'The Help' Named Best Film of 2011 by Black Film Critics Circle

Ensemble Cast
Dale Robinette/DreamWorks II Distribution Co. LLC

Stockett was stunned by how Sissy Spacek (center) took her words and "did things with them that weren't even on the page."

The Help has been named best film of 2011 by the Black Film Critics Circle, which also rewarded it in four other categories: best actress, Viola Davis; best supporting actress, Octavia Spencer; best adapted screenplay, Tate Taylor; and best ensemble.

The group gave three awards to Pariah, including its best director prize, which went to Dee Rees, who also took the honors for best original screenplay, as well as best independent film.

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Olivier Litondo was named best actor for The First Grader, while Albert Brooks was named best supporting actor for Drive.

The awards were announced Tuesday by BFCC co-president Mike Sargent following the critics group’s annual meeting  in New York.

The other winners were:  Best documentary, Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey; best foreign film, Life, Above All; and best animated film, Rango.

The BFCC gave its Pioneer Award to Harry Belafonte; its Rising Star Award to Pariah’s Adrepero Oduye; and a Special Mention to Attack the Block.

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The group also named its top ten films of the year: The Help, The Artist, Pariah, Drive, The Descendants, Attack the Block, The Tree of Life, Hugo, The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo and Warrior.

Founded in 2010, the BFCC is a membership organization comprised of film critics of color from daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines, radio, television and qualifying on-line publications.