I found 2011 to be a great, overstuffed year in film, though the sweeping trend of nostalgia that peaked during this awards season left me a little cold. Hugo, War Horse, The Artist, The Adventures of Tintin, The Help, even the self-aware looking back of Midnight in Paris -- when it's been such a turbulent 12 months beyond the movies, the comfort of evoking the past, especially the cinephilic past, is understandable, particularly with attendance down once again. But the features I really loved tended to be more prickly, vital affairs, about tragedy and life messily, stubbornly going on in its aftermath -- ones that reminded us that film can not only be a great escape, but can also engage and reflect the outside world.
It's that time of year for the Independent Spirit Awards to recognize the best and brightest indie films. Today, the panel announced their nominations with The Artist and Take Shelter leading the pack with five nods each. Click ahead and start placing bets on who will take home the awards this February.
Despite that one disgruntled moviegoer's complaints, there are plenty of diehard members of the cult of Drive, which incidentally has racked up a cool $30 million to date. Not too shabby, Film District. Perhaps it's fitting, then, that Ryan Gosling's Driver character has now been commemorated in the cutest, cuddliest way imaginable: as a crocheted amigurumi doll, complete with his signature toothpick and a yarn hammer. And you thought YOU were obsessed with Drive. Hit the jump for today's Buzz Break...
If you thought last year's Sundance bounty yielded a strong crop of Academy Award nominees, just wait 'til the 40+ films to get distribution out of Park City hit theaters and start campaigning for Oscar glory. Should breakout star Lizzie Olsen start composing her acceptance speech now? Which film will emerge the Winter's Bone of 2011? Movieline's panel of experts look back on Sundance and weigh in: Which Sundance films will make it to next year's Academy Awards?