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The Artist wins best film at Critics' Choice Movie Awards

The Artist

Story by Jack Foley

BLACK and white silent movie homage The Artist has been named best picture at the 17th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.

The ceremony, which took place at the Hollywood Palladium on Thursday night (January 12, 2012), also recognised George Clooney as best actor for The Descendants and Viola Davis as best actress for The Help.

Picking up the prize for best film, Michel Hazanavicius, director of The Artist, admitted: “I don’t like to speak so much.” He then invited all the actors onto the stage to celebrate the honour.

The filmmaker also took the best director prize, while the film also picked up two further awards for costume design and score.

“There are so many beautiful people here. I have to force myself not to ask for autographs,” added Hazanavicius.

Upon accepting his latest best actor prize from one of America’s more influential bodies, Clooney said he was “very proud” to be in The Descendants, in which he plays a father struggling to hold his family together while coping with the imminent death of his unfaithful wife.

Viola Davis, meanwhile, paid homage to the type of women she portrayed in The Help, saying: “I consider it an honour to pay homage to these woman who at that time period were not allowed to dream.”

Her co-star, Octavia Spencer, was named best supporting actress for also playing a maid, while the remainder of the cast – which also features Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard and Jessica Chastain – took the best ensemble prize.

Veteran actor Christopher Plummer was named best supporting actor award for his work in Beginners.

He commented: “I feel terribly young tonight. You brought back my youth.”

Further awards on the night went to Bridesmaids, which took best comedy; Moneyball, which was named best adapted screenplay; Midnight in Paris, which won Woody Allen the best original screenplay, and Rango, which took best animated film.

A Separation was named best foreign film, with director Asghar Farhadi accepting the award.

The awards are voted for by more than 250 members of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association, who pride themselves on being a predictor of eventual Academy Award nominations and wins.

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