Story by Jack Foley
ROMAN Polanski's critically-acclaimed, The Pianist,
received four of the top honours at the 37th annual National Society of Film
Critics awards in America, an awards ceremony that, traditionally, seeks to
celebrate more arthouse-type films than the more showy Oscars.
The film, which stars Adrien Brody as Wladyslaw Szpilman, a World War Two-era Polish pianist who survived the Holocaust, was voted best picture of 2002, while Polanski was named best director. Brody was named best actor, while the film also took the best screenplay award.
The Pianist also won the Palme D'Or at last years Cannes Film Festival and is based on a memoir by the real-life Szpilman. It marks a labour of love for Polanski, whose parents died at Auschwitz and who fought for his own survival as a child during the Holocaust.
Other awards went to Diane Lane, as best actress, for her role as the adulterous wife in Unfaithful, while Christopher Walken received the best supporting actor accolade for his performance in Steven Spielberg's Catch Me if You Can (starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks).
Patricia Clarkson was named best supporting actress for Far from Heaven, which was also honoured for its cinematography.
Hip Mexican road movie, Y Tu Mama Tambien, by Alfonso Cuaron, was named best foreign film, while the award for best documentary went to Standing in the Shadows of Motown.
The National Society of Critics awards are viewed by many as the first major movie honours of 2003 and continue to be highly regarded within the industry for the way in which they showcase the work of more independent films.
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