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The Women Film Critics Circle Awards

Nominees and winners of The Women Film Critics Circle Awards

BEST MOVIE BY A WOMAN – tied

  • The Iron Lady
  • We Need To Talk About Kevin
  • Pariah
  • The Whistleblower

BEST MOVIE ABOUT WOMEN

  • The Help
  • Albert Nobbs
  • Cracks
  • Rid Of Me

BEST WOMAN STORYTELLER
Screenwriting Award

  • The Iron Lady [Abi Morgan] 
  • In The Land Of Blood And Honey [Angelina Jolie]
  • Pariah [Dee Reese]
  • We Need To Talk About Kevin [Lynne Ramsay]

BEST ACTRESS

  • Viola Davis: The Help
  • Jessica Chastain: The Debt/The Help
  • Meryl Streep: The Iron Lady
  • Tilda Swinton: We Need To Talk About Kevin

BEST ACTOR

  • George Clooney: The Descendants
  • Jean Dujardin: The Artist
  • Tom Hardy: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy/Warrior
  • Ryan Gosling: Drive, The Ides Of March

BEST COMEDIC ACTRESS

  • Melissa McCarthy: Bridesmaids
  • Katie O’Grady: Rid Of Me
  • Sarah Jessica Parker: I Don’t Know How She Does It
  • Kristen Wiig: Bridesmaids

BEST YOUNG ACTRESS

  • Shailene Woodley: The Descendants
  • Jordana Beatty: Judy Moody
  • Liana Liberato: Trust
  • Amara Miller: The Descendants

BEST FOREIGN FILM BY OR ABOUT WOMEN

  • The Hedgehog
  • A Separation
  • In The Land Of Blood And Honey
  • When We Leave

BEST FEMALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE

  • The Whistleblower
  • Albert Nobbs
  • The Iron Lady
  • Soul Surfer

WORST FEMALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE

  • Melancholia
  • Jack And Jill
  • My Week With Marilyn
  • Young Adult

BEST MALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE

  • The Descendants
  • 50/50
  • Meet Monica Velour
  • Of Gods And Men

WORST MALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE

  • Hangover 2
  • No Strings Attached
  • The Skin I Live In
  • Straw Dogs

BEST DOCUMENTARIES BY OR ABOUT WOMEN

  • Always Faithful
  • The Price Of Sex
  • The Woman With The Five Elephants
  • Women Art Revolution

BEST FAMILY FILM

  • Hugo
  • Judy Moody
  • The Muppets
  • The Adventures of Tintin

BEST ANIMATED FEMALES

  • Puss N Boots 3D
  • Arthur Christmas
  • Gnomeo And Juliet
  • Kung Fu Panda 2

BEST EQUALITY OF THE SEXES

  • The Debt
  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
  • The Iron Lady
  • Midnight In Paris

COURAGE IN ACTING
Taking on unconventional roles that radically redefine the images of women on screen

  • Glenn Close: Albert Nobbs
  • Josiane Balasko: The Hedgehog
  • Mimi Chakarova: The Price Of Sex
  • Tilda Swinton: We Need To Talk About Kevin

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN AWARD
Performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored

  • Miral: Hiram Abbass
  • Meeks Cutoff: Michelle Williams
  • Danai Gurira: 3 Backyards
  • Red Shirley

WOMEN’S WORK: BEST ENSEMBLE

  • The Help
  • Albert Nobbs
  • Bridesmaids
  • The Whistleblower

BEST SCREEN COUPLE

  • The Artist: Berenice Bejo and Jean Dujardin
  • Gnomeo And Juliet
  • The Iron Lady
  • Like Crazy

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

  • Kathy Bates
  • Cicely Tyson
  • Hiam Abbass
  • Michelle Yeoh

ACTING AND ACTIVISM

  • Elizabeth Taylor
  • Mia Farrow
  • Daryl Hannah
  • Alfre Woodard

ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD
For a film that most passionately opposes violence against women

  • The Whistleblower
  • In A Better World
  • In The Land Of Blood And Honey
  • Life, Above All

JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD
For best expressing the woman of color experience in America

  • The Help
  • America
  • Pariah
  • 3 Backyards

KAREN MORLEY AWARD
For best exemplifying a woman’s place in history or society, and a courageous search for identity

  • Albert Nobbs
  • The Conspirator
  • Meek’s Cutoff
  • Snow Flower And The Secret Fan

MOMMIE DEAREST WORST SCREEN MOM OF THE YEAR AWARD

  • Judi Dench: J. Edgar

39 Comments on this Post

  1. Fascinating. More awards should give worsts. Not for acting, these are still people doing their jobs after all, but like this: “Worst Female Images in a Movie”. Almost regardless of what movie would get nominated in a category like that or win, what harm could a discussion about Female Images in film do?

