Boston, L.A, NY critics next to praise “Social Network”

***Updated Monday at 3:20 CT to reflect New York Critics Circle Awards.

The friends keep pouring in for “The Social Network” as the Los Angeles Film Critics, Boston Society of Film Critics, New York Film Critics Online and New York Film Critics Circle have named David Fincher’s film the best of 2010. The American Film Institute also listed the film among its top ten of the year. With the Golden Globes nominations out tomorrow, expect Oscar buzz to go rampant for this film shortly.

The film picked up a number of honors from all four critics circles. Most notably, Fincher won Best Director (tied in L.A.). In all but the New York Critics Cirlce, Aaron Sorkin won Best Screenplay. (“The Kids Are All Right” was the NYCC choice).

In Boston, where “The Social Network” is particularly close to home, Jesse Eisenberg was named best actor and co-star Andrew Garfield was named runner-up in the Best Supporting Actor category. The film’s score, by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, was also deemed a winner in Boston and L.A (with a tie in Los Angeles).

Other films that received accolades were “The Fighter” and “Black Swan” in Boston and New York and “The King’s Speech” and the foreign TV mini-series “Carlos” in Los Angeles. It’s important to note that this is not the New York Film Critic’s Circle, which announces its winners later today.

“The Fighter” is a film close to Boston, so no surprise there. Christian Bale won Best Supporting Actor in Beantown and in New York and Melissa Leo won Best Supporting Actress from both New York societies. The cast also took Best Ensemble in Boston.

“Black Swan” also received a bunch of accolades. Natalie Portman won Best Actress Boston and New York Online.  NYO named Clint Mansell’s score the best of 2010 as well. Director Darren Aronofsky was the runner-up to Fincher in Boston and Matthew Libatique won Best Cinematography in both New York groups as well as Los Angeles, but was runner-up in Boston to Roger Deakins of “True Grit.”

L.A. was very high on director Olivier Assayas’ “Carlos,” the story of Venezuelan revolutionary/terrorist in the 1970s, Ilich Rámirez Sánchez. Assayas tied Fincher for Best Director and was runner-up in Best Film and Best Actor behind Colin Firth of “The King’s Speech.” The NYCC also gave “Carlos” Foreign Film honors and also awarded Firth the Best Actor prize. The British period drama received the most love from L.A., where it was also the runner-up in Best Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush), Best Screenplay (David Seidler) and Best Production Design (Eve Stewart).

“Toy Story 3” cleaned up in all three cities except NYCC, who gave the award to “The Illusionist,” which finished second in most other societies. Best Documentary, however, was divided in all cities. Jeff Malmberg’s character study “Marwencol” won in Boston as did the China-focused “Last Train Home” in L.A. and the more comedic “Exit Through the Gift Shop” in New York (Online).

The New York Critics Circle, while awarding “Network” Best Film, gave the most awards to “The Kids Are All Right.” In addition to Best Screenplay, the film won for Best Actress (Annette Bening) and Best Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo).

On to AFI’s list, which honored these ten films in alphabetical order (minus “127 Hours” …) :

  • 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

You can see the full list of winners for all these awards thanks to EW Online.
Click here for New York Critics Circle from IndieWire.

Having looked at all that, “The Social Network” is obviously the film to beat. At this point, Aaron Sorkin should run away with Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars and Fincher seems more and more like a lock for Best Director, but time will tell, I suppose. Critics are much different from Academy voters — one critiques the industry and one is the industry.

AFI’s list seems pretty solid as far as Oscar predictions go except that it’s missing “The King’s Speech.” Interesting how that film received no awards from Boston or New York Online. Seeing as costumes and production design are not significant in the critics awards, perhaps that’s why. I’d imagine with production values that “King’s Speech” will be in the Academy’s top ten at the expense of maybe “The Town” or “Winter’s Bone” on AFI’s list.

Lastly, I will point out the acting categories: Natalie Portman and Christian Bale currently have the lead for Actress and Supporting Actor. Supporting Actress is a bit more vague with Melissa Leo emerging as a contender, but more excitingly, we seem to have a three-man race between Eisenberg, Firth and James Franco for Best Actor. That should be exciting to watch unfold.


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