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‘Social Network’ is tops with Boston Society of Film Critics

Jesse Eisenberg (left) and Joseph Mazzello in “The Social Network.’’ Jesse Eisenberg (left) and Joseph Mazzello in “The Social Network.’’ (Merrick Morton/Columbia Pictures via Ap)
By Wesley Morris
Globe Staff / December 13, 2010

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“The Social Network,’’ the drama about the founding of Facebook at Harvard, won the top awards at the Boston Society of Film Critics’ annual meeting. The group’s members named it best film, actor (Jesse Eisenberg), director (David Fincher), screenplay (Aaron Sorkin), and score (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross).

The film capped a big year for Boston in the movies. “The Fighter,’’ which opened last week, is set in Lowell, stars Mark Wahlberg as the boxer Mickey Ward, and tells the story of Ward’s large, rambunctious family. It won the ensemble-acting award. Christian Bale was named the best supporting actor for playing Ward’s wild, crack-addicted, former- boxer brother, Dicky Eklund. Melissa Leo, who plays the boxers’ mother, Alice, was a runner-up in the supporting actress category. Juliette Lewis beat Leo with her two scenes as a charismatically dim witness in “Conviction,’’ the Hilary Swank drama about a Massachusetts woman who puts herself through law school in order to get her brother out of prison. Andrew Garfield, who played a litigious classmate in “The Social Network,’’ was the runner-up to Bale.

Natalie Portman won the actress award for her performance as a mentally fragile ballerina in “Black Swan.’’ The runner-up was Annette Bening, who played the sterner half of a lesbian couple in “The Kids Are All Right.’’ That film was also the runner-up in the ensemble category.

Both the documentary and first-filmmaker awards went to Jeff Malmberg’s “Marwencol,’’ about a Kingston, N.Y., man who rehabilitates himself by constructing an elaborate WWII village that attracts the attention of the art world. The respective runners-up were Charles Ferguson’s financial crisis documentary, “Inside Job,’’ and David Michod, whose first film was the crime-drama “Animal Kingdom.’’

Bong Joon-ho’s murder-drama “Mother’’ won the foreign-language film award. The runner-up was “I Am Love,’’ with Tilda Swinton as a Russian-Italian matriarch in love with her son’s friend. Roger Deakins won the cinematography award for the Coen brothers “True Grit,’’ which opens Dec. 23. The editing award, which was renamed for the esteemed late film editor Karen Schmeer, went to Andrew Weisblum for “Black Swan.’’

The best-film runner-up, “Toy Story 3,’’ was voted best animated short.

The society also recognized the city’s best series and rediscoveries and awarded commendations to documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman; Massart Film Society programmer Saul Levine; and Rebecca Meyers, who programs the Bright Family Screening Room at Emerson’s Paramount Center.

The most contentious the afternoon became was over how to address the dissatisfaction with the poor quality of many screenings at two of the area’s largest corporate theater chains — the Loews Boston Common and the Regal Fenway. The group settled on a statement of concern that, hopefully, will make some difference in the way these companies project our movies.

Wesley Morris can be reached at wmorris@globe.com.

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