  2. Tom Hardy: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy/Warrior

    :) Women are smarter. Just sayin’.

  3. Von Trier has the Worst Female Images award on lockdown.

  4. Houstonrufus

    Best animated females? Is this for real?

  5. UGH! “The Worst Female Image” award pisses me off. Instead of it being about how women are portrayed or visualized, it just turns into which female character was the most messed up. I can understand an award like this going to Jack and Jill because that film is based on engrained stereotypes that truly plague on society. My Week with Marilyn and J. Edgar present real people and present them pretty damn perfectly. (My word, even putting Marilyn in that category, no matter how weak the film is, just proves how inane the category is.) Melancholia was not using stereotypes of femininity, but the extreme experiences of depression and anxiety. What Dunst and Trier brought to the screen is amazing because of the honesty of that performance (along with Gainsbourg). This type of award becomes useless, if not counter productive, when it picks the most fucked up character instead of the character whose problems (and potentially negative image) stem from and because of their gender.

    In other words, Dunst’s image is not a horrible one for women, unless you are of the mindset that all women in film must be perfect and decent.

  6. In past years they’ve given brief, if puzzling, explanations on their web page. Last year Black Swan ‘Won’ worst female Image:
    BLACK SWAN
    *For turning ‘everything was beautiful at the ballet’ into a horror venue populated by female stereotypes.”
    . . . .ehhhhhhh . . . .

  7. The Worst Female Image nominees are indeed ridiculous. Young Adult and Melancholia contain two complex depictions of mental illness and/or addiction that are rarely portrayed so well in film. But the characters happen to be female, so it’s a bad portrayal of women? Bullshit. Give it to Hangover 2 for perpetuating atrocious sexist and racist mindsets.

  8. I thought these were ridiculous enough when they chose The Iron Lady over Kevin. Then I scrolled down to the best/worst images nods.

  9. I glanced at their membership, and I’m no expert, but I didn’t recognize any of the names of the critics. Which is to say no Lisa Shwartzbaum, no Manohla Dargis, etc. And that’s certainly not a criticism of the group (If I clicked on the NYFCC website how many of them would I know? I’m not an expert) I think it’s important that this group or a group like it exists. I was only looking at the membership to see if anything jumped out at me that said maybe there was more to the membership of this group than just being a woman and a film critic. I didn’t see anything that would make me think so, or think not so actually. And not to start a political debate (especially since i haven’t seen The Iron Lady) but is there any indication that this group might be intentionally or unintentionally conservative? At least more conservative than the average critic (not because they’re women).
    Also. Where’s The Lady? Where’s Michelle Yeoh? Did that film literally fall off the face of the planet? Is it not eligible for any of these awards/lists?

  10. MikeScott

    I’m with Daren on their inclusion of Melancholia for “Worst Female Images.” This category is such a joke.

  11. Seriously you have trash like Transformers yet you pick MELANCHOLIA for Worst Images??

    BULL-SHIT.

  12. HAHAHAH I don’t know How she does it was nominated?! That should tell you the legitimacy of this critics circle.

  13. I agree with many of the above comments. That first shot of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Transformers was pretty degrading, I thought. It objectified her before we even knew who she was, her name, had seen her face. How exactly does Melancholia show bad images of women? The depiction of a woman going through depression does not constitute bad female images. If anything, Melancholia was a highly progressive film for the female sex – roles like Claire and Justine are few and far between for women, with such characters often monopolised by the male actors. We so rarely see serious, dramatic, non-women’s films told from the perspective of the women in the film.

    The WFCC is, and has always been, the most ridiculous critics’ group around. These results are embarrassing.

  14. “worst female/male image”? “animated females”? “worst screen mom”? “screen couple” Sarah Jessica Parker? What coffee clutch dreamed this up?

  15. This is funny. I had to look up if Daryl Hannah were dead bec she was in the same category as Liz Taylor.

  16. Some of these are right, but some are oh so wrong…

    Melancholia should not there. Lars, for all his misogynist themes, is not a misogynist. He presents men as the weaker sex, both morally and intelectually in most his films – including this one.

