‘Social Network’ wins big with NBR

Posted by · 12:39 pm · December 2nd, 2010

The National Board of Review announcement is historically considered the “official” start of the film awards season, but with things like the Gotham Awards, Indie Spirit nominations and even the Hollywood Film Awards creeping more and more into mid-fall, this doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

Today the organization announced winners in the usual categories, winners to be honored at a New York ceremony in January.  Last year the organization picked “Up in the Air” as its Best Film winner, greatly solidifying the buzz of early December 2009.  This year, they’ve gone with David Fincher’s “The Social Network.”

The film also took home awards for Best Director (David Fincher), Best Actor (Jesse Eisenberg), Best Adapted Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin).  Most exciting for me is to see that Lesley Manville won Best Actress for her performance in “Another Year.” The flames seemed to be dying as of late.  Christian Bale and Jacki Weaver won in the supporting races for “The Fighter” and “Animal Kingdom,” respectively.

I was happy to see pop up on the group’s top 10 list (which does not include its Best Film winner).  Dante Ferretti’s production design from the film was also award.  And it’s interesting to note that “The Town” took the Best Ensemble Cast award in addition to having a presence on the top 10.

Perhaps most eyebrow-raising was Chris Sparling’s Best Original Screenplay win for “Buried.” And most certainly it’s stunning to note that “Black Swan,” “The Kids Are All Right” and “127 Hours” were all shut out of the awards entirely. But I’ll let you mull the winners over yourself.  Check out the full list at The Circuit.

[Photo: Columbia Pictures]

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86 responses so far

  • 1 12-02-2010 at 2:50 pm

    Collin said...

    Shocked to see Fighter and Shutter Island make this list over Kids are All Right and 127 Hours and Black Swan. Completely mortified Hereafter made the list. And yes–go Lesley Manville!!

  • 2 12-02-2010 at 2:51 pm

    Historicus said...

    @Ed, I agree…found it just as odd as “Buried” winning for screenplay.

    It seems that the NBR has never awarded a film with both individual acting kudos and Ensemble, so there may be something going on that we outsiders don’t know about that led to The Town’s win in that category.

  • 3 12-02-2010 at 3:08 pm

    Andrew M said...

    The Social Network (one of my favorites right now) was pretty predictable to win Picture, Director, and Screenplay, but it’s still really good to see it beat The Kings Speech. What I’m really happy about are the two winners in the actor field. Masville was great, but Eisenberg is what I’m really happy about. I think he’s defiantly in the field for the Oscars.

    The only problem is that TSN might peak to soon. But I don’t see any thing winning other then TSN, TKS, or True Grit, so peaking might not be a factor this year.

  • 4 12-02-2010 at 3:22 pm

    Rashad said...

    The Town certainly has a better ensemble than Kids are All Right. There’s a believability with them throughout where as the entire family in Kids comes off inauthentic. Moore’s speech with Bening crying holding her children’s hands had me and several other people in the audience chuckling at how fake and cheesy it all was.

  • 5 12-02-2010 at 3:26 pm

    Jason said...

    Speaking specifically of the acting awards, I mean they are great. But aside from Christian Bale winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, I don’t see any of the others winning. Colin Firth will win Best Actor for The Kings Speech due to his loss last year. I see Amy Adams winning Best Supporting Actress due to her being in a well liked film and after two previous losses and good career momentum. The Best Actress category is already said and done with Annette Bening or Natalie Portman winning that one!

  • 6 12-02-2010 at 3:31 pm

    Leone said...

    Shutter Island is an excellent choice. Glad to see it show up!

  • 7 12-02-2010 at 3:39 pm

    Jake D said...

    I love how everyone’s pretending Social Network was obvious when uh. It totally wasn’t.

    Also- wait. People want Inception to win Original Screenplay? Seriously? Like…really? Honestly? Sorry, but those chunks of text were the definition of shitty exposition. Is it ambitious and complicated and really well structured? Like…yes. But the dialogue and characters are completely lacking. Which we all know.

    Haven’t seen everything, but orig. screenplay goes to Kids Are All Right for me right now.

  • 8 12-02-2010 at 3:53 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I don’t get it. How could something like The Social Network NOT be at least somewhat expected when it has a psychotically amazing rating on both metacritic and rottentomatoes?

  • 9 12-02-2010 at 3:53 pm

    Keil Shults said...

