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The 12th annual FiLM BiTCH Awards celebrating the films of 2011. 
PICTURES | ACTING | VISUALS | AURALS | EXTRAS | SPECIALS | BEST SCENES

 

Best Costume Design

Mark Bridges
THE ARTIST
Erin Benach
DRIVE
Michael O'Connor
JANE EYRE
Paco Delgado and Jean Paul Gaultier
THE SKIN I LIVE IN
Jacqueline Durran
TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY
Movie star glam, flapper chic, period crowds... in color for black and white film Tricky to do. Bonus points: Valentin's tuxes and reactions to them in two key scenes.
That scorpion jacket, instantly iconic, is enough. But there's smart simplicity and detail elsewhere too. Bonus points: Maroon gloves for the win.
The costume's weight, shape and textures are so crucial to the tone of the film. Jane is tightly bound and not just by her own moral compass and romantic rigidity.
Pedro's films are always visual marvels but this one's outre horror adds an extra spark with simplicity absurdity and grotesque beauty of the costumes.
She differentiates the hard-to-differentiate players with subtle shades and detailing somehow avoiding period cliché while looking authentically retro conservative.
 
Finalists: Arianne Phillips works glamorous wonders with the Duke and Duchess half of W.E.; The chic severity of the modern half is more bewildering but, wow, on Riseborough's wardrobe; Anna B Sheppard does fun retro variations on the superhero genre all mashed up with WW II fashion for Captain America: The First Avenger
Semi-Finalists: Jacqueline West for Water For Elephants; Pascalline Chavanne for Potiche; Sandy Powell for Hugo; ; David C Robinson for Young Adult; and  Sharen Davis for The Help

 

Best Cinematography

Guillame Schiffman
THE ARTIST
Newton Thomas Sigel
DRIVE
Adriano Goldman
JANE EYRE
Manuel Albert Caro
MELANCHOLIA
Emmanuel Lubezki
THE TREE OF LIFE
Just beautiful from start to finish and no, not just because it's in glorious black and white. Fun use of shadow and bright fully lit charisma. The most hypnotic nighttime LA photography since Collateral but just as inspired in daytime. A great daring sense of color and irreality.  His lighting magically gives us not just tone and feeling but the very temperature of the air and the feel of the weather. Wondrous.  Brilliantly theatrical. Caro alternates between hallucinatory beauty and unforgiving harshness for von Trier's grand vision.  One of the world's most gifted cinematographers has absorbed and reflected Malick's religious devotion to nature. So many perfect images.
 
Finalists: Hoyt van Hoytema's perfect sense of stale air and mood in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and José Luis Alcaine for the clarity of color and light and varying tones for The Skin I Live In
Semi-Finalists: Jeff Cronenwerth for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Sean Bobbitt for Shame, Jody Lee Lipes Martha Marcy May Marlene, Robert Richardson for Hugo and Kasper Tuxen for Beginners

 

Best Art Direction

Laurence Bennett
THE ARTIST
Rick Heinrichs
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER 
Dante Ferretti
HUGO
Antxón Gómez
THE SKIN I LIVE IN
Maria Djurkovic
TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY
Has great fun recreating Old Hollywood and Valentin and Peppy's riches. Love that huge staircase for our stars to cross on on their respective fame ascent and descent Wonderfully balances comic book simplicity, iconography and and period details including a fun sense of 40s Futurism.  Forget the train station. The bliss is that glassy palace of dreams and the cramped pleasures of clock interiors, toy shops, and movie props That grotty cave. The minimalistic living spaces. The pristine pain of the laboratory. That fake looking forest (false memories?). No movies are more beautiful than Pedro's.  All those boxy prisons of information: cubicles, file cabinets, libraries, bedroom. That sad Christmas party! Beautifully in period, too.
 
