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And the Frettsies Go to…

January 1, 2012

Now that  I’ve completed my lists of the year’s best movies—and the year’s worst—it’s time for my first annual awards, the Frettsies. Because it was such a good year for film, I picked six winners in each category, in descending order (i.e., the first one listed is the best). You can click on the titles for longer reviews of these movies. And the winners are…


Nicholas Winding Refn, Drive

Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Steven Spielberg, War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin

Brad Bird, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

David Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Angelina Jolie, In the Land of Blood and Honey

Relative newcomer Winding Refn sped to the front of the pack, while Scorsese and Spielberg reaffirmed their statuses as two of America’s greatest filmmakers, Bird reanimated the Mission: Impossible franchise, and Fincher added to his serial-killer canon (Seven, Zodiac) while launching a franchise of his own. As for Jolie, is there anything this woman can’t do?


Paul Giamatti, Win Win

George Clooney, The Descendants and The Ides of March

Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar

Brendan Gleeson, The Guard

Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Giamatti also contributed a terrific supporting turn in Clooney’s Ides of March, while Gleeson glowed opposite Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs. Oldman gracefully stepped into Sir Alec Guinness’ shoes as spy George Smiley, and DiCaprio did daring and surprisingly poignant work as J. Edgar Hoover. And Dujardin… there are no words.


Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs

Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn and Meek’s Cutoff

Jessica Chastian, The Debt

Elizabeth Olsen, Martha May Marcy Marlene

Charlize Theron, Young Adult

Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Close gave the year’s best performance by a woman by pretending to be a man, while Williams emodied the ultimate in femininity—Marilyn Monroe—as well as a resilient Western settler. It Girls Chastain and Olsen lived up to the hype, while Oscar winners Theron and Streep deserve a shot at the award again, despite playing diffiicult-to-like (in very different ways) characters.

Hoffman and Clooney: Forward, "March"!


Albert Brooks, Drive

Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Moneyball and The Ides of March

Patton Oswalt, Young Adult

John Hawkes, Martha May Marcy Marlene

Shea Whigham, The Lincoln Lawyer and Take Shelter

Bobby Cannavale, Win Win

No joke: Brooks proved just how brilliantly dead-serious he could be as gangster Bernie Rose, and fellow comic Oswalt showed new depth as Theron’s emotionally disabled high-school classmate. Hoffman and Hawkes have never not been great, while Boardwalk Empire‘s Whigham proved there’s such no thing as small roles when an actor’s talent is so large. Meanwhile, Cannavale wrestled huge laughs out of audiences as Giamatti’s gung ho co-coach.


Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids

Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs

Octavia Spencer, The Help

Evan Rachel Wood, The Ides of March

Judy Greer, The Descendants

Berenice Bejo, The Artist

McCarthy didn’t just steal her every scene—she kidnapped it, drove it out to the desert, tied it up and left it for dead. As for all the other women in the category, do you want to to be the one to tell McCarthy’s Megan she didn’t win? Close’s fellow cross-dresser McTeer may be the only one man enough for the job…

Who do you think deserved to win Frettsies? Cast your vote—by posting a comment!

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  1. W. Theodore permalink

    Angelina Jolie, In the Land of Blood and Honey for best director?

    You’re taking the piss, mate. Or you have an agenda.

    • bruceafretts permalink

      No agenda–or piss. Have you seen it? I thought she did a brilliant job.

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