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Clint Eastwood Drama One of Worst of the Year? + Colin Firth & Natalie Portman Top More Critics Awards

Jesse Eisenberg Justin Timberlake The Social Network
Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake in David Fincher's The Social Network

Five lists of 2010 film award winners/nominees were announced today – actually, four. One is still in progress.

The one in progress is the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's list. The Houston Film Critics have announced their list of nominees (winners will come out on Dec. 18), the American Film Institute has named its top ten American movies of the year, while the Boston Society of Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Online have named their winners.

As is usually the case, groupthink seems to take a hold of those critics so that the same two or three movies, actors, actresses, screenwriters, etc., are cited ad nauseam. In the Best Film category, last year it was Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, the previous year it was Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, and this year it seems to be David Fincher's The Social Network.

Is it because those critics really think those are the best movies of their respective years? Or is it because they are the “acceptable” titles, e.g., accessible movies that are Oscar-worthy – not in terms of quality, but in terms of possibility – and thus publicity-worthy as well? Or could it be that most US film critics watch the same dozen or so releases year after year?

So far this year, The Social Network has been shortlisted by the AFI, the Houston Film Critics, and the Detroit Film Critics. It was the top movie in Boston and with the New York Film Critics Online. A week or so ago, it received top honors from the Washington Film Critics and the National Board of Review. In Los Angeles, it has already earned Aaron Sorkin the Best Screenplay award – and it has just won Best Film as well.

Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) was the Boston critics' choice for Best Actor. James Franco (127 Hours) won in New York. Colin Firth (The King's Speech) in Los Angeles. For Best Supporting Actress, Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom) won in LA, Juliette Lewis (Conviction) in Boston, Melissa Leo (The Fighter) in New York.

In the Best Supporting Actor category, Niels Arestrup (A Prophet) won in Los Angeles. Christian Bale (The Fighter) won in New York and in Boston. Natalie Portman was the Best Actress winner in Boston and New York. Kim Hye-ja was the – surprising – Best Actress in Los Angeles. Well, apparently at least some Los Angeles critics watched more than 12 movies this past year. Good for them.

Photo: The Social Network (Merrick Morton / Sony Pictures)

Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network

Boston Society Film Critics awards

Best Picture: The Social Network

Best Foreign Language Film: Mother

Best Director: David Fincher for The Social Network

Best Actor: Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network

Best Actress: Natalie Portman for Black Swan

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale for The Fighter

Best Supporting Actress: Juliette Lewis for Conviction

Best Ensemble Cast: The Fighter

Best Scr.: Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network

Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins for True Grit

Best Documentary: Marwencol

Best Animated Film: Toy Story 3

Best Film Editing (awarded in memory of Karen Schmeer): Andrew Weisblum for Black Swan

Best New Filmmaker (awarded in memory of David Brudnoy): Jeff Malmberg for Marwencol

Best Use of Music in a Film: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network

Photo: The Social Network (Merrick Morton / Sony Pictures)

Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Natalie Portman, Black Swan

No major surprises are to be found in the American Film Institute's list of best American movies released in 2010. Debra Granik's Winter's Bone was included, and so were Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right, Danny Boyle's 127 Hours, Christopher Nolan's Inception, and David O. Russell's The Fighter.

Needless to say, David Fincher's The Social Network and Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan were also shortlisted. Rounding out the top ten were Ben Affleck's The Town, Joel and Ethan Coen's True Grit, and Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3.

So as to include a foreign (British) film and a documentary in their year-end honor rolls, the AFI gave “Special Awards” to Tom Hooper's The King's Speech and to Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for 'Superman'. Non-English-language films were out of luck.

AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR (in alphabetical order)

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • The Town
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter's Bone

AFI SPECIAL AWARDS

  • The King's Speech
  • Waiting for 'Superman'

Photo: Black Swan (Niko Tavernise / Fox Searchlight)

No major surprises are to be found in the American Film Institute's list of best American movies released in 2010. Debra Granik's Winter's Bone was included, and so were Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right, Danny Boyle's 127 Hours, Christopher Nolan's Inception, and David O. Russell's The Fighter.

