New York, Jan 10: Jet-setting power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie brought their own brand of star power to the New York Film Critics Circle awards Monday (Jan. 9) where Pitt was crowned best actor.
Before the awards ceremony, Pitt said creative fulfillment and the longevity of a project is how he measures the success of his work.
“We're trying to make a film that has something to say now and the question is does it have something to say in five years in 10 years, 20 years. That's always been the quest. This is a nice bi-product of that,” he explained.
Pitt said he relished the chance to catch up with friends like George Clooney during the grind of a jam-packed awards season.
“Yeah it's nice. Yeah I'm really happy that George is along for the ride because he's just - no one does it better. But it's a, I look forward to get back to making things, at the same time you know it's a really honor. It's fun. It's a time that we all get to catch up again and we've all been in different parts of the world filming so you get to see the (acting) community, so it's nice for that.”
It was a double celebration for the Hollywood dad who was honored for his performances in the baseball film “Moneyball” and Terrence Malick's cosmic drama “Tree of Life.”
“Well you love them for different reasons and they're - it's not just the film itself, it's the time you spent on it. They're mile markers in a way for your own personal experience,” said Pitt.
Both of those films also earned other awards: “Tree of Life” for best cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki and “Moneyball” for Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin's screenplay.
The evening's big winner was silent film ode “The Artist,” which took the year's best film award, giving the nostalgic black-and-white movie an early boost to its already promising Academy Awards prospects.
“The Artist” also earned best director for the French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius, who said he was not fully prepared for the awards season mania to begin.
“I think you can't be ready. You can't prepare yourself for someone like that. What we can do is to enjoy every single hour of that adventure, sure,” said Hazanavicius.
Meryl Steep was chosen as best actress for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in the upcoming “The Iron Lady.” The suddenly ubiquitous Jessica Chastain won best supporting actress for a trio of performances in “Tree of Life,” “The Help” and “Take Shelter.”
“He's just such a consummate professional and great actor,” said Chastain of her “Tree of Life” co-star. “Of course he's Brad Pitt, the movie star legend. But he really is more for me now, I see him as Brad Pitt the serious, brilliant actor.”
Albert Brooks earned best supporting actor for his against-type performance as a violent villain in the drama “Drive.”
“I was lucky enough to win a New York Film Critics (award) as a writer for my movie ‘Mother' and you know this is a critics group that's been doing this since the middle 1930s. So they began this whole thing. So it feels like the granddaddy of them. It does mean something,” said Brooks.
The financial industry thriller “Margin Call” won best first feature. And the Iranian drama “A Separation” was picked for best foreign film.
“I'm very happy because before my films in the festivals have always had some reception, but this time the festivals have become a connection between the people and the critics,” said Iranian director Asghar Farhadi.
The New York Film Critics Circle, a body of 33 New York-based critics founded in 1935, announced their annual vote on Twitter for the first time. The group describes its awards as “a principled alternative to the Oscars, honoring esthetic merit in a forum that is immune to commercial and political pressures.” The group last year chose the Facebook drama “The Social Network” as best picture.
Among the films snubbed by the critics were Alexander Payne's “The Descendants,” Martin Scorsese's “Hugo” and Steven Spielberg's “War Horse.”