Terrence Malick's non-linear existential meditation on family, "The Tree of Life," earned another accolade yesterday as the African-American Film Critics Association named it their selection for Best Picture of 2011.
In other major categories, "The Help" and the independent film "Pariah" led the way with two wins each, with "The Help"'s Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer winning Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively. "Pariah" took home the award for Best Independent Film, while star Adepero Oduye won for breakout Performance.
Meanwhile, Albert Brooks continued to build Oscar momentum, winning the award for Best Supporting Actor for his villainous turn in "Drive." Woody Harrelson took top honors in the Best Actor category for an even more villainous performance as a corrupt L.A. cop in "Rampart," while Malick was surprisingly stoned in the Best Director category; despite the singular vision of "Tree of Life," the AAFCA bestowed the award on Steve McQueen for his decidedly adult sex drama "Shame."
Founded in 2003, the African-American Film Critics Association strives to honor films that were created by black artists or highlight the African-American experience. Here's a complete list of this year's winners, courtesy of The Los Angeles Times:
Best Picture: "The Tree of Life."
Best Director: Steve McQueen, "Shame."
Lead Actor: Woody Harrelson, "Rampart."
Lead Actress: Viola Davis, "The Help."
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, "The Help."
Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks, "Drive."
Breakout Performance: Adepero Oduye, “Pariah."
Best Documentary: "The Black Power Mixtape."
Best Screenplay: Ava DuVernay, “I Will Follow."
Best Foreign film: Alrick Brown, “Kinyarwanda."
Best Song: Jason Reeves & Lenka Kripac, writers, “The Show” from “Moneyball."
Best Independent Film: "Pariah."
Special Achievement: George Lucas, (Cinema Vanguard); Richard Roundtree, (AAFCA Legacy); Hattie Winston (AAFCA Horizon) and Institution, Sony Pictures Entertainment.