Tree of Life Leads CFCA Nominations with 7; Descendants, Drive Follow with 6 PDF Print E-mail

Tree of Life

"The Tree of Life," the long-gestating drama from director Terrence Malick that took viewers on a journey from the beginning of time to a small Texas town in the 1950's, was apparently worth the wait, according to the members of the Chicago Film Critics Association. The film led all others with seven nominations including Best Picture and nods for Malick for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, Brad Pitt for Best Supporting Actor, Jessica Chastain for Best Supporting Actress, Emmanuel Lubezki for Best Cinematography and Hunter McCracken for Most Promising Performer.

Tied for second place with six nominations each were "Drive" and "The Descendants." The former, a moody and stylish action thriller about a loner who works as a stunt driver by day and as a freelance getaway driver by night also received nominations for Director, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Score and Supporting Actor for Albert Brooks for his change-of-pace turn as a ruthless crime kingpin who hates loose ends. The latter, a comedy-drama about a Hawaiian land baron struggling to reconnect with his daughters and come to terms with his life in the face of unimaginable tragedy earned nods for Director, Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor for George Clooney while newcomer Shailene Woodley received nominations for Supporting Actress and Promising Performer.

Rounding out the nominations for Best Picture and tied for five nominations each were two films dealing with the history of the silent cinema. "Hugo," Martin Scorsese's elaborate 3-D family film about a little boy in 1931 Paris who unexpectedly crosses paths with an embittered old man who turns out to be French film pioneer Georges Melies, also earned nominations for Scorsese's direction as well as for Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography and Original Score. "The Artist," the crowd-pleasing silent comedy from France about a big-time Hollywood star who stubbornly resists the industry's move to talkies, garnered filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius nods for Director and Original Screenplay as well as nominations for Original Score and a Best Actor slot for star Jean Dujardin.

Among the other notable standouts in this year's class of nominees:

Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog received two nominations in the Best Documentary category for his 2011 films "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" and "Into the Abyss"

Films with connections to the Chicagoland community were also well-represented in this year's picks. Plainfield native Melissa McCarthy was named for her scene-stealing turn in the hit comedy "Bridesmaids." Columbia College graduate Janusz Kaminski was cited for Best Cinematography for "War Horse" while Apichatpong Weerasethakul, a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, saw his film "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" receive a nod for Foreign-Language Film. Finally, "The Interrupters," the powerful film about a local group committed to preventing violence from erupting in some of the city's toughest neighborhoods, was nominated for Documentary.

"Margaret," the long-delayed film from Kenneth Lonergan that became the focus of a grass-roots campaign by critics and fans to convince its distributor to make an effort towards an award campaign after its brief and perfunctory release earlier this fall, found those efforts rewarded with a Best Actress nomination for Anna Paquin for her nervy turn as a spoiled New York City teenager whose life is thrown into upheaval following a tragic traffic accident for which she was partly responsible.

The winners of the CFCA Awards, now in their 23rd year, will be announced on the morning of December 19, 2011 and will be presented at a ceremony on January .

BEST PICTURE
The Artist
The Descendants
Drive
Hugo
The Tree of Life

BEST DIRECTOR
Michel Hazanavicius (-) The Artist
Terrence Malick (-) The Tree of Life
Alexander Payne (-) The Descendants
Nicolas Winding Refn (-) Drive
Martin Scorsese (-) Hugo

BEST ACTOR
George Clooney (-) The Descendants
Jean Dujardin (-) The Artist
Michael Fassbender (-) Shame
Gary Oldman (-) Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Michael Shannon (-) Take Shelter

BEST ACTRESS
Kirsten Dunst (-) Melancholia
Elizabeth Olsen (-) Martha Marcy May Marlene
Anna Paquin (-) Margaret
Meryl Streep (-) The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams (-) My Week With Marilyn

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Albert Brooks (-) Drive
Nick Nolte (-) Warrior
Patton Oswalt (-) Young Adult
Brad Pitt (-) The Tree of Life
Christopher Plummer (-) Beginners

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jessica Chastain (-) The Tree of Life
Melissa McCarthy (-) Bridesmaids
Carey Mulligan (-) Shame
Octavia Spencer (-) The Help
Shailene Woodley (-) The Descendants

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Artist (-) Michel Hazanavicius
Martha Marcy May Marlene (-) Sean Durkin
Midnight In Paris (-) Woody Allen
A Separation (-) Asghar Farhadi
The Tree of Life (-) Terrence Malick

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The Descendants (-) Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Drive (-) Hossein Amini
Hugo (-) John Logan
Moneyball (-) Steven Zaillian & Aaron Sorkin
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (-) Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The Adventures of Tintin
Arthur Christmas
Puss In Boots
Rango
Winnie the Pooh

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
The Interrupters
Into the Abyss
Pina
Project Nim
Tabloid

BEST FOREIGN FILM
In a Better World
Incendies
A Separation
The Skin I Live In
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Drive (-) Newton Thomas Sigel
Hugo (-) Robert Richardson
Melancholia (-) Manuel Alberto Claro
The Tree of Life (-) Emmanuel Lubezki
War Horse (-) Janusz Kaminski

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
The Artist (-) Ludovic Bource
Drive (-) Cliff Martinez
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (-) Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
Hanna (-) The Chemical Brothers
Hugo (-) Howard Shore

MOST PROMISING PERFORMER
Liana Liberato (-) Trust
Brit Marling (-) Another Earth
Hunter McCracken (-) The Tree of Life
Elizabeth Olsen (-) Martha Marcy May Marlene
Shailene Woodley (-) The Descendants

MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER
J.C. Chandor (-) Margin Call
Simon Curtis (-) My Week With Marilyn
Drake Doremus (-) Like Crazy
Sean Durkin (-) Martha Marcy May Marlene
Tate Taylor (-) The Help