Needless to say, David Fincher's The Social Network and Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan were also shortlisted. Rounding out the top ten were Ben Affleck's The Town, Joel and Ethan Coen's True Grit, and Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3.

So as to include a foreign (British) film and a documentary in their year-end honor rolls, the AFI gave “Special Awards” to Tom Hooper's The King's Speech and to Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for 'Superman'. Non-English-language films were out of luck.

AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR (in alphabetical order)

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • The Town
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter's Bone

AFI SPECIAL AWARDS

  • The King's Speech
  • Waiting for 'Superman'

Photo: Black Swan (Niko Tavernise / Fox Searchlight)

Toronto Film Critics awards

Jesse Eisenberg, Brenda Song, Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Jesse Eisenberg, Brenda Song, Andrew Garfield in David Fincher's The Social Network

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

Runners-Up: Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan; Christopher Nolan, Inception

Best Actor: Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network

Runners-Up: Colin Firth, The King's Speech; James Franco, 127 Hours

Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone

Runners-Up: Natalie Portman, Black Swan; Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Best Supporting Actor: Armie Hammer, The Social Network

Runners-Up: Christian Bale, The Fighter; Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech

Best Supporting Actress: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit

Runners-Up: Amy Adams, The Fighter; Melissa Leo, The Fighter

Best Screenplay: The Social Network, Written By Aaron Sorkin Based On The Book The Accidental Billionaires By Ben Mezrich

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)

Southeastern Film Critics awards

Jesse Eisenberg, Joseph Mazzello, The Social Network
Jesse Eisenberg, Joseph Mazzello, The Social Network

David Fincher's Facebook drama The Social Network topped another film critics' awards list today: the Southeastern Film Critics Association chose it as the Best Film of 2010. Additionally, The Social Network was cited in the Best Director, Best Ensemble, and Best Adapted Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin) categories. (Full list of Southeastern Film Critics winners further below.)

The Southeastern critics' Best Actor was The King's Speech's Colin Firth, who also was named the winner at the New York Film Critics Circle awards just a little while ago. In addition, The King's Speech was singled out for David Seidler's original screenplay, while Geoffrey Rush, as the king's speech therapist, was the Best Supporting Actor.

Natalie Portman was the Best Actress for her performance as a distraught ballerina in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. Hailee Steinfeld, for her part, was chosen as the Best Supporting Actress for Joel and Ethan Coen's True Grit.

Bong Joon-ho's Mother was the Best Foreign Language Film, Lee Unkrich's Toy Story 3 the expected Best Animated Feature, and Charles Ferguson's Inside Job the Best Documentary. Debra Granik's Winter's Bone, which is set in the Ozark Mountains, was given the “Spirit of the South” award.

Photo: The Social Network (Merrick Morton / Sony Pictures)

BEST FILM: The Social Network

TOP TEN FILMS

1 - The Social Network
2 - The King's Speech
3 - Winter's Bone
4 - Black Swan
5 - Inception
6 - True Grit
7 - Toy Story 3
8 - 127 Hours
9 - The Fighter
10 - The Kids Are All Right

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM: Mother

Runner-up: Biutiful

BEST DIRECTOR: David Fincher, The Social Network

Runner-up: Christopher Nolan, Inception

BEST ACTOR: Colin Firth, The King's Speech

Runner-up: James Franco, 127 Hours

BEST ACTRESS: Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Runner-up: Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech

Runner-up: Christian Bale, The Fighter

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit

Runner-up: Melissa Leo, The Fighter

BEST ENSEMBLE: The Social Network

Runner-up: Winter's Bone

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: The King's Speech

Runner-up: Inception

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: The Social Network

Runner-up: Winter's Bone

BEST DOCUMENTARY: Inside Job

Runner-up: Exit Through the Gift Shop

BEST ANIMATED FILM: Toy Story 3

Runner-up: How to Train Your Dragon

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: True Grit

Runner-up: Inception

The GENE WYATT AWARD for FILM THAT BEST EVOKES THE SPIRIT OF THE SOUTH: Winter's Bone

