NEW YORK A little-known Taiwanese drama called "Yi Yi" was named the best picture of 2000 by the National Society of Film Critics.
The film, directed by Edward Yang, was described by the NSFC as a "compassionate and multileveled ensemble film about a family in crisis."
The society announced its awards on Saturday.
Runner-up for best picture was the drug war film "Traffic," directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Michael Douglas and his new wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Soderbergh was honored in the NSFC's 35th annual awards as top director of 2000 for his work on both "Traffic" and "Erin Brockovich."
Best actor honors went to Javier Bardem for his portrayal of a gay Cuban writer who fled Fidel Castro's Communist Cuba in the film "Before Night Falls."
Laura Linney was honored as best actress for her role in "You Can Count on Me," in which Linney played a small-town housewife trying to come to terms with her relationship with her brother. The film also won best screenplay honors for its writer, Kenneth Lonergan.
The critics gave a best experimental film award to a six-minute feature by Guy Maddin on a movement in Russian poetry known as the Formalism era.
A special citation went to Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni "for the exemplary intelligence, creativity and integrity" of his 50-year career.
The NSFC is made up of 51 movie critics from publications around the country.
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