Houston Film Critics Society Announce 2011 Award Winners

The Houston Film Critics Society have announced their winners for the best in film of 2011.

The group chose Alexander Payne’s THE DESCENDANTS as the best film of the year. THE DESCENDANTS was also the Houston Film Critics Society’s most honored film. FilmDistrict and Bold Films’ DRIVE was the other major awards recipient, receiving two awards.  Other major winners included Michael Fassbender as Best Actor for SHAME and Tilda Swinton as Best Actress for WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN.

The organization also bestowed its Lifetime Achievement award to Academy Award Winner Jeff Bridges, for his vast body of work stretching from THE LAST PICTURE SHOW to CRAZY HEART and TRUE GRIT.

For the first time since its inception the Houston Film Critics Society has elected to give its Humanitarian of the Year Award not to an actor or direct member of the film society but to local philanthropist Joanne King Herring for her extended humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan, part of which made up the plot of the film CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR.

The Houston Film Critics Society continued its tradition of singling out the Worst Film of the Year as well, selecting Universal Pictures’ YOUR HIGHNESS.

Alexander Payne’s adaptation of the novel THE DESCENDANTS was also given the nod for Best Screenplay for Payne and co-writers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.  Actress Shailene Woodley beat out a talented field to be given the award for Best Supporting Actress.

Thriller DRIVE received two awards, taking home Best Director for Nicholas Winding Refn and Best Supporting Actor for Albert Brooks.

Korean suspense I SAW THE DEVIL took the award for Best Foreign Film and provocative documentary PROJECT NIM was selected as Best Documentary of the year.  THE MUPPETS’ return to film was greeted with the award for Best Song for “Life’s A Happy Song” and modern silent film THE ARTIST was picked for BEST SCORE.

In the technical categories, Emmanuel Lubezki’s exquisite nature photography for THE TREE OF LIFE was selected as the best of the year. The Houston Film Critics also gave their inaugural award in the category of Technical Achievement, selecting RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES for Andy Serkis evocative motion capture performance as Caesar.

Gore Verbinski’s RANGO won out as Best Animated Film.

The society also handed out two Special Achievement in Cinema awards to Hunter Todd for founding and running WorldFest and to Mary Lampe, founder and director of SWAMP, the Southwest Alternative Media Project.

The Houston Film Critics Society awards will presented in a ceremony Saturday, January 7, at the Museum of Fine Arts’ Brown Auditorium.

During the ceremony, the Houston Film Critics Society will announce the winner of their inaugural selection for Best Texas Independent Film, to be given to a film majorly financed and filmed in Texas.  The award will be decided upon between five nominees:

  1. Deadbeat TV Vol. 2 (Invisible Studios)
  2. The Great American Moon Rock Caper (Flock of Film Productions)
  3. Jacob (Odyssee Pictures)
  4. Puncture (Millennium Entertainment)
  5. Stick ‘Em Up (Shoot Edit Sleep)

Founded in 2007, the Houston Film Critics Society is comprised of critics from the most influential Houston-area newspapers, magazines, TV & radio stations and websites with both regional and national audiences and was organized for the purpose of increasing public awareness of cinematic excellence and to encourage the publication and broadcasting of substantive critical commentary on film.   This is the fifth year the organization has presented Best of the Year awards.

The Houston Film Critics Society complete list of 2011 winners:

  • 2011 Best Picture  –  The Descendants
  • 2011 Best Director  –  Nicholas Winding Refn, Drive
  • 2011 Best Actor  –  Michael Fassbender, Shame
  • 2011 Best Actress  –  Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin
  • 2011 Best Supporting Actor  –  Albert Brooks, Drive
  • 2011 Best Supporting Actress  –  Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
  • 2011 Best Screenplay  –  Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, The Descendants
  • 2011 Best Animated Film  –  Rango
  • 2011 Best Cinematography  –  Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life
  • 2011 Best Documentary  –  Project Nim  
  • 2011 Best Foreign Film  –  I Saw The Devil
  • 2011 Best Original Score  –  Ludovic Bource, The Artist
  • 2011 Best Original Song  – “Life’s A Happy Song” from
  • The Muppets, music & lyrics by Bret McKenzie
  • 2011 Technical Achievement – Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • 2011 Worst Film of the Year – Your Highness
  • 2011 Humanitarian of the Year Award – Joanne King Herring
  • 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award  – Jeff Bridges
  • 2011 Outstanding Achievement – Hunter Todd
  • 2011 Outstanding Achievement – Mary Lampe

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