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Matt Sayles, Associated Press
Paul Scheer, left, and Rob Huebel arrive at the 17th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012 in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES — "The Artist" has its first wins of awards season.

The black-and-white silent film directed by Michel Hazanavicius (ha-zahn-a-VISH'-us) led winners with four honors at the 17th annual Critics' Choice Awards. "The Artist" waltzed away with trophies for best picture, score, costume design and director.

The winners in the acting categories included George Clooney as best actor for "The Descendants," Viola Davis as best actress for "The Help," Christopher Plummer as best supporting actor for "Beginners," Octavia Spencer for best supporting actress for "The Help," and Thomas Horn as best young actor for "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."

Other winners included "Bridesmaids" as best comedy movie, "Drive" as best action movie, "Rango" as best animated feature and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" for best makeup and best sound.