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November 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The New York Film Critics Circle, the first major film group to announce its selections for best picture and performances each year, has given its top honor to The Artist, a black-and-white silent film. Its director, Michel Hazanavicius, was named best director. Meryl Streep received the best actress award for The Iron Lady, in which she portrays former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, while Brad Pitt was named best actor for a pair of performances, as a demanding father in Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life and as Billy Beane, manager of the Oakland A’s, in Moneyball. Steve Zallian and Aaron Sorkin, who wrote Moneyball took home the award for best screenplay. Earlier today, The Artist and the apocalyptic drama Take Shelter each received five nominations in Film Independent’s 2012 Spirit Awards. The two films were also included in the best feature category, along with 50/50, The Descendants, Drive and Martha Marcy May Marlene. Winners are due to be announced at ceremonies in Santa Monica on February 25.