'The Help' picked up three gongs at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards last night (12.01.12).

Viola Davis - who plays Aibileen Clark - won the award for Best Actress at the ceremony which was held at the Hollywood Palladium and revealed her "honour" at being given the opportunity to play the 1960s Mississippi maid.

She said: "I am absolutely so humbled. I wanted to be somebody. I wanted to dream big and make a mark somehow, and that's something absolutely that Aibileen was not afforded. I considered it my honour to pay homage to these women at this time period who were not allowed to dream."

Viola's co-star Octavia Spencer picked up the Best Supporting Actress award while the entire cast - which also includes Jessica Chastain - were honoured with the Best Acting Ensemble award.

George Clooney - who won Best Actor for his role in 'The Descendants' - made reference to the movie's win as he picked up his award, saying: "It seems like 'The Help' table is having the most fun"

Silent movie 'The Artist' was the big winner with four gongs including Best Picture,

Best Director for Michel Hazanavicius, Best Score and Best Costume Design.

Martin Scorsese was given an honourary award, the Music + Film Award, for the way he has used music in his movies while Sean Penn - who appeared live via satellite from Haiti - received the Joel Siegel Award for his humanitarian work.

The 2012 Critics' Choice Movie Awards winners:

Best Picture: 'The Artist'

Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius - 'The Artist'

Best Actor: George Clooney - 'The Descendants'

Best Actress: Viola Davis - 'The Help'

Best Suppporting Actor: Christopher Plummer - 'Beginners'

Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer - 'The Help'

Best Young Actor/Actress: Thomas Horn - 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close'

Best Acting Ensemble: The cast of 'The Help'

Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen - 'Midnight in Paris'

Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian and Stan Chervin - 'Moneyball'

Best Cinematography: (tie) 'War Horse' and 'The Tree of Life'

Best Animated Feature: 'Rango'

Best Action Movie: 'Drive'

Best Comedy: 'Bridesmaids'

Best Foreign-Language Film: 'A Separation'

Best Documentary Feature: 'George Harrison: Living in the Material World'

Best Song: 'Life's a Happy Song' from 'The Muppets'

Best Art Direction: 'Hugo'

Best Editing: 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'

Best Costume Design: 'The Artist'

Best Makeup: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2'

Best Visual Effects: 'Rise of the Planet Of The Apes'

Best Sound: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2'

Best Score: 'The Artist'

Joel Siegel Award: Sean Penn

Critics' Choice Music + Film Award: Martin Scorsese