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Terrence Malick’s existential meditation “The Tree of Life” earned a best picture nod from the African-American Film Critics Association today. The film adds the AAFCA recognition to the Gotham Award and San Francisco Film Critics Circle kudos it has already received.

“Displays of the fragile nature of humanity are on big display among the film titles that we selected for 2011,” says Gil Robertson IV, AAFCA, President and Founder.  “If you closely examine the films that AAFCA has selected this year, you will find stories about people who are wrestling with their own humanity in all its forms. From the loss of a cherished loved one, to sexual addiction and social corruption, our selections this year individually and collectively make a strong statement on life’s challenges that all of us may face.”

“Shame’s” Steve McQueen was named best director, while AAFCA tapped performances from “Woody Harrelson” for “Rampart” and Viola Davis for “The Help.” Rounding out the org’s top 10 pictures for the year are “Drive,” “Pariah,” “Rampart,” “Shame,” “Moneyball,” “The Descendants,” “A Better Life,” “My Week With Marilyn” and “The Help.”

Other honors include:

Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, “The Help”

Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks, “Drive”

Best Foreign Film: Alrick Brown, “Kinyarwanda”

Breakout Performance: Adepero Oduye, “Pariah”

The AAFCA will formally present this year’s honors during a private dinner on Jan. 8 at the Light Space Studio at the historic Helms Bakery in Culver City, Calif.