Runner-up: Get Low

Photo: The Social Network (Merrick Morton / Sony Pictures)

St. Louis Film Critics winners

Bryce Dallas Howard, Matt Damon, Hereafter
Bryce Dallas Howard, Matt Damon in Clint Eastwood's Hereafter

The St. Louis Film Critics Association mostly played it safe in their 2010 nominations. (List of St. Louis Film Critics' nominees.) The five Best Film nominees, for instance, are all potential Best Picture Oscar candidates that have been shortlisted elsewhere: David Fincher's The Social Network, Tom Hooper's The King's Speech, Christopher Nolan's Inception, David O. Russell's The Fighter, and Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan.

The one major surprise in the acting nominations was the absence of Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right and the inclusion of Naomi Watts for Fair Game in the Best Actress race. True enough, Jeremy Renner's inclusion as a Best Supporting Actor contender wasn't exactly something I was expecting, but that field remains so fuzzy that just about any “supporting” actor that received good reviews this year could be shortlisted.

Another surprise was to find critics' favorite Clint Eastwood having one of his efforts – in this case Hereafter – included among the five Worst Movies of 2010. Meanwhile, Jackass 3D can be found in the Best Comedy category. I'm assuming that was a joke. Surely Hereafter, for one, was much funnier.

Photo: Hereafter (Ken Regan / Warner Bros.)

BEST FILM
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The King's Speech
The Social Network
(Runners-up: True Grit and Winter's Bone)
BEST FOREIGN FILM
Biutiful
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Micmacs
North Face
A Prophet
BEST DIRECTOR
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
Danny Boyle, 127 Hours
David Fincher, The Social Network
Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
Christopher Nolan, Inception
BEST ACTOR
Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King's Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
(Runner-up: Kevin Spacey, Casino Jack)
BEST ACTRESS
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Noomi Rapace, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Naomi Watts, Fair Game
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale, The Fighter
John Hawkes, Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Sam Rockwell, Conviction
Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech
Barbara Hershey, Black Swan
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
(Runner-up: Chloe Grace Moretz, Kick-Ass and Let Me In)
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Biutiful
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The King's Speech
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
127 Hours
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
The Social Network
True Grit
Winter's Bone
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Despicable Me
How to Train Your Dragon
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole
Tangled
Toy Story 3
BEST DOCUMENTARY
A Film Unfinished
Restrepo
The Tillman Story
Waiting for 'Superman'
Waking Sleeping Beauty
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Kick-Ass
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Inception
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Tron: Legacy
BEST MUSIC
Black Swan
Burlesque
The Fighter
Inception
The Social Network
BEST COMEDY
Easy A
I Love You Phillip Morris
Jackass 3D
Micmacs
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
MOVING THE MEDIUM FORWARD
127 Hours
Inception
Kick-Ass
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Toy Story 3
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
BEST ARTISTIC/CREATIVE FILM (Excellence in Arthouse Cinema)
The King's Speech
Micmacs
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Trash Humpers
Winter's Bone
WORST MOVIE
Hereafter
How Do You Know
Skyline
When in Rome
The Wolfman

Photo: The Social Network (Merrick Morton / Sony Pictures)

New York Film Critics Online Winners

Best Film: The Social Network

Best Foreign Language Film: I Am Love

Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network

Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Best Actor: James Franco, 127 Hours

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, The Fighter

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter

Ensemble Cast: The Kids Are All Right

Best Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

Best Documentary: Exit Through the Gift Shop

Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3

Breakthrough Performer: Noomi Rapace, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Debut Director: John Wells, The Company Men

Best Cinematography: Matthew Libatique, Black Swan

Best Score: Clint Mansell, Black Swan


         
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1 Comment to Clint Eastwood Drama One of Worst of the Year? + Colin Firth & Natalie Portman Top More Critics Awards

  1. steandric

    Why is the absence of Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right) and the inclusion of Naomi Watts (Fair Game) in the Best Actress race be a surprise? Sorry it is definitely not a surprise but absolutely correct and most righteous. Ms. Watts gave one of the best performances of the year and Bening not. Therefore no surprise whatsoever.