Congratulations to the cast and crew!
“The Social Network” has been named the Best Picture of 2010 by the National Board of Review, which also honored that film’s star Jesse Eisenberg, director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.
The wins for Fincher’s Facebook drama came as something of a surprise from a generally conservative group of voters who many thought were likely to honor “The King’s Speech” and its star, Colin Firth.
The NBR, which is made up of mostly New York-based academics, students, film enthusiasts and filmmakers, offers a generally mainstream voice early each awards season. The results are often at odds with later critics’ groups and guild awards, and they attract notice largely because the NBR is the first established body to announce awards each year.
Last year, for instance, the NBR named Clint Eastwood Best Director for “Invictus,” a film that did not receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Of the 11 films it singled out (its top 10, plus Best Picture winner “Up in the Air”), six received Best Picture nominations.
Its 2009 acting awards did not match any of the Oscar winners: the NBR chose Morgan Freeman for “Invictus” and George Clooney for “Up in the Air” over Jeff Bridges for “Crazy Heart”; Carey Mulligan for “An Education” over Sandra Bullock for “The Blind Side”; Woody Harrelson for “The Messenger” over Christoph Waltz for “Inglourious Basterds”; and Anna Kendrick for “Up in the Air” over Mo’Nique for “Precious.”
The NBR occupies a strange spot in the awards picture, since its voters are neither critics nor movie-industry insiders. Most members of the NBR are anonymous, though the organization does periodically profile members on its website. Those members range from HBO documentary chief Sheila Nevins to book publisher Ross Claiborne to recent Student Academy Award winner Luke Matheny.
The National Board of Review’s awards gala will be held on Tuesday, January 11 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.
Best Film: The Social Network
Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network
Best Actor: Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Best Actress: Lesley Manville, Another Year
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Best Supporting Actress: Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
Best Foreign Language Film: Of Gods and Men
Best Documentary: Waiting for “Superman”
Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3
Best Ensemble Cast: The Town
Breakthrough Performance: Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Debut Directors: Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, Restrepo
Spotlight Award: Sylvain Chomet and Jacques Tati, The Illusionist
Best Original Screenplay: Chris Sparling, Buried
Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Special Filmmaking Achievement Award: Sofia Coppola for writing, directing, and producing Somewhere
William K. Everson Film History Award: Leonard Maltin
NBR Freedom of Expression: Fair Game, Conviction, Howl
Production Design Award: Dante Ferretti, Shutter Island