2011 Alternative Academy Award Nominations

I decided quite a few years back that I wasn’t going to be bothered by Oscar nominations. It didn’t take very long for me to realize that politics and popularity were more important in determining who/what made the shortlists than actual quality of performances and films. Sure, every once in a while you’ll see someone or something nominated that actually deserves to be there, but more often than not the roster is filled out by safe and predictable choices. So I refuse to take it seriously. Instead, I treat it as a game, a yearly bet I make with myself to how many guesses I can get correct. I’ll have a post pre-Oscar night with my official guesses, but first I figured I’d try something a little different.

I am now proud to present my Alternative Academy Award Nominations! This is a list of what I felt to be the very best that film had to offer in 2011. It consists only of what I feel to be major categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor In A Leading/Supporting Role, Best Actress In A Leading/Supporting Role, Best Foreign Film, Best Documentary, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Use Of Music (score and song combined into one category). I could do more categories, but I think you could gauge fairly easily what the picks would be judging from my other choices. To my surprise and delight, my picks correlate very little with the official ones. A brief sample reveals that four of my Best Picture choices are also official Oscar picks, but there is only one mutual pick in the Best Actor category, and zero similarities in the Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress categories. The other nominees are similar in their disparity. Not really all that surprising, I suppose, but it is discouraging how many worthy choices were overlooked for 2011. So this is my chance to give all those deserving a proper shout-out. A couple final notes: my #3 film of the year is a foreign release, but I’ve decided to follow the Academy’s style and place it solely in the Foreign Film category, so one more film total will get its fair due. Also, most of the categories will be my top 5 picks, with a couple exceptions, and my #1 picks are the ones I feel should have been the Oscar winners. Ok, now that everything that needed saying has been said, let’s begin.

Best Picture

1. Midnight In Paris

2. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

3. Hugo

4. Drive

5. Martha Marcy May Marlene

6. Take Shelter

7. The Artist

8. Melancholia

9. 50/50

10. Moneyball

Just missed the list: Attack The Block, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Shame

Best Director

1. Tomas Alfredson, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

2. Martin Scorcese, Hugo

Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive

4. Woody Allen, Midnight In Paris

5. Sean Durkin, Martha Marcy May Marlene

Just missed the list: Lars von Trier, Melancholia and Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter

Best Actor In A Leading Role

1. Michael Fassbender, Shame

2. Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

3. Peyman Maadi, A Separation

4. Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

5. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50

Just missed the list: Jean Dujardin, The Artist & John Boyega, Attack The Block

Best Actress In A Leading Role

1. Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene

2. Charlize Theron, Young Adult

3. Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia

4. Elena Anaya, The Skin I Live In

5. Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin

Just missed the list: Jeong-hie Yun, Poetry

Best Actor In A Supporting Role

1. Corey Stoll, Midnight In Paris

2. Patton Oswalt, Young Adult

3. John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene

4. Mark Strong, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

5. Albert Brooks, Drive

Just missed the list: Ben Kingsley, Hugo and Michael Parks, Red State

Best Actress In A Supporting Role

1. Marion Cotillard, Midnight In Paris

2. Elle Fanning, Super 8

3. Ellen Page, Super

4. Amy Ryan, Win Win

5. Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Just missed the list: Svetlana Khodchenkova, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Best Foreign Film

1. A Separation

2. 13 Assassins

3. The Skin I Live In

4. Poetry

5. Of Gods And Men

Best Documentary Film

1. Senna

2. Tabloid

3. Cave Of Forgotten Dreams

Best Cinematography

1. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

2. War Horse

3. Drive

4. Melancholia

5. The Artist

Just missed the list: Midnight In Paris and Meek’s Cutoff

Best Visual Effects

1. Attack The Block

This was the only film this year that really impressed me in the visual effects department.

Best Use Of Music, Score & Song

Not really any order here, just a few of the best musical moments of 2011:

I think that just about wraps it up for 2011. In the next couple of days, I’ll give my official picks for the Oscars, along with a new review for the weekend, most likely Wanderlust. Until next time.

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About Andrew Alan Ramseyer

I am a Phoenix resident and I graduated from Arizona State University in 2011 with a Bachelors degree in Film and Media Studies, and from Northern Arizona University in 2013 with an English Masters degree and an emphasis on Professional Writing. The real world made sure that I would need to continue schooling in other areas, but I still love watching films and writing about films. Maybe someday I'll be able to do something film-related on a professional level, but for now I'm content with writing for myself and for others, who hopefully find my thoughts worthwhile.
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3 Responses to 2011 Alternative Academy Award Nominations

  1. Ryan says:

    I haven’t seen nearly as many movies this year as I had hoped, and many on my “must watch” list appear in your selections above. Now knowing how great these films are, I will put forth more of an effort to view as many as I can. I won’t be able to view all of the ones I want to see before the ceremony, but I should at least see the main ones. Based on what I’ve heard from you and others, I am not surprised in some of the Academy’s omissions that you’ve included here.

    I am curious to see what you think the Academy will choose. Again, I haven’t seen as many of the films as I had wanted, but I will also pull together a list of predictions for the “big day.” I’m sure you’ll do much better than I will.

  2. Ed says:

    Excellent choices. And, I don’t only say that because there’s a fair bit of overlap with my own. Ellen Page for SUPER –> YES! Why didn’t I think of that myself? Also: that cinematography still for Melancholia is stunning. Clearly, it’s been very “enhanced”, but still stunning.

    No love for Tree of Life?

  3. Ed,

    I wasn’t much of a fan of The Tree Of Life. Looking at my Cinematography picks, I could have easily given it a nod there. Also, Brad Pitt for Best Supporting Actor would have made the list had I made 10 picks. The film itself is my least favorite Malick work though.

    Many thanks for reading!

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