NEW YORK The National Society of Film Critics selected Lars von Trier's haunting drama "Melancholia" as the best picture of 2011 during its annual meeting Saturday.
The society, comprised of 58 prominent movie critics from around the country, also named the movie's star, Kirsten Dunst, as 2011's best actress.
Society members chose Brad Pitt as best actor for his performances in "Moneyball" and "The Tree of Life."
Albert Brooks was named Best Supporting Actor for "Drive," and Jessica Chastain was named Best Supporting Actress for her performances in "The Tree of Life," "The Help" and "Take Shelter."
Terrance Malick was the choice for Best Director for "The Tree of Life" Werner Herzog's "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" was selected as best nonfiction film.
The society, founded in 1966, also works to promote film preservation.
This year, it recognized Brooklyn's BAMcinematek for its retrospective of films by Vincente Minnelli, known for musicals and dramas; and the Criterion Collection for its DVD package of "The Complete Jean Vigo."
Honors fro Best Screenplay went to Asghar Farhadi for "A Separation," which also won for Best Foreign Film.
Cinematographer Emanuel Lubezki continued an unbroken streak of critics' group wins for "The Tree of Life."
The society also awarded Ken Jacobs, for the experimental film "Seeking the Monkey King."