David Fincher's "The Social Network" has swept this year's National Board of Review awards, taking prizes for best picture, best director, best adapted screenplay (Aaron Sorkin) and best actor (Jesse Eisenberg).
NBR - a non-profit organization made up of 110 film enthusiasts, academics, professionals, and students - also lent their support toward "Another Year"'s Lesley Manville for best actress, "The Fighter"'s Christian Bale for best supporting actor, and "Animal Kingdom"'s Jacki Weaver for best supporting actress. "Toy Story 3" expectedly won best animated film, "Of Gods and Men" took best foreign language film, and "Waiting For 'Superman'" won best documentary. In perhaps the biggest surprise of the announcement, Chris Sparling won best original screenplay for "Buried," topping "The King's Speech," "Inception," "Another Year" and "The Kids Are All Right," among others.
The other big surprises came with what wasn't included. Namely, Fox Searchlight's entire slate, save for a "NBR Freedom of Expression" award for "Conviction." Searchlight's favored "127 Hours" and "Black Swan" in particular were not recognized anywhere, including in the NBR's top eleven films of the year, or in the "Top Ten Independent Films" list. Meanwhile, Focus' "The Kids Are All Right," Lionsgate's "Rabbit Hole," and The Weinstein's "Blue Valentine" were also absent from both those lists, and in any other category. Combined, the absence of these four films are likely to cause outrage in the Oscar blogosphere.
On a more celebratory note, indieWIRE network blogger Leonard Maltin was honored with the William K. Everson Film History Award.
Last year,"Up In The Air" topped the awards, while Carey Mulligan, George Clooney, Morgan Freeman, Anna Kendrick, and Woody Harrelson all won acting honors. None ended up winning an Oscar, but all of them were nominated. In the two years before that, the winner of the NBR's best picture award has gone on to win the top Academy Award. .
Full list of the awards given by the National Board of Review:
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 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
Spotlight Award for Best Directorial Debut: Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, Restrepo
Best Original Screenplay: Chris Sparling, Buried
Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Special Filmmaking Achievement Award: Sofia Coppola, for for writing, directing, and producing Somewhere
William K. Everson Film History Award: Leonard Maltin
NBR Freedom of Expression: Fair Game, Conviction, Howl
Top Eleven Films (In alphabetical order):
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
Top Ten Independent Films (In alphabetical order):
The Ghost Writer
Let Me In
Youth in Revolt
Top Six Foreign Films (In alphabetical order):
I Am Love
Life, Above All
Of Gods And Men
Top Six Documentary Films (In alphabetical order):
A Film Unfinished
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
The Tillman Story
Waiting For "Superman"