    He gives roles to women that are real and complex and never black and white.

  17. Bill_the_Bear

    And how did “Gnomeo & Juliet” get in there for Best Screen Couple??

  18. Hello, Nate. I wouldn’t want you to talk into the void with no response, so this is me outing myself (because you seem to be particularly incensed by some of the WFCC input that comes specifically from me): http://www.thehotpinkpen.com/?page_id=1324

    FYI, here is my review of I DON’T KNOW (which I loved): http://www.womenarts.org/reviews/IDontKnow.htm

    And here are some comments specific to BLACK SWAN (which I loathed): http://www.thehotpinkpen.com/?p=1383

    Final point: I began my life as an activist as a “Demo Deb” in 1968 (meaning way back when, I was one of the high school cuties in navy skirt & white sweater hanging up coats at fund raisers), & I’ve been a Progressive my entire adult life. So whatever you might want to say about my choice of films, “Conservative” just doesn’t fit.

    All best, Jan

    PS: THE LADY was not one of the films offered to us on screener in 2011, so if it fell through the cracks that was not our call. Try as we might, even those of us in large metro areas can only access a small percentage of the films released each year. And so it goes…

  19. julian the emperor

    This must be the most ridiculous awards body out there! Jesus Christ…

  20. This group of awards, and that’s using the word tongue in cheek is reminiscent of when Blackwell used to announce his “worst” and “best” dressed list every year. I’m not even sure why it’s getting any recognition at this site. But hey it’s an award so let’s throw it up there.

  21. “And how did ‘Gnomeo & Juliet’ get in there for Best Screen Couple??”

    I have plenty of issues with the winners/nominations/categories from this critics group, but not with this particular one. Have you seen the film? I maintain those two gnomes had more chemistry than many live-action romantic couples we saw on screen this year. It made me want a live-action romantic film with James McAvoy and Emily Blunt really badly.

  22. Melancholia was the best film of the year. Kirsten Dunst’s performance was the best female performance of the year, and Charlotte Gainsbourg was way up there as well. And what about Charlotte Rampling as the fiercely independent mother? “Give me a break, please, with your f***ing rituals.” Likable characters? Not necessarily. Rich characters? Undeniably.

    I haven’t seen The Help or Albert Nobbs, so I can’t judge, but my gut tells me…no.

  23. It’s a shame about Melancholia. Totally discredits the entire list. It’s easily one of the best films of the year no matter how you look at it.

  24. One would expect The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (or Men Who Hate Women) to sweep in the Worst Male Images category. Now, I’ll try to relunctantly continue with my everyday routine.

  25. Jan Lisa Huttner,
    I’m not incensed. Just curious. I’m truly sorry if I sound anything close to incensed. As I said above, I’m glad a group like your’s exists and any discussion on women in film (and any celebration of film by women, especially) is positive in my mind. My question about conservativism was again just a curiosity and as I said, I didn’t see anything that would make me feel like your group was or wasn’t. I was prompted by someone else being upset that you choose The Iron Lady over We Need To Talk About Kevin, which isn’t even true. They’re tied and I give enormous credit to your group for it’s choice of We Need To Talk About Kevin. As I said, I haven’t seen The Iron Lady, but I certainly am not assuming that Streep is conservative because she’s in it.
    I’m also not incensed by your choice of Black Swan. In fact, it would take a lot for someone’s opinion about a film to make me incensed, much less particularly incensed. I certainly don’t agree with you about Black Swan, which I found to be a beautiful film and while very disturbing (not always negative) I certainly didn’t see it as “a hot babe going bat-shit crazy” or “a two hour snuff film.” What I saw was a film about a very repressed girl, trying to find her own identity, trying to assert herself while under extreme pressure from two adults with very strong personalities, while also questioning her own sexuality, all while, possibly, suffering from schizophrenia. In my opinion, Anronofshy gave Portman the kind of role, a really complex role with a lot of meat on it, that women too seldom are offered.
    And thank you for the clarification on The Lady, your list certainly isn’t the only list I’ve questioned it missing from, I was just starting to wonder what happened to it in general. I would have been pleasantly surprised if The Lady had been on your list, not because I would have been in agreement, I haven’t seen it ( I very much want to), but because I would have been like: “Hey, there it is! Somebody saw it!”
    One last thing, a few people are curious about the lack of Transformers in worst images. Is it because nobody takes Transformers seriously? Objectified is probably the nicest thing you could say about that role.
    Thanks

  26. I don’t understand something. It says that Melancholia had some of the worst images of women in it. It doesn’t say it was the worst film of the year. Are we missing the word “images”? A movie can be good and have negative images in it.

