10 January 2012 7:09 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

2011 was a big year for actors taking chances behind the camera. George Clooney got political with his critically acclaimed drama "The Ides of March;" Paddy Considine brought real grit to his debut "Tyrannosaur;" and Clint Eastwood invited controversy with his biopic "J. Edgar." Most impressive of all though -- mainly because no one saw it coming -- was "Higher Ground," Vera Farmiga's remarkably accomplished first stab at directing. It comes out on DVD and Blu-ray today and it's our pick of the week. Since wowing critics and audiences with her award-winning turn in "Down to the Bone," Farmiga has continued to show great strength and range with strong performances in a number of films including "The Departed" and "Up in the Air." In her directorial debut, Farmiga brings the same fire from her acting to her deft handling of the story of a woman confused about her own notions of faith. »

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