Finalists: Will Hughes-Jones for humble drafty houses, rich tapestries and rugs, worn down furniture, and blackened ruins in Jane Eyre. Mark Ricker for several homes of varying economies in The Help. Bonus points for that pitch perfect painting of the frilly little girl in Celia Foote's living room.
Semi-Finalists: Jack Fisk for The Tree of Life, and Water for Elephants, Marc 'Crash' McCreery for Rango, and James McAteer for A Dangerous Method,

 

Best Editing

Olivier Bugge Coutté
BEGINNERS
Mat Newman
DRIVE
Christopher Tellefsen
MONEYBALL
Hayedeh Safiyari
A SEPARATION
Dana E Glauberman
YOUNG ADULT
 So free flowing between past, future, and visual  flourishes, responding organically to feeling. It's almost like a mood poem and those can't be easy to cut.  It's not just the music that gives this film its rich sustained tension and rhythms. These cuts do that, too. Another film that just flows beautifully from backstory and between shots. Also finds the  The screenplay and direction are all about the ripples and the editing, richly reinforces this tension without straining or telegraphing too much. The leanest, meanest movie of the year, the best moments perfectly timed and carved out by Glauberman. Great comic timing.
 
Finalists: The Artist, Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Semi-Finalists: Martha Marcy May Marlene, Shame, The Skin I Live In, Poetry and The Tree of Life

 

Visual Effects

THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL
RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
THE TREE OF LIFE
 The Adventures of Weta. It's like they set themselves every impossible challenge for one movie. Eye popping throughout. The next generation of Benjamin Button effects on Chris Evans. Plus a ton of capable action sequences and the shield (as fun as Thor's hammer) Performance capture, CGI, stunts, props. Working together like a crack spy team. That skyscraper! Those reflections! Faulty gloves? Ahhhhhhhh Many smart decisions (like performance capture outdoors) and hiring Andy Serkis. The effects always serving the movie rather than showing off.  The creation of the universe is a thing of poetic beauty. A reminder that all crafts can contribute real soul to a movie.
 

 Finalists: Hugo gets misty-eyed over even the mechanics of visual effects. Plus superb 3D (if you're into that) | If we were voting on single imagines I'd go with that great magical bubble shield in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 2  or the "Driller" in Transformers Dark of the Moon or those biolumenescent teeth (yes please) of Attack the Block. Sometimes less is more and all you need is a strong singular image.  

Semi-Finalists: X-Men First Class was probably a challenge every 30 seconds for its team |  Thor's hammer work was impressive and Loki's hallucinations effective | The mermaids were strongly realized in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 

 

Makeup Makeup Effects and Hairstyling

THE ARTIST
A DANGEROUS METHOD
THE IRON LADY
MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
THE SKIN I LIVE IN
 Black and white demands and 20s beauty. Even has the good sense to title one of its features "Beauty Spot"  Viggo as Freud is a marvel for one. Those cigars belong with that nose and beard.  Meryl's eery transformation aided by transformative makeup (teeth, hair, everything). Convincing old age work.  The glossy filmmaking surely helps the surface but it's not just the Monroe Candy. Good work on Olivier and Miller too.  Makeup effects are literal here given with a mad scientist creating skin and essentially his perfect woman. Beautiful and creepy simultaneously.
 
Finalists:Abundant scarring and dramatic war makeup in Coriolanus, Fun 40s style and the Red Skull in Captain America
Semi-Finalists: Jane Eyre, Hugo, Hanna, Albert Nobbs and The Eagle

 

Animated Feature

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS
Sarah Smith & Barry Crook
(Aardman & Columbia, Nov 23rd) 
PUSS IN BOOTS
Chris Miller
(Paramount / Dreamworks, Nov 4th)  
RANGO
Gore Verbinski
(Paramount, March 4th) 
 Madcap comedy, ingenious tight concept, and a sweet spirit. Doesn't outstay its welcome which is so rare these days.  Dodges some of the Shrek franchise's worst instincts with agility. Funny, too. The quick sight gags are often the best.  Manages to be one of the most beautiful films of the year while embracing the ugly! Great screenplay, rousing score, and an array of memorable characters.
 

Finalist: Kung Fu Panda 2

Disclaimer Note: The foreign submissions for this year's Oscar animated race like Chico & Rita, Alois Nebel, Wrinkle,  A Cat in Paris and so on were not released in New York City and not made available to me. I wonder if they're any good?