    The widespread acclaim and months-old buzz for The Social Network makes it seem like a predictable or boring choice, but take a step back for a moment and really think about the movie for a moment. It’s a talky David Fincher film with a young cast about the awkward college brat who birthed a social networking empire. It’s also whip-smart and not a typical Oscar-baiting piece of work. I think in a different year, many would feel more thrilled by the choice.

  • 10 12-02-2010 at 4:10 pm

    Paul said...

    Jake, you’re actually going to be at the keyboard and type with a straight face that Buried DESERVED its original screenplay award? Holy shit, I want what you’re smoking. Inception was the only choice this time around. It was challenging, and ultimately rewarding once the film was over. Kids are All Right my ass. That movie was made for one purpose, to win Oscars for either Annette Bening or Julianne Moore and nothing else. It was exposed today for the Oscar bait-a-thon that it was.

  • 11 12-02-2010 at 4:41 pm

    Red said...

    I always find it interesting when they give the Debut Director award to documentary helmers. It’s naive and silly to say that most documentary directors are “new”, but a good chunk of them every year are. Documentary directors usually have one story to tell that they’ve been working on for ages.

  • 12 12-02-2010 at 4:45 pm

    Renard said...

    “TOY STORY 3” wins Best Animated Feature…

    Umm, that’s it?

    I hope TS3 wins Best Picture at the Oscars. It would be so deserving.

  • 13 12-02-2010 at 4:50 pm

    Graysmith said...


    I too have been visiting AwardsDaily since the days it was OscarWatch, and I didn’t mean to imply she’s always been like this.. It’s a change in tone the last few years. She’s more pushy about films she loves, kind of ignoring the facts at hand.. Not quite sure how to explain it, only that it comes off very odd. For example, when Hereafter opened to the mediocre tune of $12m or something she made a post proclaiming it was a great opening or something. Just odd, out of touch. I used to enjoy the site more back in the day, nowadays it seems too opinionated instead of levelheaded reporting.

  • 14 12-02-2010 at 5:00 pm

    ninja said...

    Jesse win is awesome. Could he go all the way? That would be amazing given that he is doubted for a nom let alone win. Go Jesse!

  • 15 12-02-2010 at 5:28 pm

    Glenn said...

    I didn’t care about anything else once I saw Jacki Weaver had won! I bolted upright out of bed when I read that when I checked Twitter after waking up. Woo!!!

  • 16 12-02-2010 at 5:45 pm

    Jake D said...

    Paul- Haven’t seen Buried. I’m just a bit confused that everyone is dissatisfied with Buried and wanted Inception of all things as a replacement. Not like there are a ton of other great choices, but…if Inception wins the Oscar, I’ll be pretty disappointed.

    And please, Lisa Cholodenko didn’t set out to win Oscars. She got stars she wanted to work with, and she made a mainstreamish family dramedy. It is hardly a standard Academy movie.

  • 17 12-02-2010 at 6:14 pm

    Mr. F said...

    I just watched Animal Kingdom, Jacki Weaver totally deserved the award. Granted, I’ve not seen the rest of her main competition, but still, she blew me away. Hopefully this is only the beginning of great things to come.

  • 18 12-02-2010 at 6:24 pm

    Dooby said...

    Two things I got from this:

    1. Anne Thompson was completely right about the critics helping Winter’s Bone – They’re eating it up. I think it’s in top 10 for best picture. Question is can they get John Hawkes in too?

    2. Jackie Weaver really needed this. Shows people have seen the movie and I think that more people will now, because they’ll be wondering who this virtual unknown is and how she managed to beat more well known actresses.

    I’m pretty happy with the results except for the exclusions of Black Swan, 127 Hours and Kids are all right but I think they’ll pick up soon.

  • 19 12-02-2010 at 6:41 pm

    Everett said...

    Jacki Weaver’s campaign was smart to shove her down everyone’s throats right out of the gate. There was no early frontrunner and all the early FYC ads seem to have established her as a contender.

  • 20 12-02-2010 at 6:56 pm

    Historicus said...


    To a certain extent, I’ll agree with you. I think she’s still the top game in town when it comes to analyzingthe “State of the Race,” but yeah, she’s gotten (needlessly) more confrontational and cocksure when analyzing individual films, e.g. Toy Story 3.

