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‘The Tree of Life,’ ‘The Descendants’ Reign Supreme with Denver-area Film Critics

by DFCS on January 10, 2012

The Denver Film Critics Society has given director Terrence Malick’s impressionistic portrait of a ’50s-era family and the origins of life the group’s highest honor.

“The Tree of Life,” starring Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain and Sean Penn, was chosen by DFCS as the Best Picture of 2011 this week, while “The Descendants” won three awards, including Best Screenplay. DFCS’s annual awards celebrate the finest achievement in film as chosen by a diverse group of Colo.-based film journalists.

Acting nods went to Pitt for his complicated turn as a baseball executive reinventing the rules of his game in “Moneyball,” and Meryl Streep for her latest astonishing performance as Great Britain’s groundbreaking “Iron Lady.”

Chastain’s busy 2011, including sterling appearances in “Take Shelter,” “The Tree of Life,” “The Help” and “The Debt,” made her the runaway choice for the year’s Breakout Star, while director Gore Verbinski’s neo-western “Rango” moseyed off with the Best Animated Film award.

“The 2011 film lineup may have lacked that awards-sweeping entry, but the breadth of films spoke to the vision of the modern filmmaker,” said DFCS co-director Christian Toto. “Many of the categories were won by a single vote.”

“The Artist,” the magnificent ode to the silent film era, earned a Best Director tie for Michel Hazanavicius as well as Best Score.

The Denver Film Critics Society is comprised of print journalists, bloggers, TV personalities and film scholars across the Front Range. Voting was conducted from Jan. 1-4, 2012.

THE 2011 DFCS AWARD WINNERS:

Best Picture:

“The Tree of Life”

Best Actor:

Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”

Best Actress:

Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”

Best Supporting Actor:

Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”


Best Supporting Actress:

Shailene Woodley, “The Descendants”

Best Director (tie):

Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”

Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”

Best Screenplay Original/Adapted (both in a single category):

“The Descendants” – Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash

Best Animated Film:

“Rango”

Best Ensemble:

“The Descendants”

Best Original Score:

“The Artist” – Ludovic Bource

Best Breakout Star:

Jessica Chastain

Best Documentary:

“Page One: Inside the New York Times”


Best Foreign Language Film:

“A Separation”

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