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The Artist triumphs at London Film Critics’ Circle Awards

The Artist

Story by Jack Foley

SILENT film The Artist has taken three big awards at the 32nd London Film Critics’ Circle Awards.

The Golden Globe winner turned mulitple BAFTA nominee and now hot Oscar favourite was named Film of the Year, while Michel Hazanavicius took director of the year and Jean Dujardin was crowned actor of the year.

Both Dujardin and Hazanavicius were at the event at BFI Southbank to collect their awards on Thursday night (January 19, 2012).

The Iron Lady took home two awards. Meryl Streep tied the best actress prize with Anna Paquin for Margaret and Olivia Colman The Moët & Chandon Award: British Actress of the Year for her performances in both Phyllida Lloyd’s film and Tyrannosaur.

Her recognition by the Critics’ Circle comes days after she caused a Twitter storm after being overlooked on the BAFTA shortlists and Colman was at the ceremony to personally receive the trophy.

Other multiple winners on the night included Asghar Farhadi’s Berlin winner A Separation, which won three awards, including Foreign Language Film of the Year, Screenwriter of the Year for Asghar Farhadi and Supporting Actress of the Year for Sareh Bayat.

Kenneth Branagh collected his Supporting Actor of the Year award for his turn as Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn and Michael Fassbender collected the British Actor of the Year award for his performances as Carl Jung in A Dangerous Method and as a sex addict in Shame.

Director Lynne Ramsay was present to collect The Attenborough Award: British Film of the Year for W Need To Talk About Kevin.

And Asif Kapadia collected his Documentary of the Year award for Senna.

Nicolas Roeg collected The Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film from his friend and collaborator Donald Sutherland.

Commenting on this year’s awards and nominees, Jason Solomons, chairman of the London Film Critics’ Circle, said: “Judging from the quality of films and performances honoured tonight, it is clear that the critics – who see every film, not just those with ‘awards campaigns’ behind them – have an increasingly influential voice in awards races.

“Our wide-range of viewing has thrown up great surprises and championed small films, shining a light on new, exciting, challenging and thrilling work from around the world of film.

“Without the enthusiasm of critics, terrific films such as The Artist, A Separation and Margaret and amazing performances such as those by Olivia Colman and Michael Fassbender would not be receiving the wider, global attention occasions such as this can inspire.

“It was also a thrill to see director Nic Roeg honoured and witness the huge respect and admiration from film-makers and critics for this artist’s incredible, still-groundbreaking body of work.”

This year’s Film Critics’ Circle Awards were held for the second time at BFI Southbank, in aid of their charity partner, the BFI Archive, to help with the preservation and restoration of British film.

32nd London Critics’ Circle Film Awards winners in full:

Shame, Michael Fassbender

FILM OF THE YEAR
The Artist

CRITICSCIRCLE TOP 10 FILMS of 2011
1. The Artist
2. A Separation
3. Drive
4. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
5. The Tree of Life
6. We Need to Talk About Kevin
7. Melancholia
8. Shame
9. Margaret
10. The Descendants

The Attenborough Award: BRITISH FILM OF THE YEAR
We Need to Talk About Kevin

FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
A Separation

DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR
Senna

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist

SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR
Asghar Farhadi – A Separation

The Virgin Atlantic Award: BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH FILM-MAKER
Andrew Haigh – Weekend

ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Jean Dujardin – The Artist

ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Anna Paquin – Margaret
Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady

SUPPORTING ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Kenneth Branagh – My Week With Marilyn

SUPPORTING ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Sareh Bayat – A Separation

BRITISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Michael Fassbender – A Dangerous Method, Shame

The Moët & Chandon Award: BRITISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Olivia Colman – The Iron Lady, Tyrannosaur

YOUNG BRITISH PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
Craig Roberts – Submarine

The Sky 3D Award: TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT
Maria Djurkovic, production design – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The Dilys Powell Award: EXCELLENCE IN FILM
Nicolas Roeg