Michel Hazanavicius' 'The Artist' Named Best Film by Vancouver Film Critics

 Peter Iovino/The Weinstein Co.

TORONTO - Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist has been voted by Vancouver movie scribes as their best film of 2011.

The silent film set in the 1930s beat out Alexander Payne’s The Descendants and Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life to take the top prize as the Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards were handed out Monday night.

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And while French director Hazanavicius won for best screenplay of 2011 for The Artist, he lost out in Vancouver to Malick and The Tree of Life in the best director competition.

Across the country, Toronto film critics earlier tapped The Tree of Life as their best film of 2011, while also giving Malick the best director trophy for his epic about boyhood and the end of innocence in 1950s Texas.

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In the acting categories, Vancouver film scribes named Shame’s Michael Fassbender the best actor, while Elizabeth Olsen won the best actress race for her star-turn in Martha Marcy May Marlene.

And Jessica Chastain evidently bowled over the Vancouver film critics, as she won for best supporting actress for performances in The Tree of Life, Take Shelter and The Help.

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In the best supporting actor competition, Canadian Christopher Plummer won for his star-turn in Beginners.

Elsewhere, Jean-Marc Vallee’s Café de flore won for best Canadian film of 2011, Peter Stormare took the trophy for best actor in a Canadian film for his performance in Ed Gass-Donnelly’s Small Town Murder Songs, and Michelle Williams won for best actress in a Canadian film for her co-starring role opposite Seth Rogen in Sarah Polley’s Take This Waltz.

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