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Melancholia tops National Society critics awards

Melancholia tops National Society critics awards

Melancholia tops National Society critics awards

Months after being thrown out of Cannes for his controversial comments about being able to identify with Hitler, the Danish director Lars von Trier has won the top prize handed out by a body of American reviewers.

The National Society of Film Critics has picked the apocalyptic psychological drama Melancholia as the best film of 2011. Its star, Kirsten Dunst was chosen, by the Society, as the best actress of the year.

But von Trier missed out on the best director prize to Terrence Malick, whose The Tree of Life also won him the top prize at Cannes.

Brad Pitt was chosen as the best actor in a year in which he led the casts of both The Tree of Life and the fast-talking backroom baseball drama, Moneyball.

Another busy actor, Jessica Chastain, was given an award for the best supporting actress in a year which saw her in The Tree of Life, The Help and Take Shelter, among others. Old-timer Albert Brooks was the Society’s best supporting actor, for playing a gangster in Drive.

Iran’s A Seperation was the Society’s best Foreign Language film of the year and also picked up the screenplay prize. Werner Herzog’s The Cave of Forgotten Dreams took the non-fiction honour.

The National Society of Film Critics comprises fifty eight members of major newspapers in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Boston and other major cities, as well as national publications such as Time and Newsweek. The group could be too small to carry much influence when it comes to the bigger awards ceremonies still to come in the next two months, but any boost to the profile of the films and film-makers can’t hurt their chances.

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