The Felixes

Or, the Anti-Oscars.TM

Best Director of 2011

Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist

PRO: Making stylistic choices to avoid color and dialogue, some French guy relies on classic cinema storytelling to bring the silent-film era to life.

CON: Replacing color and dialogue with a hackneyed plot and overblown mugging, the phrase "The Artist" hasn't had this pretentious a connotation since Prince used it as his name.

Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris

PRO: Funny, smart, and for Woody, a success -- at $56 million, Woody's highest-grossing movie ever.

CON: Still does not equal opening-weekend grosses of Dark of the Moon, e.g., Transformers 3.

Martin Scorsese for Hugo

PRO: Great previous body of work, including masterpieces Mean Streets, Goodfellas, and, our favorite, Raging Bull.

CON: It's about a kid who gains 65 pounds in order to ... oh, wait, it's about film preservation. ZZZ.

Alexander Payne for The Descendants

PRO: In this successor film to About Schmidt and Sideways, Payne does another great job getting funny yet nuanced portrayals from his actors.

CON: Is this Payne's version of a blockbuster -- take a Pirates of the Carribean sequel, move it to Hawaii, and make it a depressing story about family and real estate? Wake us when stuff blows up.

Terence Malick for The Tree of Life

PRO: Malick continues his masterpiece-a-decade streak with this complex exploration of the human condition; a dreamlike film where dinosaurs and Sean Penn can co-exist comfortably.

CON: It's like Inception, minus the action and narrative structure.

Best Foreign Language Film of 2011

A Separation (Iran)

Monsieur Lazhar (Canada)

Footnote (Israel)

In Darkness (Poland)

Bullhead (Belgium)

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Felixes 2012 Table of Contents