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‘Beginners’ & ‘Tree’ Take Top Honors at Gotham Awards

November 29, 2011

Charlize Theron accepts her Gotham Award. (Jemal Countess/WireImage)

The 2011 movie awards season kicked off last night in Manhattan as Edie Falco and Oliver Platt hosted the New York Independent Filmmaker Project’s 21st annual Gotham Independent Film Awards. Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life – the epic drama chronicling the meaning of life and the origins of the universe through the lives of a 1950s family – and Mike MillsBeginners – the dramatic story of a son coming to grips with his elderly father having cancer and simultaneously coming out of the closet – shared the top prize for Best Feature.

Also receiving career awards were actors Charlize Theron and Gary Oldman, director David Cronenberg and Tim Roth, chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment. The jury was comprised of Melissa Leo, Natalie Portman, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Jodie Foster, Chris Hedges and John Cameron Mitchell.

The Audience Choice award was given to Justin Lerner‘s Girlfriend, a film about a man with Down Syndrome coming to the aid financially of the woman he loves from afar.

The complete list of nominees is below. Winners are in bold.

Best Feature

Beginners
Mike Mills, director; Leslie Urdang, Dean Vanech, Miranda de Pencier, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, producers (Focus Features)

The Descendants
Alexander Payne, director; Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Meek’s Cutoff
Kelly Reichardt, director; Neil Kopp, Anish Savjani, Elizabeth Cuthrell, David Urrutia, producers (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Take Shelter
Jeff Nichols, director; Tyler Davidson, Sophia Lin, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

The Tree of Life
Terrence Malick, director; Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Grant Hill, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Best Documentary

Better This World
Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega, directors; Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega, Mike Nicholson, producers (Loteria Films, Picturebox, Motto Pictures and Passion Pictures; ITVS in association with American Documentary | POV)

Bill Cunningham New York
Richard Press, director; Philip Gefter, producer (Zeitgeist Films)

Hell and Back Again
Danfung Dennis, director; Mike Lerner, Martin Herring, producers (Docurama Films)

The Interrupters
Steve James, director; Alex Kotlowitz, Steve James, producers (The Cinema Guild)

The Woodmans
C. Scott Willis, director; Neil Barrett, Jeff Werner, C. Scott Willis, producers (Lorber Films; Kino Lorber, Inc.)

Best Ensemble Performance

Beginners
Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic, Kai Lennox, Mary Page Keller, Keegan Boos (Focus Features)

The Descendants
George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Robert Forster, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Nick Krause, Amara Miller, Mary Birdsong, Rob Huebel (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Margin Call
Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci, Aasif Mandvi (Roadside Attractions)

Martha Marcy May Marlene
Elizabeth Olsen, Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet, Hugh Dancy, Maria Dizzia, Julia Garner, John Hawkes, Louisa Krause, Sarah Paulson (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Take Shelter
Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart, Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon, Kathy Baker, Ray McKinnon, Lisagay Hamilton, Robert Longstreet (Sony Pictures Classics)

Breakthrough Director

Mike Cahill for Another Earth (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Sean Durkin for Martha Marcy May Marlene (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Vera Farmiga for Higher Ground (Sony Pictures Classics)
Evan Glodell for Bellflower (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Dee Rees for Pariah (Focus Features)

Breakthrough Actor

Felicity Jones in Like Crazy (Paramount Vantage)
Elizabeth Olsen in Martha Marcy May Marlene (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Harmony Santana in Gun Hill Road (Motion Film Group)
Shailene Woodley in The Descendants (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Jacob Wysocki in Terri (ATO Pictures)

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same
Madeleine Olnek, director; Laura Terruso, Madeleine Olnek, producers

Green
Sophia Takal, director; Lawrence Michael Levine, producer

The Redemption of General Butt Naked
Eric Strauss, Daniele Anastasion, directors and producers

Scenes of a Crime
Blue Hadaegh & Grover Babcock, directors and producers

Without
Mark Jackson, director; Mark Jackson, Jessica Dimmock, Michael Requa, Jaime Keeling, producers

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Michelle permalink
    November 29, 2011 1:00 PM

    Was there a ‘Best Music’ from a film category? If so, I recommend the music from the musical saw scene in ‘Another Earth’. You can hear it on the composer’s website http://www.scottmunsonmusic.com/news/music-in-film-another-earth-soundtrack

    • November 29, 2011 1:04 PM

      No, there wasn’t. I just listened to it; you’re right… it’s a haunting score that probably played well against the scene… Thanks for sharing.

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