'The Artist,' 'The Help' and Clooney Are Critics' Choices

[caption id="attachment_104351" align="alignleft" width="220" caption="The Weinstein Company"]The Artist[/caption]

The movie about the movies was the big winner at the 17th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards, which were held at the Hollywood Palladium on Thursday night.

"The Artist" took home the awards for Best Picture, Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius), Best Costume Design and Best Score. The other big winner of the night was "The Help," which won Best Actress (Viola Davis, with a moving acceptance speech), Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer) and Best Acting Ensemble.

Other highlights include George Clooney winning Best Actor for his melancholy turn in "The Descendants," Christopher Plummer getting Best Supporting Actor for his sly-fox performance in "Beginners" and "Life's a Happy Song" from "The Muppets" scoring Best Song.

"Drive" got a little love as Best Action Movie and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" got technical nods for both Makeup and Sound, though "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" dominated the Boy Wizard in the Best Visual Effects category.

Clooney also presented Sean Penn with the Joel Siegel Award for his humanitarian work and Leonardo DiCaprio and Olivia Harrison presented the Music + Film Award to Martin Scorsese, whose documentary, "George Harrison: Living in the Material World," won Best Documentary Feature.

All in all, the Critics' Choice Movie Awards look to once again be serving as a telling prelude to the Academy Awards, though "Hugo" still might manage to sneak in and impress Oscar for a little more than just a nod for Art Direction. We shall see!

Check out our complete list of winners of the 17th Annual Critics' Choice Awards.