The Broadcast Film Critics Association on Thursday night (12) voted The Artist its best film of 2011 and Michel Hazanavicius best director.

George Clooney and Viola Davis took the lead acting prizes for The Descendants and The Help, respectively, while Christopher Plummer for Beginners and Octavia Spencer for The Help prevailed in the supporting categories.

The Help earned best ensemble acting prize and Thomas Horn from Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close was unveiled as the best young actor or actress on the night.

There was joy too for Woody Allen in the original screenplay category for Midnight In Paris and Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin for Moneyball in the adapted category.

Rango was named best animation, Drive best action film, Bridesmaids best comedy, A Separation best foreign language film and George Harrison: Living In The Material World best documentary.

The Tree Of Life and War Horse shared cinematography honours and Hugo won for art direction. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo won the editing prize, The Artist picked up third and fourth awards for costume and score, while Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes won the visual effects category. The Harry Potter finale won the best sound prize.

The Joel Siegel Award went to Sean Penn and Critics’ Choice Music + Film Award went to Martin Scorsese.