Annal: 2011 Academy Award® for Best Motion Picture

Results of the Academy Award® in the year 2011. Due to multiple honors from a single award, the following titles received no points in this category: Toy Story 3.

Film:The King's Speech

The King's Speech

Tom Hooper

After the death of his father King George V (Michael Gambon) and the scandalous abdication of King Edward VIII (Guy Pearce), Bertie (Colin Firth) who has suffered from a debilitating speech impediment all his life, is suddenly crowned King George VI of England. With his country on the brink of war and in desperate need of a leader, his wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), the future Queen Mother, arranges for her husband to see an eccentric speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). After a rough start, the two delve into an unorthodox course of treatment and eventually form an unbreakable bond. With the support of Logue, his family, his government and Winston Churchill (Timothy Spall), the King will overcome his stammer and deliver a radio-address that inspires his people and unites them in battle.

Based on the true story of King George VI, The King’s Speech follows the Royal Monarch’s quest to find his voice.

Film:127 Hours

127 Hours

Danny Boyle

127 Hours is the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston’s remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah. Over the next five days Ralston examines his life and survives the elements to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary, scale a 65 foot wall and hike over eight miles before he is finally rescued. Throughout his journey, Ralston recalls friends, lovers, family, and the two hikers he met before his accident. Will they be the last two people he ever had the chance to meet?

Film:Black Swan

Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky

Black Swan follows the story of Nina (Natalie Portman), a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her retired ballerina mother Erica (Barbara Hershey) who zealously supports her daughter’s professional ambition. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.

Film:The Fighter (2010)

The Fighter

David O. Russell

Dicky Ecklund (Christian Bale) is a former boxing hero that squandered his talents and threw away his shot at greatness.

Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), his half brother, is the struggling journeyman boxer who spent his life living in his big brother’s shadow.

The Fighter is inspired by the true story of two brothers who, against all the odds, come together to train for a historic title bout that will unite their fractured family, redeem their pasts and, at last, give their hard-luck town what it’s been waiting for: pride. The story unfolds on the gritty, blue-collar streets of Lowell, Mass, where Dicky was once known as “The Pride of Lowell” having gone the distance with the world champion Sugar Ray Leonard. However, after losing that fight, like the town of Lowell, Dicky’s fallen on hard times. His boxing days are behind him and his life has become shattered by drug abuse.…[more]

Film:Inception

Inception

Christopher Nolan

Acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan directs an international cast in this sci-fi actioner that travels around the globe and into the world of dreams. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the best there is at extraction: stealing valuable secrets inside the subconscious during the mind’s vulnerable dream state. His skill has made him a coveted player in industrial espionage but also has made him a fugitive and cost him dearly. Now he may get a second chance if he can do the impossible: inception, planting an idea rather than stealing one. If they succeed, Cobb and his team could pull off the perfect crime. But no planning or expertise can prepare them for a dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy only Cobb could have seen coming.

Film:The Kids Are All Right

The Kids Are All Right

Lisa Cholodenko

Nic and Jules (three-time Academy Award nominee Annette Bening and four-time Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore) are married and share a cozy suburban Southern California home with their teenage children, Joni and Laser (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson). Nic and Jules—or, when referred to jointly by Joni, “Moms”—gave birth to and raised their children, and built a family life for the four of them. As Joni prepares to leave for college, 15-year-old Laser presses her for a big favor. He wants Joni, now 18, to help him find their biological father; the two teenagers were conceived by donor insemination.

Against her better judgment, Joni honors her brother’s request and manages to make contact with “bio-dad” Paul (Mark Ruffalo), an easygoing restaurateur. The kids find themselves drawn to the confirmed bachelor’s footloose style—especially in contrast to Nic, a principled doctor who has long established their house rules. Jules, who has been looking to start a new career in landscaping, also strikes up a rapport with Paul. As Paul comes into the lives of the forthright four, an unexpected new chapter begins for them as family ties are defined, re-defined, and then re-re-defined.

Film:The Social Network

The Social Network

David Fincher

Every age has its visionaries who leave, in the wake of their genius, a changed world—but rarely without a battle over exactly what happened and who was there at the moment of creation. The Social Network explores the moment at which Facebook was invented—through the warring perspectives of the super-smart young men who each claimed to be there at its inception.

The film moves from the halls of Harvard to the cubicles of Palo Alto to capture the heady early days of a culture-changing phenomenon in the making—and the way it both pulled a group of young revolutionaries together and then split them apart. In the midst of the chaos are Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), the brilliant Harvard student who conceived a website; Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), once Zuckerberg’s close friend, who provided the seed money for the fledgling company; Napster founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) who brought Facebook to Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists; and the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer…[more]

Film:Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3

Lee Unkrich

The creative minds behind Disney•Pixar’s groundbreaking animated blockbusters invite you back inside the toy box for a heartwarming and hilarious High Definition movie experience you’ll never forget. In Toy Story 3, Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen) and the rest of the Toy Story gang return for an all-new adventure, along with a few new faces. It’s “the biggest, best, most exciting Toy Story of them all,” raves Access Hollywood’s Scott Mantz.

As Andy prepares to depart for college, Woody, Buzz, Jessie and the rest of Andy’s faithful toys wonder what will become of them.

Film:True Grit

True Grit

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross’s (Hailee Steinfeld) father has been shot in cold blood by the coward Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), and she is determined to bring him to justice. Enlisting the help of a trigger-happy, drunken U.S. Marshal, Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), she sets out with him—over his objections—to hunt down Chaney. Her father’s blood demands that she pursue the criminal into Indian territory and find him before a Texas Ranger named LeBoeuf (Matt Damon) catches him and brings him back to Texas for the murder of another man.

Film:Winter's Bone

Winter's Bone

Debra Granik

Deep in the Ozark Mountains, clans live by a code of conduct that no one dares defy—until an intrepid teenage girl has no other choice. When Ree Dolly’s crystal-meth-making father skips bail and goes missing, her family home is on the line. Unless she finds him, she and her young siblings and disabled mother face destitution. In a heroic quest, Ree traverses the county to confront her kin, break their silent collusion, and bring her father home.

With thrilling tension, Winter’s Bone depicts an archetypal rite of passage from adolescence to adulthood. Only this time, the young warrior is a girl. As our heroine braves immoveable obstacles, she redefines the notion of family loyalty and, in the process, discovers her own power. The spare precision of Debra Granik’s direction is effortlessly profound. Stunningly genuine performances and exquisite visual details capture the textures and rhythms of a world where the mythic and the naturalistic intermingle.

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