Hugo Awards 2011: Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

The Best Dramatic Presentation category was added in 1958. It was split into Long Form (over 90 minutes) and Short Form (under 90 minutes) beginning in 2003. Although some traditionalists decry the addition of non-literature based works (and to be sure, some questionable movies and TV shows have been nominated and even won), this is usually one of the top vote-getting categories, showing it is popular with the Hugo voters.

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form Nominations (510 ballots cast)
(The titles in bold are the ones I nominated.)

320 Inception, Written and Directed by Christopher Nolan (62.75%)
110 How to Train Your Dragon, screenplay by William Davies, Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders; directed by Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders (21.57%)
84 Toy Story 3, screenplay by Michael Arndt; story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich; directed by Lee Unkrich (16.47%)
79 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Screenplay by Steve Kloves; Directed by David Yates (15.49%)
72 Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, screenplay by Michael Bacall & Edgar Wright; directed by Edgar Wright (14.12%)
——————————————————————————–
58 Despicable Me (11.37%)
41 Alice in Wonderland (8.04%)
40 Iron Man 2 (7.84%)
37 Tron: Legacy (7.25%)
32 Monsters (6.27%)
31 Kick-Ass (6.08%)
29 Tangled (5.69%)
20 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (3.92%)
19 Doctor Who: “End of Time” (3.73%)
19 Megamind (3.73%)
18 Lost: “The End” (3.53%)
18 Metropolis (2010 restoration) (3.53%)
18 Never Let Me Go (3.53%)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form Final Ballot Results (1755 ballots)
(Final ballots are counted using the instant-runoff method.)

My Ranking

Title

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

1

Inception (WINNER)

734

738

795

884

2

How to Train Your Dragon

390

394

439

507

4

Harry Potter

201

202

239

268

5

Scott Pilgrim

193

193

212

3

Toy Story 3

182

182

No Award

55

No Award Tests
• 1358 ballots ranked Inception greater than No Award; 106 ballots ranked No Award greater than Inception – PASS
• ((1755 – 55) / 2100) * 100 = 81% – PASS

The remaining places were then calculated to be:
2nd Place – How to Train Your Dragon
3rd Place – Harry Potter
4th Place – Toy Story 3
5th Place – Scott Pilgrim

Analysis

Inception was the overwhelming favorite from start to finish. Its original blend of thought-provoking ideas and stunning visuals obviously captured the imaginations of the Hugo voters. Overall, this was a good year for science fiction and fantasy movies, especially animated films. How to Train Your Dragon was surprisingly ranked higher than the Oscar-winning Toy Story 3 (deservedly so, in my opinion). Curiously, the restored version of Metropolis (1927) received a number of nominations; although it likely would have been ruled ineligible if it had reached the top five.

Mini-Reviews

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, screenplay by Steve Kloves; directed by David Yates (Warner)
Harry and his pals face Voldemort’s greatest challenge. Moving away from Hogwart’s, the film captures the darkness and despair that Voldemart’s looming victory brings. With lots of action and emotion, the film delivers a moving message.

                                                                  How to Train Your Dragon, screenplay by William Davies, Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders; directed by Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders (DreamWorks)
A clumsy Viking boy discovers he has the talent to communicate with dragons, to the disbelief and ridicule of his town. He is eventually vindicated when his dragon friends help save everyone. A charming and exciting story that explores teenage angst in a clever way.

Inception, written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner)
A con man uses dreams to cheat his victims, and gets caught in one last convoluted scheme to make a big score. The visuals and special effects compliment a well-acted cast and intelligent plot. A layered and nuanced story, it is the kind of film that can be viewed many times, gaining new insights every time. This is movie SF at its best.

                                                      Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, screenplay by Michael Bacall & Edgar Wright; directed by Edgar Wright (Universal)
A young man’s quest for love is impeded by his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriends’ attempts at revenge. Fast-paced and visually busy, this film is funny, exciting, and romantic, but definitely aimed at the under-25 crowd.

                            Toy Story 3, screenplay by Michael Arndt; story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich; directed by Lee Unkrich (Pixar/Disney)
Woody and Buzz and their toy friends are donated to a child care center where they are subjected to the cruelty of the toys already there. Another witty adventure from Pixar that will leave a lump in your throat and a smile on your face.

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