National Society of Film Critics Name Their Best of 2011

[caption id="attachment_91919" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Magnolia Pictures"]Melancholia[/caption]

The National Society of Film Critics yesterday became the final major group of film critics to announce their awards for 2011, naming "Melancholia" as their best film of the year, with star Kirsten Dunst also getting the nod for Best Actress.

"The Tree of Life" also had a strong showing, with Brad Pitt (who also appeared in "Moneyball") winning Best Actor and breakout star Jessica Chastain (who also appeared in "The Help," "Take Shelter" and three other films in 2011) earning the nod for Best Supporting Actress; Terrence Malick and Emmanuel Lubeski also won best Director and Best Cinematography respectively.

In the other major categories, Albert Brooks continued to build Oscar momentum in the best Supporting Actor category for his sinister turn in "Drive," Wener Herzog's "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" won for Best Non-Fiction Film and the acclaimed Iranian import "A Separation" won both Best Screenplay and Best Foreign Language Film.

Founded in 1966, the National Society of Film Critics is comprised of 61 of the most influential critics from around the country. In addition to recognizing achievements in film, the organization also focuses on promoting the preservation of film history.

Here's a complete list of this year's winners:

BEST PICTURE

"Melancholia"

BEST ACTOR

Brad Pitt –"Moneyball," "The Tree of Life"

BEST ACTRESS

Kirsten Dunst – "Melancholia"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Albert Brooks – "Drive"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jessica Chastain – "The Tree of Life," "Take Shelter," "The Help"

BEST DIRECTOR

Terrence Malick – "The Tree of Life"

BEST NONFICTION

"Cave of Forgotten Dreams"

BEST SCREENPLAY

"A Separation"

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM

"A Separation"

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

"The Tree of Life"