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I already ranked my top 10 films of the year last week, but taking a page from In Contention's own Kris Tapley I've decided to post my own picks in some of the major award season categories. Just for fun, I've also included some of my "best of the year" picks for TV and music as well. Granted, music is the most subjective these days, so if it makes you feel better consider my Top Singles of 2011 a "favorites" list.
And again, thanks to Mr. Tapley for letting me poach his idea.
Comments are included where it was deemed necessary.
Best Picture: "Shame" (Runner-up: "Drive")
Best Director: Nicholas Winding Refn, "Drive"
Best Actor: Michael Fassbender, "Shame" (Runner-up: Gary Oldman, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy")
More: This was a tough one. It was a strong year for leading performances all around, but Fassbender stood above the rest.
Best Actress: Felicity Jones, "Like Crazy" (Runner-up: Kirsten Dunst, "Melancholia")
More: Again, a great year for actors. Viola Davis, Elisabeth Olsen, Michelle Williams, Tilda Swinton, Olivia Coleman were all superb, but Jones and Dunst gave career defining performances.
Best Supporting Actor: Benedict Cumberbatch, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
More: It's perplexing why Cumberbatch's fantastic turn hasn't gotten more awards season attention. He certainly gets my vote.
Best Supporting Actress: Carey Mulligan, "Shame"
More: It will be quite disheartening if she doesn't land an Oscar nod. It's arguably Mulligan's best and most visceral performance to date.
Best Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, "The Descendants"
Best Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood, Nick Gottschalk, Sarah Horton Niall Moroney, Ralf Schreck, "Hanna" (Runner up: Maria Djurkovic, Tom Brown, Zsuzsa Kismarty-Lechner "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy")
Best Cinematography: Newton Thomas Sigel, "Drive" (Eduardo Serra, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2")
Best Costume Design: Alexandra Byrne, "Thor" (Runner up: Lisy Christl, "Anonymous")
More: Don't laugh. Byrne managed to take the original comic-book designs by Jack Kirby and transform them into something godly futuristic and in
Best Film Editing: Hank Corwin, Jay Rabinowitz, Daniel Rezende, Billy Weber, Mark Yoshikawa"The Tree of Life" (Runner-up: Dino Jonsäter "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy")
Best Makeup: "Green Lantern"
More: Sure, the movie sucked, but the makeup on Sinestro (Mark Strong) and Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) was superb.
Best Music (Original Score): The Chemical Brothers, "Hanna" (Cliff Martinez, "Drive")
More: "Hanna." A great movie too many of us forgot about at the end of the year.
Best Music (Original Song): "Life's A Happy Song," "The Muppets" (Runner up: "The Living Proof," "The Help")
Best Visual Effects: "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (Runner-up: "The Tree of Life")
Best Animated Film: "Rango" (Runner-up: "Arthur Christmas")
Most Underrated Film of the Year: "The Beaver"
More: Mel Gibson gives an amazing performance. Unfortunately, it's his actions off camera which make it so difficult to watch.
Most Overrated Film of the Year: "Martha Marcy May Marlene"
More: Great performance by Olsen. Impressive atmospheric work by Sean Durkin. Beyond that? Don't get me started.
Breakthrough Performance (Male): Michael Fassbender, "X-Men: First Class" (put him on the public map)
Breakthrough Performance (Female): Elizabeth Olsen, "Martha Marcy May Marlene"
Best Performance in a Bad Film: Andrea Riseborough, "W.E"
More: If only the movie was just about Wallis Simpson (Riseborough) and Edward (James D'Arcy) and Madonna had ditched the incredibly lame modern day storyline.
Worst Performance in a Good Film: Justin Timberlake, "Bad Teacher" (Runner-up: James Franco in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
More: "Teacher" had the makings of a great comedy, but Timberlake's performance is so bizarre you never buy that Diaz's character would make it her obsession to be with him (certainly not over the course of a whole school year). Franco is almost as bad in "Apes," seemingly sleepwalking through a role that could have used more charisma and energy instead of one-note angst.
