KC film critics pick ‘Descendants’

Local film critics love George Clooney.

Members of the Kansas City Film Critics Circle chose “The Descendants” as the best film of 2011 and Clooney as best actor for portraying a man whose philandering wife is in a coma. Two years ago, those honors went to Clooney and his film “Up in the Air.”

In voting on Sunday, the KC critics also gave the Robert Altman Award for best director to Terrence Malick, who wrote and directed the mind-bending “The Tree of Life.” Jessica Chastain won best supporting actress for her work on that film.

Best actress honors went to Kirsten Dunst for her performance in the apocalyptic “Melancholia.”

“Beginners” picked up two awards. Christopher Plummer, who plays a man who comes out as gay in his later years, won best supporting actor, and Mike Mills, who also directed, won for original screenplay.

Other awards:

• Adapted screenplay: Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, “Moneyball.”

• Animated film: “Rango.”

• Foreign film: “A Separation,” from Iran, due to open in Kansas City Feb. 17.

• Documentary: “Cave of Forgotten Dreams.”

• Vince Koehler Award for best science fiction, fantasy or horror: “Hugo.”

Sharon Hoffmann, shoffmann@kcstar.com