Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire in 2008, Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker in 2009, and now David Fincher's The Social Network in 2010. Things have gotten rather repetitive as critics' group after critics' group herald the acclaimed drama about the creation of Facebook as the Best Film the year.
The Toronto Film Critics Association was the latest in announcing The Social Network as their top winner. In addition to Best Film, Fincher's movie was also cited for Best Director, Best Actor (Jesse Eisenberg), Best Supporting Actor (Armie Hammer), and Best Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin).
Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone) was no major surprise, either, and the same can be said for the Best Documentary award going to Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop (also the Best First Feature winner).
But there were a few surprises as well. In addition to Armie Hammer's aforementioned win – I don't think Hammer, who plays twins in The Social Network, has been on anyone's awards-season radar – the Toronto critics have given the season's first victory to Cannes Film Festival winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, a meditative Thai drama directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Uncle Boonmee was also a runner-up in the Best Film category.
Two other surprising choices were the selection of Hailee Steinfeld as Best Supporting Actress for Joel and Ethan Coen's True Grit, and the Best Animated Feature Award going to How to Train Your Dragon, which has beaten Toy Story 3 a couple of other times so far.
The Best Canadian Film winners will be announced on Jan. 12.
Best Picture: The Social Network (Sony Pictures)
Runners-Up: Black Swan (Fox Searchlight Pictures); Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Filmswelike)
Best Foreign Language Film: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Filmswelike)
Runners-Up: Mother (Mongrel Media); Of Gods and Men (Mongrel Media)
Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network
Best Actor: Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
Best Supporting Actor: Armie Hammer, The Social Network
Best Supporting Actress: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Runners-Up: The King's Speech, Written By David Seidler; True Grit, Written By Joel Coen & Ethan Coen Based On The Novel By Charles Portis
Best First Feature: Exit Through the Gift Shop, Directed By Banksy
Runners-Up: Get Low, Directed By Aaron Schneider; Monsters, Directed By Gareth Edwards
Best Animated Feature: How To Train Your Dragon (Dreamworks Animation)
Runners-Up: Despicable Me (Universal Studios); Toy Story 3 (Disney/Pixar)
Best Documentary Feature: Exit Through the Gift Shop (Mongrel Media)
Runners-Up: Inside Job (Mongrel Media); Marwencol (Kinosmith Inc.)
Jay Scott Prize For Emerging Talent Writer-Director: Daniel Cockburn, You Are Here
Special Citation to Bruce McDonald, who directed four movies in 2010: This Movie is Broken, Trigger, Music from the Big House and Hard Core Logo 2
Rogers Best Canadian Film Nominees:
Incendies, directed by Denis Villeneuve; Splice, directed by Vincenzo Natali; Trigger, directed by Bruce McDonald
Photo: The Social Network (Merrick Morton / Sony Pictures)