22 December 2011 10:53 AM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Emily Browning, Rachael Blake, Sleeping Beauty Nicolas Winding Refn's thriller Drive, starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, and Albert Brooks, was the Sydney Film Critics' choice for Best Film of 2011. In the United States, Drive was the top pick of the Utah Film Critics; elsewhere, most Us critics groups have gone for either Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist or Alexander Payne's The Descendants. A 2010 release (in the Us), Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan was the Sydney Critics' no. 2 movie. Natalie Portman stars as a disturbed ballerina who slowly loses her grip on reality. That was followed by two arthouse movies: Lars von Trier's Melancholia, which earned Kirsten Dunst the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival, and Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, a transcendental family drama starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain. The Tree of Life won this year's Palme d'Or in Cannes. »

- Steve Montgomery

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