Chicago critics name “Rango” Best Animated Feature

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Rango

Rango

The Chicago Film Crit­ics Asso­ci­a­tion declared the trippy com­edy Rango on Mon­day to be the best ani­mated fea­ture of 2011.

Rango won out over chal­lengers The Adven­tures of Tintin, Arthur Christ­mas, Puss In Boots and Win­nie the Pooh.

After years of spec­u­la­tion and delays, The Tree of Life, Ter­rence Malick’s long-awaited film that took view­ers from the begin­ning of time to 1950s Texas, proved to be worth the wait, accord­ing to the asso­ci­a­tion. The CFCA gave Tree of Life four awards, includ­ing Best Pic­ture, Direc­tor, Sup­port­ing Actress for new­comer Jes­sica Chas­tain and Cin­e­matog­ra­phy for Emmanuel Lubezki.

The vio­lent neo-noir Drive won Sup­port­ing Actor for come­dian Albert Brooks for his change-of-pace turn as a ruth­less crime boss, and Orig­i­nal Score for com­poser Cliff Mar­tinez. With two wins, Drive tied with Martha Marcy May Mar­lene, the moody indie drama about a young woman haunted by her expe­ri­ences with a cult. Star Eliz­a­beth Olsen won Most Promis­ing Per­former. Direc­tor Sean Durkin received the Most Promis­ing Film­maker award.

Michael Shan­non was named Best Actor for his per­for­mance as a man tor­mented by visions of the pos­si­ble apoc­a­lypse in the drama Take Shel­ter. Michelle Williams won the Best Actress award for her stun­ning turn as Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe in My Week with Marilyn.

The Artist, the black and white silent com­edy from France about an actor unwill­ing to make the tran­si­tion to talkies, won Orig­i­nal Screen­play for Michel Haz­anavi­cius. Screen­writ­ers Steve Zail­lian and Aaron Sorkin won the Adapted Screen­play prize for Mon­ey­ball. (This marks Sorkin’s sec­ond con­sec­u­tive vic­tory in his cat­e­gory. He won last year for The Social Network.)

The Iran­ian drama A Sep­a­ra­tion won Foreign-Language Film. The Inter­rupters, the pow­er­ful film fol­low­ing a group of peo­ple try­ing to stamp out vio­lence in Chicago’s most vio­lent neigh­bor­hoods, won Best Documentary.

The CFCA will hand out hon­orary awards to some well-known recip­i­ents to cel­e­brate their con­tri­bu­tions to cinema.

Leg­endary actress Shirley MacLaine will receive the Com­mit­ment to the Craft Award. James Earl Jones will be pre­sented with the Oscar Michaeux Award. The Com­mit­ment to Chicago goes to beloved char­ac­ter actor Den­nis Farina. The Big Shoul­ders Award will be given to Chicago’s com­edy insti­tu­tion Sec­ond City. Finally, the newly cre­ated Com­me­dia Extra­or­di­naire Award, to acknowl­edge work in the often over­looked field of screen com­edy, will be given to Jason Segel for his past achieve­ments and for his efforts to bring the Mup­pets back to the big screen.

The awards cer­e­mony is sched­uled for 6 p.m. Sat­ur­day, Jan­u­ary 7 at Chicago’s Broad­way Play­house, 175 East Chest­nut St. Tick­ets are now on sale and can be pur­chased through Tick­et­mas­ter at www.ticketmaster.com.

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