"Social Network" sweeps national film critics' awards

Sat Jan 8, 2011 5:27pm EST
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By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Facebook film "The Social Network" continued its winning ways during Hollywood's awards season on Saturday as the National Society of Film Critics named it best movie of 2010 and gave awards to its director, star and screenwriter.

The wins bolster the movie's claim to being a front-runner for Academy Awards after already sweeping best picture honors from several other critics groups including those in New York, Los Angeles and Boston.

The National Society of Film critics also named Jesse Eisenberg best actor in the role of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, David Fincher best director, and writer Aaron Sorkin claimed best screenplay.

Giovanna Mezzogiorno was named best actress for "Vincere," in which she plays Mussolini's lover during his early years.

"Social Network" is a fictionalized story telling of the rise of social networking website Facebook from an idea dreamed up in a college dormitory to its first one million users.

Critics' awards are important in helping build momentum heading toward the Academy Awards, or Oscars, which are the world's top film awards given out on the final Sunday in February by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The NFSC includes 61 members from major newspapers in Los Angeles, Boston, New York and Chicago as well as from Time, Newsweek and The New Yorker.

The group's awards for best supporting performances went to Geoffrey Rush, who plays King George VI's speech therapist in "The King's Speech," and Olivia Williams for the Roman Polanski thriller "The Ghost Writer."   Continued...