December 11th, 2011 by SFFCC

The San Francisco Film Critics Circle has named “The Tree of Life” the Best Picture of 2011, while naming its prime mover Terrence Malick as Best Director and its lenser Emmanuel Lubezki as Best Cinematographer.

Gary Oldman spirited away with Best Actor honors for playing retiring—if not retired—spy George Smiley in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” and the Circle bestowed its Best Actress award on Tilda Swinton, the beleaguered mother of a bad seed in “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” Best Supporting Actress went to Vanessa Redgrave as Shakespeare’s fiercely protective Volumnia in “Coriolanus,” and Best Supporting Actor to Albert Brooks for his change-of-pace work as a volatile gangster in “Drive.”

The San Francisco Film Critics Circle (SFFCC), which includes thirty-one Bay Area film critics, met at the Variety Club Screening Room to discuss the merits of nominees and determine a slate of the year’s best achievements in film.

Among these were Best Foreign Language FilmCertified Copy,” Abbas Kiarostami’s thought-provoking, emotionally wrenching examination of relationships, art, and existence; Best Documentary “Tabloid,” Errol Morris’ unique take on a stranger-than-fiction tale that must be seen to be disbelieved; and Best Animated Film “Rango,” a loopy and textured Western adventure.

The group honored J.C. Chandor for his original screenplay “Margin Call” and Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan for adapting John le Carré’s novel “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” A Special Citation singled out “The Mill and the Cross”—Lech Majewski’s distinctly original exploration of the inspiration for and creation of a Breugel painting—as an under-the-radar title deserving of attention.

The annual Marlon Riggs Award, honoring courage and innovation in the world of cinema, goes to the San Francisco-based National Film Preservation Foundation, for its work in the preservation and dissemination of endangered, culturally significant films.

The full list of winners for the 2011 San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards follows.

Best Picture
“The Tree of Life”

Best Director
Terrence Malick for “The Tree of Life”

Best Original Screenplay
J.C. Chandor for “Margin Call”

Best Adapted Screenplay
Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

Best Actor
Gary Oldman for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

Best Actress
Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin”

Best Supporting Actor
Albert Brooks for “Drive”

Best Supporting Actress
Vanessa Redgrave for “Coriolanus”

Best Animated Feature

Best Foreign Language Film
“Certified Copy”

Best Documentary

Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki for “The Tree of Life”

Marlon Riggs Award for courage & vision in the Bay Area film community
National Film Preservation Foundation, in recognition of for its work in the preservation and dissemination of endangered, culturally significant films

Special Citation for under-appreciated independent cinema
“The Mill and the Cross”

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