‘Margin Call’ Awarded ‘Best Original Screenplay’ by San Francisco Film Critics Circle

December 12th, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO FILM CRITICS CIRCLE 2011 Awards for Achievement in Film

By David Poland


December 11, 2011


San Francisco, CA, December 13, 2010 – The San Francisco Film Critics Circle has named “The Tree of Life” the Best Picture of 2011, while naming its prime mover Terrence Malick as Best Director and its lenser Emmanuel Lubezki as Best Cinematographer.

Gary Oldman spirited away with Best Actor honors for playing retiring—if not retired—spy George Smiley in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” and the Circle bestowed its Best Actress award on Tilda Swinton, the beleaguered mother of a bad seed in “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” Best Supporting Actress went to Vanessa Redgrave as Shakespeare’s fiercely protective Volumnia in “Coriolanus,” and Best Supporting Actor to Albert Brooks for his change-of-pace work as a volatile gangster in “Drive.”

The San Francisco Film Critics Circle (SFFCC), which includes thirty-one Bay Area film critics, met at the Variety Club Screening Room to discuss the merits of nominees and determine a slate of the year’s best achievements in film.

Among these were Best Foreign Language Film “Certified Copy,” Abbas Kiarostami’s thought-provoking, emotionally wrenching examination of relationships, art, and existence; Best Documentary “Tabloid,” Errol Morris’ unique take on a stranger-than-fiction tale that must be seen to be disbelieved; and Best Animated Film “Rango,” a loopy and textured Western adventure.

The group honored J.C. Chandor for his original screenplay “Margin Call” and Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan for adapting John le Carré’s novel “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” A Special Citation singled out “The Mill and the Cross”—Lech Majewski’s distinctly original exploration of the inspiration for and creation of a Breugel painting—as an under-the-radar title deserving of attention.

The annual Marlon Riggs Award, honoring courage and innovation in the world of cinema, goes to the San Francisco-based National Film Preservation Foundation, for its work in the preservation and dissemination of endangered, culturally significant films.

The full list of winners for the 2011 San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards:

Best Picture

“The Tree of Life”

 Best Director

Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”

Best Original Screenplay

J.C. Chandor, “Margin Call”

Best Adapted Screenplay

Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

 Best Actor

Gary Oldman, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

 Best Actress

Tilda Swinton, “We Need to Talk About Kevin”

 Best Supporting Actor

Albert Brooks, “Drive”

 Best Supporting Actress

Vanessa Redgrave, “Coriolanus”

 Best Animated Feature


 Best Foreign Language Film

“Certified Copy”

 Best Documentary


Best Cinematography

Emmanuel Lubezki, “The Tree of Life”

Special Citation for underappreciated independent cinema

The Mill and The Cross

Marlon Riggs Award for courage & vision in the Bay Area film community

National Film Preservation Foundation—Since 1997, the San Francisco-based nonprofit’s fundraising and grant-giving programs have supported the restoration and preservation of hundreds of rare U.S. films. Led by director Annette Melville and assistant director Jeff Lambert, the NFPF makes this cinematic legacy available to the public through its “Treasures” DVD box sets, including the 2011 release “The West, 1898-1938.”