Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep Start Oscar Race with New York Critics’ Wins

 ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images; Mike Marsland/

Will Brad Pitt wind up with an Oscar statue to accompany the one belonging to love Angelina Jolie?

Could be!

The star, 47, nabbed one of the first film awards of the season, as the New York Film Critics Circle named him Best Actor for his performances in both Moneyball and The Tree of Life.

The Best Actress winner? Meryl Streep, of course — earning early raves for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.

One of this year's new It Girls, Jessica Chastain, won Best Supporting Actress for her roles in The Help, Tree of Life and Take Shelter. Albert Brooks won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Drive.

Silent film The Artist took the Best Picture and Director (Michel Hazanavicius) prizes. The awards will be handed out January 9. The influential group decided to move forward the date of its announcement this year to get ahead of similar awards, such as the Oscars and Golden Globes, chairman John Anderson said.

"I thought it would be interesting for us to be able to vote without other awards having been given out," he said.

"Subconsciously or consciously, people are affected by other groups' voting."

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