Brad Pitt was named the best actor for his performances in movies Moneyball and The Tree of Life, while Meryl Streep was chosen as the best actress for The Iron Lady at the 77th Annual New York Film Critics' Circle Awards (NYFCC) on Monday.

 The Artist, starring Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo and James Cromwell won the award for the best picture of the year.

The annual NYFCC award is regarded as one of the most prestigious award ceremonies honouring excellence in cinema worldwide.

Considered as one of the most important precursors to the Academy Awards, the event gives special stand-alone awards to individuals and/or organizations that they believe have made significant contribution to the cinema.

Meanwhile, Jessica Chastain was named the best supporting actress for her role in The Tree of Life, The Help and Take Shelter. Albert Brooks received the best supporting actor award for Drive.

List of winners at the 77th Annual NYFCC Awards :

Best Picture - The Artist

Best Director - Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist

Best Actor - Brad Pitt - Moneyball, The Tree of Life

Best Actress - Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady

Best Screenplay - Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin - Moneyball

Best Supporting Actress - Jessica Chastain - The Tree of Life, The Help, Take Shelter

Best Supporting Actor - Albert Brooks - Drive

Best Cinematographer - Emmanuel Lubezki - The Tree of Life

Best Non-Fiction Film (Documentary) - Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Best Foreign Film - A Separation - Iran

Best First Film - J.C. Chandor - Margin Call

Special Award - Raoul Ruiz