runner-up: 13 Assassins)

Best Animated Feature
Rango (runners-up: The Adventures of Tintin and Kung Fu Panda 2)

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"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" Director to be Honored at Palm Springs International Film Festival 


Stephen Daldry, the guy behind "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," will be presented with the Director of the Year Award at the upcoming Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF). The Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 7, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Awards Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees George Clooney, Glenn Close, Michel Hazanavicius, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Octavia Spencer, Michelle Williams, and the film Young Adult. The Festival runs January 5-16.

Here's the rest of the press release:

“Stephen Daldry has garnered international acclaim as a director, bringing his consummate skill to both the cinema and stage,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In his latest work, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, he directs a virtuoso cast in the story of a young boy who, after losing his father on 9/11, goes on a quest to learn what an unusual key found in his father’s possessions may unlock. This journey then becomes a metaphor for the need of a child to maintain a close bond with a loved one who died tragically and too soon. For this haunting film and for all of his achievements as a “director’s director,” the Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present the 2012 “Director of the Year Award” To Stephen Daldry.”

Adapted from the acclaimed bestseller by Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a story that unfolds from inside the young mind of Oskar Schell, an inventive eleven year-old New Yorker whose discovery of a key in his deceased father’s belongings sets him off on an urgent search across the city for the lock it will open. A year after his father died in the World Trade Center on what Oskar calls “The Worst Day,” he is determined to keep his vital connection to the man who playfully cajoled him into confronting his wildest fears. The Warner Bros. film is directed by Daldry, with a screenplay by Eric Roth, and stars Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and Thomas Horn as Oskar. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close was recently nominated for four Critics’ Choice Movie Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Young Actor.

Daldry is an award-winning director of both stage and screen. His first feature film, Billy Elliot, won more than 40 awards worldwide and received three Oscar® nominations, including Best Director. His second feature The Hours received nine Oscar® nominations including Best Picture and Director, 11 BAFTA nominations and won Best Picture (Drama) at the Golden Globes. His other recent feature, The Reader, earned five Oscar® nominations, including Best Director and Best Picture.

Past Director of the Year honorees include Ang Lee, Anthony Minghella, Alexander Payne, Sean Penn, Jason Reitman and David O. Russell.

About The Palm Springs International Film Festival
The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 130,000 attendees each year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Black Tie Awards Gala, honoring the best achievements of the filmic year by a celebrated list of talents who in recent years have included Clint Eastwood, Kate Winslet, Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Sean Penn, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ron Howard, Anne Hathaway, Jeff Bridges, Danny Elfman and many others.

The Festival’s 23rd Annual Awards Gala is presented by Cartier and sponsored by Mercedes Benz and Entertainment Tonight. Renewing sponsors of this year’s Festival are Title Sponsor The City of Palm Springs and Presenting Sponsors The Desert Sun, the City of Indian Wells, Spencer’s Restaurant and KPSP Local 2. Major Sponsors include Bank of America, Penfolds, Regal Entertainment, Diageo, Desert Regional Medical Center, Integrated Wealth Management, Wessman Development, Guthy-Renker, Wells Fargo, Chihuly Art Glass, and Ocean Properties Development.

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"The Iron Lady," "We Need to Talk About Kevin" Among Women Film Critics Circle Award Winners 


The Women Film Critics Circle has announced the winner of its annual awards and the list is quite interesting! But as Melissa Silverstein from IndieWire asked, where is the award for Best Woman Director? But I guess by honoring "The Iron Lady" and "We Need to Talk About Kevin," both movies tied and both movies directed by women (Phyllida Lloyd for "Iron Lady" and Lynne Ramsay for "Kevin"), their respective directors are being awarded.

"The Help," directed by a man, Tate Taylor, was given the Best Movie About Women award, while the Best Storyteller went to Abi Morgan, the scriptwriter of "The Iron Lady."

Viola Davis from "The Help" won Best Actress, George Clooney ("The Descendants") took home the Best Actor trophy while his co-star, Shailene Woodley was given the Best Young Actress Award. And Melissa McCarthy continued to get more awards! This time, the "Bridesmaids" scene-stealer won Best Comedic Actress.

Here's the complete list of winners (If you're interested to see the winners/nominees from other award-giving bodies, visit our Awards Avenue coverage right here):

BEST MOVIE BY A WOMAN: TIE*

The Iron Lady
We Need To Talk About Kevin

BEST MOVIE ABOUT WOMEN:

The Help

BEST STORYTELLER:

The Iron Lady: Abi Morgan

BEST ACTRESS:

Viola Davis: The Help

BEST ACTOR:

George Clooney: The Descendants

BEST COMEDIC ACTRESS:

Melissa McCarthy: Bridesmaids

BEST YOUNG ACTRESS:

Shailene Woodley: The Descendants

BEST FOREIGN FILM:

The Hedgehog

BEST FEMALE IMAGES:

The Whistleblower

WORST FEMALE IMAGES:

Melancholia

BEST MALE IMAGES:

The Descendants

WORST MALE IMAGES:

Hangover 2

BEST DOCUMENTARY BY OR ABOUT WOMEN:

Semper Fi: Always Faithful

BEST FAMILY FILM:

Hugo

BEST ANIMATED FEMALES

Puss 'N Boots

BEST EQUALITY OF THE SEXES:

The Debt

COURAGE IN ACTING:

Glenn Close: Albert Nobbs

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN AWARD: Tie*

Hiam Abbass: Miral
Michelle Williams: Meek's Cutoff

BEST UNRELEASED MOVIE:
Miss Representation

WOMEN'S WORK: BEST FEMALE ENSEMBLE:
The Help

BEST SCREEN COUPLE:
The Artist: Berenice Bejo and Jean Dujardin

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Tie*

Kathy Bates
Cicely Tyson

ACTING AND ACTIVISM AWARD:
Elizabeth Taylor

ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD (For a film that most passionately opposes violence against women)
The Whistleblower

JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD (For best expressing the woman of color experience in America)
The Help

KAREN MORLEY AWARD (For best exemplifying a woman’s place in history or society, and a courageous search for identity)
Albert Nobbs

MOMMIE DEAREST WORST SCREEN MOM OF THE YEAR AWARD
Judi Dench: J. Edgar

The Women Film Critics Circle is an association of 57 women film critics and scholars from around the country and internationally, who are involved in print, radio, online and TV broadcast media. We came together in 2004 to form the first women critics organization in the United States, in the belief that women’s perspectives and voices in film criticism need to be recognized fully.

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