Stephen M. Silverman
January 06, 2003 07:29 AM

Roman Polanski’s Cannes Film Festival best picture winner, “The Pianist” — based on the true story of a classical musician who miraculously survived the Nazi occupation of Warsaw — was named best film of 2002 and Polanski best director by the National Society of Film Critics this weekend.

The film’s star, Adrien Brody, who underwent a physical transformation for his performance, was named best actor, beating out the runner-up, Michael Caine, for “The Quiet American.” Ronald Harwood, best known for his play and movie “The Dresser,” won the screenwriting award for his “Pianist” script.

“The Pianist” is also a Golden Globe nominee for best dramatic picture.

Diane Lane’s performance as an adulterous suburban housewife opposite Richard Gere in Adrian Lyne’s “Unfaithful” won her the best actress award. Tied as runners-up were Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Secretary” and Isabelle Huppert in “The Piano Teacher.”

Runners-up in the society’s best-film voting were Pedro Almodovar’s “Talk to Her” and Alfonso Cuaron’s “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” which won the award for best foreign language film. Almodovar was also a runner-up as best director.

Patricia Clarkson won the best supporting actress award for playing Julianne Moore’s frosty friend in “Far From Heaven,” while Christopher Walken won the best supporting actor award as Leonardo DiCaprio’s failed yet inspirational father in Steven Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can.”

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