Saturday, December 31, 2011

End-of-Year Awards: Male/Female Star of 2011

I thought I'd end the year with some more awards, and if you know what films I have enjoyed this year, these should come as no surprise.

Male Star of the Year - Ryan Gosling

He was a complete badass in Drive, delivering a quietly intense performance and sporting the year's best item of clothing (the scorpion jacket). The opening scene of Drive, where he barely says a word, is also the best scene of 2011. He even made eating a piece of pizza in Crazy Stupid Love look cool, and then turned in arguably his best work in The Ides of March, combining the suave charms of CSL and the calculated 'defence-into-offence' moves of Drive to overcome the heat of corruption and scandal on all sides. While he was robbed of an Oscar nomination for Blue Valentine last year, I fear he may fall short again this year - especially with the depth of this Best Actor lineup - but no one can deny this was the year of Mr. Gosling.

Female Star of the Year - Jessica Chastain

My celebrity crush of 2010 (at full force following Never Let Me Go earlier in the year), Carey Mulligan, has been knocked off her perch. The stunning Jessica Chastain has appeared in something like six films this year. I have seen four of them - and she was sensational every time. When people declare what film she should be nominated for Best Supporting Actress for, the answer varies - The Help, The Tree of Life or Take Shelter. My pick would be the latter, providing wonderful support to Michael Shannon's tour-de-force, but it's very likely that it will be for The Help, where she is nearly unrecognisable. She is certainly one of the favourites. The Debt was a fairly mediocre outing, but she gave the best performance in that film. Set for bigger and better things, it's impossible to ignore her range and talent. This award was never in doubt as soon as I watched Tree of Life and Take Shelter days apart...Jessica who?

Who are your male and female stars of 2011?


  1. Wow... let's see. On the acting side, it's a tie between Ryan Gosling and Michael Fassbender as both actors had an incredible year as they're my top picks for Best Actor & Top Man-Crushes.

    On the actress side, Michelle Williams is once again, in the lead for Best Actress while I also have a tie of sorts between Carey Mulligan and Jessica Chastain in the Supporting Role.

  2. Oh Jessica Chastain, take me away to a better place!

    Nice choices.

  3. Nice write-up. Jessica Chastain is my entertainer of the year. I have never seen as big of a breakout year as hers. I think she is going to be at the forefront for years to come. As for my male star of the year, I would have to go with Brad Pitt (although Gosling is up there). Pitt was great in Moneyball and The Tree of Life and he produced both of those films as well.

  4. I assumed either Fassbender or Gosling would get your pick for Male Star, but no idea who would get the Female! It takes a lot to knock Carey Mulligan off of anything!

  5. <3

    Carey Mulligan is overrated ^

  6. I look forward to what Kristen Wiig does next. Though Bridesmaids had faults, she was fearless and hilarious! I'm not quite as wrapped up in Gosling as most yet but that's probably due to my complete and utter lack of seeing Drive.

  7. Oh yeah Ryan Gosling FTW! Noone else comes close.
    Um female... Chastain is a fantastic pick though I am really impressed with Elizabeth Olsen.

  8. @ Steven - Fassbender has had a great year, but I am yet to see SHAME which would have given him a boost (he was great in X-Men, but i didn't much like the film). I also haven't seen Marilyn, but i do like Michelle Williams (Meek's Cutoff was great). My runner-up for male would be Brad Pitt (superb in both ToL and Moneyball).

    @ Billie Beane - We think alike my friend. Thanks for reading.

    @ Ryan - Her breakout is something else. Came from nowhere and is now set to be a major talent. Pitt would have been my runner-up. His two films were superb.

    @ Ruth - Yeah, I was a little sad to see Carey matched - but I haven't seen SHAME yet!

    @ Anna - Boo! I thought she was a misfit in DRIVE initially, but on a second viewing I really bought her. I'm a fan, what can I say.

    @ Pete - You haven't seen DRIVE? Dude, you gotta get on it. He's awesome in it, and when you look at his work in The Ides of March, Blue Valentine, Half Nelson and even Crazy Stupid Love, the guy's got skills. I liked Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids, but that film was painful.

    @ Nikhat - Ohh I forgot about Elizabeth Olsen. If she had one other great role this year, she might have figured in the mix.

  9. I'm so glad that this year was the year of Jessica Chastain. I'm just thankful that she exists.

    Also, I love Ryan Gosling! But I wouldn't hesitate to say that this might have been the year of Michael Fassbender, too.

  10. Yeah there is a strong case for Fassbender, but I enjoyed all three of Gosling's films more than each of Fassbender's - though Shame could shuffle things up. Jessica Chastain is lovely - very impressed by her this year.

  11. Definitely agree with Chastain, but yeah, I gotta go with Fassbender. His body of work simply blew me away this year. And his performance in SHAME is one of the best acting performances I've ever seen. No bull.

  12. I thought Fassbender was great in both X-Men and Jane Eyre, but I didn't enjoy either of those films (though I liked Jane Eyre more than most) as much as Gosling's three. But SHAME could change all of that. I'm seeing it on the 19th!!

  13. Nice! I'm really curious to read what you think about it.