"Black Swan" leads Critics' Choice award nominees

Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:05am EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Black Swan," a melodrama set in the ballet world, took center stage among the nominees for the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, an event that has surpassed the Golden Globes as a leading Oscar predictor.

The film, drawing sell-out crowds in early limited release across North America, scored 12 nominations -- a record in the event's 16-year history, organizers said on Monday.

Close behind -- with 11 each -- were the British royals drama "The King's Speech" and the yet-to-open Western remake "True Grit." The sci-fi smash "Inception" picked up 10 nominations, and corporate drama "The Social Network" nine.

All five will vie for both best picture and director, along with "127 Hours." The 10-strong best picture race also includes "The Fighter," "The Town," "Toy Story 3" and "Winter's Bone."

Small art-house releases dominated the field, leaving "Toy Story 3" and "Inception" to fly the flag for mainstream crowd-pleasers. Notably absent among the nominees were such awards-season contenders as Sofia Coppola's upcoming "Somewhere" and the Martin Scorsese hit "Shutter Island."

Winners will be announced on January 14 in a Hollywood ceremony that will be broadcast live on cable channel VH1.

The awards, organized by the 250 members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association in the United States and Canada, have matched the Academy Awards' best picture choice eight times in the past 10 years. The Golden Globes, run by the considerably smaller Hollywood Foreign Press Association, have a 50 percent success rate in that time.

The crossover rate for the Critics' Choice directing winner is 70 percent compared with 40 percent for the Globes. Also in the last 10 years, at least half the Critics' Choice acting winners have gone on to claim Oscar gold.


<p>Director Darren Aronofsky (L) and cast member Natalie Portman pose together before a screening of the film "Black Swan" at the closing night gala of AFI Fest 2010 in Hollywood, California November 11, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>