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'Melancholia,' 'Tree of Life' Top National Society of Film Critics' Awards

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire January 7, 2012 at 4:32PM

Lars von Trier's "Melancohlia" topped the winners of the National Society of Film Critics' annual awards, which were voted on this afternoon in New York City by 58 of the country's most prominent film critics. "Melancholia" won both best picture and best actress (Kirsten Dunst), while von Trier placed runner-up in the best director category.
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Lars von Trier's "Melancholia." Image courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Lars von Trier's "Melancohlia" topped the winners of the National Society of Film Critics' annual awards, which were voted on this afternoon in New York City by 58 of the country's most prominent film critics. "Melancholia" won both best picture and best actress (Kirsten Dunst), while von Trier placed runner-up in the best director category.

The best director category was topped instead by Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life," which also won acting awards for Brad Pitt (split with his work in "Moneyball") and Jessica Chastain (split with her work for "The Help" and "Take Shelter"), and best cinematography.

Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation" was also a big winner, taking prizes for best foreign language film and best screenplay. It was also third runner-up for best picture.

Full list of winners below, including runners-up and point scores.

BEST PICTURE
*1. Melancholia  - 29 (Lars von Trier)
2. The Tree of Life – 28 (Terrence Malick)
3.  A Separation  - 20 (Asghar Farhadi)

BEST DIRECTOR
*1. Terrence Malick – 31 (The Tree of Life)
2. Martin Scorsese – 29 (Hugo)
3. Lars von Trier – 23 (Melancholia)

 BEST ACTOR
*1. Brad Pitt – 35  (Moneyball, The Tree of Life)
2. Gary Oldman – 22 (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
3. Jean Dujardin – 19 (The Artist)

BEST ACTRESS
*1. Kirsten Dunst – 39 (Melancholia)
2. Yun Jung-hee – 25 (Poetry)
3. Meryl Streep – 20 (The Iron Lady)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
*1.  Albert Brooks - 38 (Drive)
2. Christopher Plummer – 24 (Beginners)
3. Patton Oswalt – 19 (Young Adult)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
*1. Jessica Chastain – 30 (The Tree of Life, Take Shelter, The Help)
2. Jeannie Berlin – 19 (Margaret)
3. Shailene Woodley – 17 (The Descendants)

BEST NONFICTION
*1. Cave of Forgotten Dreams – 35 (Werner Herzog)
2. The Interrupters – 26 (Steve James)
3. Into the Abyss – 18 (Werner Herzog)

BEST SCREENPLAY
*1. A Separation – 39  (Asghar Farhadi)
2. Moneyball – 22 (Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin)
3. Midnight in Paris – 16 (Woody Allen)

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
*1. A Separation – 67 (Asghar Farhadi)
2. Mysteries of Lisbon – 28 (Raoul Ruiz)
3. Le Havre – 22 (Aki Kaurismäki)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
*1. The Tree of Life – 76 (Emanuel Lubezki)
2. Melancholia – 41 (Manuel Alberto Claro)
3.  Hugo – 33 (Robert Richardson)

EXPERIMENTAL

Ken Jacobs, for “Seeking the Monkey King.”  

FILM HERITAGE
1. BAMcinématek for its complete Vincente Minnelli retrospective  with all titles shown on 16 mm. or 35 mm. film.
2. Lobster Films, Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema and the Technicolor Foundation for Cinema for the restoration of the color version of George Méliès’s “A Trip to the Moon.”  
3. New York’s Museum of Modern Art for its extensive retrospective of Weimar Cinema.
4. Flicker Alley for its box set “Landmarks of Early Soviet Film.”
5. Criterion Collection for its 2-disc DVD package “The Complete Jean Vigo.”