Best Hero: Caesar, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
Best Villain: Bernie Rose, "Drive"
Best Poster: "The Tree of Life"
Best Trailer (for a trailer released in 2011, not necessarily a film released in 2011): "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" - Trailer 1
Most Surprising Film of the Year: "Young Adult" (and not in a good way)
Most Disappointing Film of the Year: "Green Lantern" (Runner-up: "Paul")
Most Ambitious Film of the Year: "The Tree of Life"
Most Intriguing Failure: "A Dangerous Method"
Best Action Sequence: Dust storm in "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol"
Entertainer of the Year: Ryan Gosling
More: He's no doubt cringing at the honor.
Five Worst Films I Saw This Year And Never Want To Sit Through Again (in no particular order): "Apollo 18," "Green Lantern," "The Hangover, Pt. II," "Another Earth"
Top 10 Films of the Year (in order): "Shame," "Drive, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," "Like Crazy," "The Descendants," "Beginners," "The Tree of Life," "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2," "Melancholia," "Weekend."
Best Comedy: "Bridesmaids" (Runner up: "The Guard")
Best Superhero Movie: "X-Men: First Class"
And now, some "Best of" picks outside the movie world. You're about to find out more about me than you've ever wanted to know. Beware.
Best Awards Show: The 2011 Grammy Awards
Best TV Show - Drama - Cable: "Game of Thrones" (Runner-up: "Homeland")
Best TV Show - Drama - Network: "The Good Wife"
Best TV Show - Comedy - Cable: "Archer"
Best TV Show - Comedy - Network: "30 Rock"
More: I may get butchered here for not picking "Community" or "Parks and Recreation," but sorry folks, Tina Fey and Baldwin make me laugh more.
Best Late Night Talk or Variety Show: "The Daily Show"
Guilty Reality TV Pleasure: "Millionaire Matchmaker"
Guilty Reality TV Competition Pleasure: "Ru Paul's Dragrace" (Runner-up: "Project Runway")
More: Gay, gay, gay. Whatever. It's hilarious.
Song of the Year: "Someone Like You," Adele
More: And why she didn't get a standing ovation for her Grammy performance is beyond me.
Best Club Track: "Turn Me On" - David Guetta, Nicki Minaj
More: Finally getting its due. Shot into the top 10 of iTunes singles chart when Guetta's album came out in August, it's now becoming a mainstay on U.S. radio. Who knew?
Best Remix: "Love Slayer" - Joe Jonas (Ralphi Rosario Mix) (Runner-up: "E.T" - Katy Perry (Dave Aude Remix)
More: Don't laugh. Listen. Genius.
Best Comeback By A Former Destiny's Child Member: Kelly Rowland, "Motivation"
More: Trivia question for you. Who had the higher ranking single on Billboard's Top 100 Songs of 2011 chart, Beyonce or Kelly Rowland? The latter.
Most Screwed Up Opportunity For A U.S. Solo Career: Nicole Scherzinger
Consistently Impressive Pop Artist The Media Bizarrely Ignores: Pink
Best Music Video: "My Name is Trouble," Keren Ann*
*Yes, this debuted Dec. 10, 2010, but it didn't gain attention till Jan. 2011.
Top Singles of 2011:
"Born This Way" - Lady Gaga
"Til the World Ends" Remix - Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Ke$ha
"Someone Like You" - Adele
"Sexy and I Know It" - LMFAO
"We Found Love" - Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris
"Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera
"Pumped Up Kicks" - Foster the People
"Turn Me On" - David Guetta, Nicki Minaj
"You Make Me Feel" - Cobra Starship ft. Sabi
"Blow" - Ke$ha
"Motivation" - Kelly Rowland ft. Lil Wayne
"On The Floor" - Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull
"Beautiful People" - Chris Brown ft. Benny Bennassi
"Army of Love" - Kerl
Agree? Disagree? Any you surprisingly agree with? Share your thoughts below.
For year round entertainment commentary and awards season news follow @HitFixGregory on Twitter.