    @Marie That’s the worst comment I’ve ever read at Awards Daily.

  27. Wow, Nate, genuine dialogue! Hooray! Speaking for myself now, I didn’t see TRANSFORMERS 3. One TRANSFORMER was frankly enough for me (life being short & all that) & since they “blasted” my own downtown to make it, I had even less desire to see the screen version. As for the rest of the candidates in that category (JACK & JILL, MELANCHOLIA, MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, & YOUNG ADULT), I was a bit surprised too, but even tho I have a very big mouth (obviously), in the end, I still only get one vote ;-)

    I am so happy to see your positive references to WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN which I voted for in almost every category. I think it is one of the best films of 2011 & I am particularly incensed that my “homies” in the CFCA (a very male-dominated group) left it off their list entirely (without even a nomination for Tilda Swinton). But so it goes…

    All best, Jan

  28. And while I’m here posting, kudos to Sasha for connecting RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES with PROJECT NIM, & then placing them together near the top of her list. Two great films that are even better in combination. Me, if I ruled the world then Andy Serkis would be on every Best Actor list this year:

    http://www.thehotpinkpen.com/?p=1867

    Remarkable! Thanks, Sasha :-)

  29. Marshall1

    Sorry, the image of Adam Sandler as a woman is certainly the WORST image of women in ANY year. How can they pick Melancholia instead is beyond my imagination. If they pick Antichrist I can understand, but Melancholia?

  30. @antoinette
    The problem is not that they might think Melancholia is a bad film or not, but that the women in the film are not bad images of women. Maybe we have different idea of what is a negative image of women. Melancholia shows complex characters, jack and Jill and Transformers shows women as objects to be used and mocked. That is more dangerous than allowing women to have honest depictions of human experience on screen.

  31. There are two Marie’s posting at this site. Many posters use the same name or have the same name.

    I didn’t make that comment about Daryl Hannah being dead because that is in poor taste. I would never say something like that. I don’t want people associating me with what they label as the worst comments on Awardsdaily. Actually, I have read far worse.

    I disagree with this list but that is a rant I don’t want to get into. I can get into long tirades about this and there is such a slippery-slope argument when it comes to discussing appropriate or respectable depictions of women in film.

  32. I don’t know if this problem is ultimately avoidable. That being said, I get the sense that if a critic made a best list without seeing one of the ‘best’ movies of the year, I think criticism of his or her list would be warranted for that reason. Especially if the film had been out for months and was widely available. Now I think this creates a problem for ‘worst’ lists. I think the problem is systemic so I’m not blaming the WFCC directly. Obviously the members of the WFCC, their job is not to find the worst of anything, it’s to review/critique films. I had more to say about this but I’m late to an Xmas party. Maybe my point is self evident. Maybe not.
    Thanks.

  33. Me again, Nate, with more of the mechanics.

    The list of “qualifying films” I received from the Chgo Film Critics Assoc had approximately 350 films on it this year meaning they had played @ a commercial theatre in Chgo between 1/1/11 & 12/9/11, or we had received a screener for it, or we had been invited to a private screening of it for awards purposes by deadline. Note this list did NOT include most of the films I had seen @ our Chgo International FF or at any of our local specialty fests (e.g., Chgo F of Israeli Cinema, Polish FF of America, etc, etc), or any screeners sent specifically to me because people in the biz know what I do (e.g., that I’m an advocate for women filmmakers).

    I understand that from a distance all this looks like “fun” (people are always telling me what a “fun” job I have), but I can assure you that in the midst of a flood (like going to 3 private screenings 2 weeks back & watching 2 more screeners at home all on the same day!) all work becomes work.

    So please accept as a matter of faith that most of us try our best to see as much as possible, but in the end, we’re only human. Alas, as a consequence, all our lists (individual & collective) will inevitably be “only human” too.

    So when you say: “if a critic made a best list without seeing one of the ‘best’ movies of the year, I think criticism of his or her list would be warranted for that reason,” I reply: “the best” is precisely what’s in contention. “The best” from the POV of imperfect humans will never capture the divine best or the best that’s only obvious in hindsight. And so it goes…

    Happy Holidays,
    Jan

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