The just-announced San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards weren't as egregious and self-conscious as in years past. But not by much. The gaggle of local film aesthetes selected Terrence Malik's (overwhelming and divine) Tree of Life as the best picture of the year. Next to Lars Von Trier's Melancholia, it was our second favorite longwinded yet powerful and powerfully pretty movie this year about life's brevity and fragility. Malick also nabbed as Best Director.
Acting honors went to Gary Oldman for (Best Actor) for playing retiring spy George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. We didn't see it. We can only assume he's nifty in it. And Tilda Swinton (Best Actress) won for We Need to Talk About Kevin, for playing the mother of a son who took part in a fictional school massacre. Pft. We do like Swinton, but her American accent is always spotty. It's just not great. This seems to be a huge point of contention when an American actress plays British, so we're calling out Swinton. And rightfully so. Look, we get it. Her gaze is but a searing one. However, we preferred Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia. Why? Because she was better. Fie on you, San Francisco Film Critics Circle, for having neither the clarity nor guts to award T-T-T-Torrance Shipman best acting honors.
In the supporting categories, Albert Brooks won for his "change-of-pace work" as a violent gangster in Drive. Good choice. He can finally win back Holly Hunter and stick it to William Hurt. But the biggest news/diss of all: Melissa McCarthy did not win for Bridesmaids. Fury-inducing! We hope someone gets fired over this scorching oversight. And with that, we no longer care who won supporting actress since it wasn't McCarthy, so we refuse to tell you. (Fine. It was Vanesssa Redgrave for something very British.)
The San Francisco Film Critics Circle is amassed of critics from Bay Area publications and web outlets, including film journalists from the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, the Oakland Tribune, the Contra Costa Times, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, the East Bay Express, the San Jose Metro, Palo Alto Weekly, the Marin Independent Journal, the San Francisco Examiner, KRON-TV, Variety, RottenTomatoes.com and more.
Read the entire list of winners here.