Today The Washington Area Film Critics Association, of which I am a member, announced its awards for 2011. I agree with some of the picks and disagree with others. That’s democracy, I guess, and I’m all for it until they appoint me Empress of the Universe.
- Critics like movies about movies.WAFCA awarded Best Picture to “The Artist,” an homage to silent movies. Best Director went to Martin Scorsese for “Hugo,” a love song to the early days of film covering roughly the same era. Best Actress was awarded to Michelle Williams for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in “My Week with Marilyn,” an exploration of the reigning queen of the Golden Age. And “Rango,” a movie about an actor who happens to be a gecko having an adventure in the Wild West, won Best Animated Film. All four are excellently made movies, yet their focus on art and specifically cinematic art leaves out much of human experience. It makes sense that critics (and later, it’s likely, the Academy) love movies about movies. After all, we don’t become critics for the paychecks, but for a passion for film. Still, we tend to be a bit myopic.
The rest of my reactions after the jump.