    Still love her writing in general (when she’s on, she’s on) and I agree with her about 98% of the time. But she’s developed an inexplicable eagerness to say stuff that can easily stoke even mild-mannered people into wanting to burn her in effigy lol.

  • 21 12-02-2010 at 7:21 pm

    Patriotsfan said...

    “That was actually Guy’s piece but I certainly agreed with him.”

    Whoops! Sorry for the mix up. By the way Kris, do you think the NBR results will have any significant effects on the Oscar races?

  • 22 12-02-2010 at 7:39 pm

    Mark said...

    127 Hours and Black Swan snubbed! Thats atrocious. See you after Oscars, NBR.

    Can someone explain to me how Jesse “I-have-only-one-expression-throughout-the-movie” Eisenberg’s performance was better than Colin Firth’s or James Franco’s?

    They could have topped it all by giving Best Animated Feature also to The Social Network.

  • 23 12-02-2010 at 7:47 pm

    austin111 said...

    Personally loved the inclusion of Shutter Island, which will only grow in stature, imho. Don’t see it on Oscar’s list, though. Not that it shouldn’t be. Black Swan should have been there. Probably 127 Hours as well. Instead of Hereafter and The Town.
    I loved Eisenberg’s performance, although I think it’s just a lot more mature version of some of his earlier work like The Squid and The Whale. Now let’s see him do something really different. I can’t see him taking oscar home and he may even not get a nomination. We’ll see.

  • 24 12-02-2010 at 8:06 pm

    red_wine said...

    I hope that all those people who are decrying Black Swan and 127 Hours’ “snubs” have actually seen the films and found them worthy, to complain about their missing the Top 10.

    These are boring choices because as the first out of the gate awards, you have an opportunity to move the needle, take the conversation into new places, throw up new contenders, help fading ones, NBR did nothing of this sort. In all categories but Original Screenplay, Actor & Supp Actress, they anointed fairly established contenders.

    Oh and I think Inception has a truly horrible screenplay. I would just about prefer any movie currently in Oscar contention (probably many of them not seen by me yet) to Inception for Original Screenplay.

  • 25 12-02-2010 at 8:36 pm

    Andrew F said...

    Am I the only one that wasn’t head over heels for “The Social Network”? I found it to be smug and irritating — just like Eisenberg’s (ridiculous) character.

    Do people actually think that awkward computer geniuses act anything like this? I’m dating a hardcore nerd with Asperger’s Syndrome, hang around his (brilliant) geeky friends, and I went to the University of Waterloo for my undergrad (aka. MIT of the North) — no one spoke like this. Life is nowhere near this hyperbolic, even for people who work at Google. I like Sorkin’s work on “The West Wing”, but everything else he’s done has been grating.

    Yes, I understand it’s supposed to be stylized, but this doesn’t quite work when you spend so much time trying to convince us that we’re watching Reality and deal with a contemporary story about contemporary public figures that appear on Oprah. It’s an unstable combination. It worked on “The West Wing” because you could buy that perhaps some of these elite political types could banter like this, with their law degrees and debating skills. But that first scene in the bar? I rolled my eyes so hard it hurt. And misogynistic to boot: all the female characters are sexy objet-petit-a, many with a dose of Crazy (we finally get some Asian female representation in Hollywood… so they make her bat-shit insane. WHY?)

    Was it terrible? By all means, no. But the best of the year? Gag me with a spoon!

    I feel better now.

  • 26 12-02-2010 at 8:56 pm

    Ro345457 said...

    I hope The Social Network doesn’t win best picture. I’m kind of tired of the oscars trying to be hip and pandering to critics. I want them to go back to voting for their true favorites.

  • 27 12-02-2010 at 9:26 pm

    Rashad said...

    Quite honestly, the dialogue in Inception was better. The exposition is only in the beginning and it’s integral to any heist film, where the exposition is part of the fun and excitement. Who doesn’t love it when Ocean’s crew are trying to figure out and explain how they were going to rob the casinos?

    On a second viewing the dialogue of TSN was more forced, with several cues for a punchline, and Rashida Jones should have been cut from existence. I still think it’s great but people speak like it’s flawless, and like Inception’s is garbage. Nonsense.

    I will also reiterate, that while Eisenberg gives a very good performance and the best of his career, Shia LaBeouf gave a superior one in Wall Street 2. The only difference in perception is one is an action star who is versatile, while the other has been the indie darling for a while now.

