Called out of the January darkness by a plume of bluish smoke made from burning copies of the Just Go With It screenplay, the National Society of Film Critics convened in their usual vacuum (conveniently located within Manhattan’s Sardi’s restaurant, where you can get a club sandwich) and appraised the year in film as they and typically no one else sees it. This year that going against the grain was reflected in its selecting Lars Von Trier’s elegant apocalypse movie Melancholia as 2011’s best picture, the end-of-the-world drama narrowly edging out the beginning-of-the-world-through-Sean Penn drama The Tree Of Life by a single vote.

It’s the first major award for Melancholia since Kirsten Dunst took home an acting prize at Cannes—an honor she repeated here—and its first real recognition since the film’s title appeared in every single “Lars Von Trier has some more stuff to say about Nazis” article thereafter. Other breaks with the many other critical bodies and assorted guilds we’ve heard from so far include a surprise win for Albert Brooks, rare nominations for Patton Oswalt and Gary Oldman, and an almost palpable disdain for presumed Oscar favorites like War Horse and The Help. Here’s the full list of winners and their runners-up, with voting totals in parentheses. (Thanks to Movieline for compiling these.)

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BEST PICTURE
1. Melancholia — 29 (Lars von Trier)
2. The Tree of Life — 28 (Terrence Malick)
3. A Separation — 20 (Asghar Farhadi)

BEST DIRECTOR
1. Terrence Malick — 31 (The Tree Of Life)
2. Martin Scorsese — 29 (Hugo)
3. Lars von Trier — 23 (Melancholia)

BEST ACTOR
1. Brad Pitt — 35 (Moneyball, The Tree of Life)
2. Gary Oldman — 22 (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
3. Jean Dujardin — 19 (The Artist)

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BEST ACTRESS
1. Kirsten Dunst — 39 (Melancholia)
2. Yun Jung-hee — 25 (Poetry)
3. Meryl Streep — 20 (The Iron Lady)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. Albert Brooks — 38 (Drive)
2. Christopher Plummer — 24 (Beginners)
3. Patton Oswalt — 19 (Young Adult)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Jessica Chastain — 30 (The Tree Of Life, Take Shelter, The Help)
2. Jeannie Berlin — 19 (Margaret)
3. Shailene Woodley — 17 (The Descendants)

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BEST NONFICTION
1. Cave Of Forgotten Dreams — 35 (Werner Herzog)
2. The Interrupters — 26 (Steve James)
3. Into The Abyss — 18 (Werner Herzog)

BEST SCREENPLAY
1. A Separation — 39 (Asghar Farhadi)
2. Moneyball — 22 (Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin)
3. Midnight In Paris — 16 (Woody Allen)

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
1. A Separation — 67 (Asghar Farhadi)
2. Mysteries of Lisbon — 28 (Raoul Ruiz)
3. Le Havre — 22 (Aki Kaurismäki)

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BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
1. The Tree Of Life — 76 (Emanuel Lubezki)
2. Melancholia — 41 (Manuel Alberto Claro)
3. Hugo — 33 (Robert Richardson)