Lars von Trier's 'Melancholia' Named Best Film By National Society of Film Critics

Melancholia Kirsten Dunst - H 2011
Magnolia Pictures

The National Society of Film Critics has named Melancholia, Lars von Trier's meditation on the end of the world, as best film of the year.

The last major film critics group to weigh in on the 2011 films, the group, which met Saturday at Sardi's in New York, also chose that film's Kirsten Dunst as best actress and singled out Brad Pitt as best actor for both Moneyball and The Tree of Life

The busy Jessica Chastain was named best supporting actress for Tree, Take Shelter and The Help, while Albert Brooks was named best supporting actor for Drive.

Terrence Malick took the best director prize for Tree, which also earned Emmanuel Lubeski the prize for best cinematography.

Asghar Farhadi's A Separation received the awards for both best screenplay and best foreign-language film.

Werner Herzog's 3D Cave of Forgotten Dreams was the victor in the best nonfiction film category, and Ken Jacobs' Seeking the Monkey King was named best experimental film.

The National Society, which is chaired by David Sterritt, consists of 58 critics from around the country.

It also gave out several film heritage awards, which went to BAMcinematek for its Vincente Minnelli retrospective; Lobster Films, Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema and the Technicolor Foundation for Cinema for the restoration of the color version of George MélièsA Trip to the Moon; New York’s Museum of Modern Art for its extensive retrospective of Weimar Cinema; Flicker Alley for its box set Landmarks of Early Soviet Film; and Criterion Collection for its 2-disc DVD package The Complete Jean Vigo.

The complete list of the group's vote, include the runners-up, follows:


*1. Brad Pitt – 35  (Moneyball, The Tree of Life)

2. Gary Oldman – 22 (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

3. Jean Dujardin – 19 (The Artist)


*1. Kirsten Dunst – 39 (Melancholia)

2. Yun Jung-hee – 25 (Poetry)

3. Meryl Streep – 20 (The Iron Lady)


*1.  Albert Brooks - 38 (Drive)

2. Christopher Plummer – 24 (Beginners)

3. Patton Oswalt – 19 (Young Adult)


*1. Jessica Chastain – 30 (The Tree of Life, Take Shelter, The Help)

2. Jeannie Berlin – 19 (Margaret)

3. Shailene Woodley – 17 (The Descendants)


*1. Melancholia  - 29 (Lars von Trier)

2. The Tree of Life – 28 (Terrence Malick)

3.  A Separation  - 20 (Asghar Farhadi)


*1. Terrence Malick – 31 (The Tree of Life)

2. Martin Scorsese – 29 (Hugo)

3. Lars von Trier – 23 (Melancholia)


*1. Cave of Forgotten Dreams – 35 (Werner Herzog)

2. The Interrupters – 26 (Steve James)

3. Into the Abyss – 18 (Werner Herzog)


*1. A Separation – 39  (Asghar Farhadi)

2. Moneyball – 22 (Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin)

3. Midnight in Paris – 16 (Woody Allen)


*1. A Separation – 67 (Asghar Farhadi)

2. Mysteries of Lisbon – 28 (Raoul Ruiz)

3. Le Havre – 22 (Aki Kaurismäki)


*1. The Tree of Life – 76 (Emmanuel Lubezki)

2. Melancholia – 41 (Manuel Alberto Claro)

3.  Hugo – 33 (Robert Richardson)

Ken Jacobs, for “Seeking the Monkey King.”