  • 28 12-02-2010 at 9:37 pm

    Speaking English said...

    ***And misogynistic to boot: all the female characters are sexy objet-petit-a, many with a dose of Crazy***

    Uhhh… not this again. I seem to remember a character named Erica who was neither a sex object or “crazy,” but a smart, independent woman who was strong enough to tell a guy off who she clearly didn’t want anything to do with.

    But either way – this is a movie about males, young males and their often skewed perceptions of sexuality. Who cares about the women if they don’t have a part in the story in the first place?

  • 29 12-02-2010 at 9:50 pm

    McAllister said...

    Hot damn! Thrilled about Jacki Weaver and several of the other winners.

  • 30 12-03-2010 at 1:31 am

    julian said...

    eisenbergs win is great news. It’s not a showy performance a la Firth, but it is so well done and so suits the movie and Fincher’s vision. Eisenberg is a great actor in the way that he doesn’t need to convey emotion or drama, he just naturally inhabits it. Leo De Caprio fx will NEVER achieve this level of naturalness in his performances. He is always striving so hard to act, that the magic just goes away. Eisenberg is intuitively gifted and attuned to his character, thats a rare capability (Ryan Gosling is the only other young actor I see around who embodies these qualities)

  • 31 12-03-2010 at 1:49 am

    julian said...

    by the way…I strongly agree with speaking english in his comments on TSN’s supposed misogyny. Even if the film could be deemed misogynistic, I don’t see that as a problem. Since when should conventional morality restrain works of art from communicating whatever it is they find relevant to communicate. You cannot confine art to a simple dichotomy of what is right and wrong in our common everyday world. If that was the case, we would have no art at all!
    And TSN? I mean, come on! I cannot for the life of me accept the notion that it is misogynistic. What it exposes is the passion, ambition and drive of young men. And the movie is very ambivalent (which is a strength in most, if not all, art) in relation to it’s main protagonist. He is neither a villain or a hero, just a fucked-up nerd with some social issues. Very human, alas.
    Therefore: you could as well call TSN a deeply humanistic movie, in that it seeks to portray the scope of human ingenuity as well as the price we pay for our ambitions and greed.

  • 32 12-03-2010 at 6:55 am

    Keil Shults said...

    Can someone explain something to me, regarding the structure of the NBR awards…

    Are they saying that all of their picks in the Independent film category are worse than their Top 11 film choices?

    Also, would films like Black Swan, 127 Hours, The Kids are All Right, and Blue Valentine be considered “Independent” by them, because I can’t imagine that they would have found all 10 of their “independent” picks to be superior to all 4 of those movies I just listed. I know the obvious response is, “It’s the NBR, who cares?” but I’m just trying to figure out how they “work.”

    I will say, however, that I’m glad to see another (small) show of support for Let Me In, which remains one of my favorite films of the year thus far.

  • 33 12-03-2010 at 7:27 am

    Ben M. said...

    Yes, the idea is the NBR wants to highlight good independent films that don’t make the normal top list, so they would be below that list. I suppose it is possible one of those four was disqualified for budget reasons or something (then again the $30 million District 9 made the indie list last year, and all four of the films qualified for the indie spirits which has budget restrictions), but it is very odd to see them all miss- even if on a personal note I found Let Me In, Please Give, and Monsters to be much better movies than 127 Hours.

  • 34 12-03-2010 at 7:31 am

    Keil Shults said...

    Seems like Rabbit Hole was left off both lists as well, though I’m pretty sure its budget was in the $10-15 million range.

  • 35 12-21-2010 at 7:29 am

    Alfonse said...

    The big question I have for so many of you is, Did you actually SEE “Buried?” Or at the very least, have you read the screenplay? You’re all commenting as if you have.

    “Buried” was killed by its marketing campaign. Period. It is one of the most intense, original, and interesting dramatic thrillers to come out in years, but very people had the chance to see that because Lionsgate decided against releasing it wide. But, the National Board of Review saw it — and look what happened there. They loved it, and for good reason. Films don’t play at Sundance, Toronto, and win the Sitges Film Festival for nothing. And scripts don’t land on the Black List (which the script for “Buried” did) for no good reason.

  • 36 12-21-2010 at 7:36 am

    Maxim said...

    Alfonse, I think that most people are expressing suprise that something as small as that film could get an NBR screenplay award. They don’t have an issue with it per se.