Oscar Rewrite: 2011


Best Picture: The Artist

How cool is it that a silent movie won Best Picture in 2011? A monumental achievement.

Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)  Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life)

Not since Kubrick’s 2001 has a filmmaker blown our minds like Malick’s Tree of Life.

Best Actor: Jean Dujardin (The Artist)  George Clooney (The Descendants)

Jean Dujardin was charming as hell in The Artist, but this Oscar clearly should have gone to George Clooney, who grills his comatose wife after learning of her affair. A true power performance.

Best Actress: Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)   Viola Davis (The Help)

Meryl Streep was utterly convincing as Margaret Thatcher, but sometimes it feels like Meryl wins just because she’s Meryl. Let’s instead give this one to an equally talented actress Viola Davis, who carried The Help four years before her historic Emmy win for TV’s How to Get Away With Murder.

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer (Beginners) Jonah Hill (Moneyball)

Christopher Plummer won a career Oscar for Beginners, but we’ve already corrected that snub in a prior year. Instead, our statue goes to Moneyball‘s titular statistician Jonah Hill, who predated Steve Carell’s Foxcatcher as a comic who showed a convincing serious side under director Bennett Miller.

Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer (The Help)  Carey Mulligan (Drive / Shame)

No single actress turned in better work in 2011 than Carey Mullgian, from Nicolas Winding Refn’s stylish thriller Drive to Steve McQueen’s powerful drama Shame. 

Best Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen)

Woody Allen continued his dominance in a new decade with this magical warning against nostalgia.

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants (Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash from Kaui Hemmings’ book)    Hugo (John Logan from Brian Selznick’s book)

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