NEW YORK - Reuters
The New York Film Critics Circle on Nov. 29 named silent film “The Artist” the best movie of the year, and gave its top acting honors to Meryl Streep
and Brad Pitt.
Michel Hazanavicius won best director for “The Artist,” a black-and-white film about Hollywood’s transition from silent films to talkies in the late 1920s and the toll it takes on one actor’s life. In the romantic drama, a couple played by Jean Dujardin
and Berenice Bejo find themselves on opposite sides of a career arc -his descending as her star begins to shine.
The film began to generate buzz at festivals earlier this year and received strong reviews. With Tuesday’s important, early win from the New York film critics, “The Artist” positions itself as a key competitor in the race for this year’s Academy Awards, the film world’s highest honors which are handed out in February.
Streep won the New York critics’ best actress award for her portrayal of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady,” while Pitt was cited for his performances in two films, sports drama “Moneyball” and drama “The Tree of Life.”
It was Streep’s fourth best actress win from the critics’ group and Pitt’s first.
Jessica Chastain was named best supporting actress for her performances in three films, “The Tree of Life,” “The Help” and “Take Shelter.”
Veteran actor Albert Brooks won best supporting actor for his turn as a small-time mobster in thriller, “Drive.”
The best screenplay award went to “Moneyball”’s Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin.