"The Artist," "Descendants" lead critics awards

Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:27pm EST
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NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "The Artist," a black-and-white silent film about Hollywood, drama "The Descendants," Brad Pitt, Martin Scorsese and Terrence Malick all won big on Sunday among U.S. film critics and industry groups that doled out honors for the year's best movies.

The Boston Society of Film Critics, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the New York Film Critics Online all announced their choices for the best films and performances of 2011, kicking off a pivotal week in Hollywood with both the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guilds announcing nominations.

The Los Angeles-based film arts and educational group The American Film Institute also issued its list of the year's 10 best films on Sunday.

In Boston, critics chose "The Artist," set against the backdrop of Hollywood moving from silent films to talkies, as the year's best film, becoming the latest top prize for the silent film that has generated buzz in 2011 at festivals.

The film failed to make AFI's top 10, but only because it was not an American-made movie. The group did cite "The Artist" and the "Harry Potter" series for AFI Special Awards.

The AFI top 10 included George Clooney-starring "The Descendants," Martin Scorsese's "Hugo," Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris," Steven Spielberg's "War Horse" and in a raunchy twist, female comedy "Bridesmaids."

The Boston critics named Pitt best actor for his portrayal of a numbers-crunching baseball man in "Moneyball" and Michelle Williams best actress for her turn in "My Week With Marilyn" playing screen siren Marilyn Monroe.

Pitt already won the New York Film Critics prize, while Williams' much-lauded performance scored one of its first major wins on Sunday.

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