In a day crammed with critics awards, most of which were being announced simultaneously on Twitter, the New York Film Critics Online made a couple of surprising choices but in the end went for the frontrunner, naming "The Artist" the Best Picture of 2011.
The director of that silent film, Michel Hazanavicius, was also named the year's Best Director. Its composer, Ludovic Bource, won the NYFCO's music award as well.
In the lead acting categories, the online critics went for dark horse Michael Shannon for "Take Shelter" and frontrunner Meryl Streep for "The Iron Lady."
Albert Brooks ("Drive") and Melissa McCarthy ("Bridesmaids") won in the supporting categories; in the case of McCarthy, it continued a strong showing by that film, which also made the AFI top 10 list and gave her a Supporting Actress win from the Boston Society of Film Critics.
"Bridesmaids" also won the Ensemble Cast award.
"A Separation" was named Best Foreign-Language Film, "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" was named Best Documentary and "The Adventures of Tintin" enjoyed a rare Best Animated Film win over "Rango."
The NYFCO awards are far newer and less prestigious than the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, which were announced in late November. ("The Artist" also won that award.)
Last year's NYFCO awards went to "The Social Network," as did virtually every other critics' awards. The year before, the group went for "Avatar" over the Oscar-winning "The Hurt Locker."
Best Picture: "The Artist"
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Best Actor: Michael Shannon, "Take Shelter"
Runners-up: Michael Fassbender, "Shame" and Gary Oldman, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"
Best Actress: Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Runner-up: Viola Davis, "The Help"
Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks, "Drive"
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"
Best Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, "The Descendants"
Best Foreign-Language Film: "A Separation"
Best Documentary: "Cave of Forgotten Dreams"
Best Animated Feature: "The Adventures of Tintin"
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, "The Tree of Life"
Best Use of Music: Ludovic Bource, "The Artist"
Best Ensemble Cast: "Bridesmaids"
Best Debut Director: Joe Cornish, "Attack the Block"
Breakthrough Performer: Jessica Chastain, "The Tree of Life," "The Help," "The Debt," "Take Shelter," "Texas Killing Fields," "Coriolanus"