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After bumping up their voting date insanely early in the season, casting their votes before half of the big awards season films have come out, the New York Film Critics Circle gathered today to vote on their picks for the best films of the year. For the first time ever they announced their picks via Twitter, doling out tidbits of information throughout the morning. After many hours of deliberation on all their awards, the group finally settled on The Artist as Best Picture, with that film's Michel Hazanavicius taking home the Best Director prize as well.

Following rules that the Oscars don't allow, the critics awarded Brad Pitt their Best Actor prize for two separate 2011 movies, Tree of Life and Moneyball, and did the same for his Tree of Life co-star Jessica Chastain, naming her Best Supporting Actress for that film along with The Help and Take Shelter. Meryl Streep won Best Actress for just one film, The Iron Lady, and Albert Brooks was named Best Supporting Actor for Drive.

Moneyball, with a shared credit between Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian, won the Best Screenplay award, and in maybe the most deserving win possible, cinematographer Emmanuel Luzbeki was rewarded for his astonishing work on Tree of Life. The Iranian domestic drama A Separation won Best Foreign Language film, while J.C. Chandor's Margin Call got the first announced prize of Best First Feature, instantly causing a mini-kerfuffle on Twitter among those who figured Sean Durkin's Martha Marcy May Marlene would get the honor. The next vote went to Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams as Best Nonfiction Film, though by some measures that film was a 2010 release.

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