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'Social Network' tops National Board of Review winners

December 2, 2010 |  1:16 pm


"The Social Network" dominated the 2010 National Board of Review of Motion Picture Awards announced Thursday afternoon. The acclaimed drama about the founders of the social-networking site Facebook won best film, best actor for Jesse Eisenberg, best director for David Fincher and adapted screenplay for Aaron Sorkin.

Lesley Manville earned best actress for her role as a struggling single woman in Mike Leigh's downbeat "Another Year." Best supporting actor went to Christian Bale as a crack-addicted former professional boxer in "The Fighter" and Jacki Weaver was named best supporting actress as the mother of a gang of thieves in "Animal Kingdom."

Best animated film went to "Toy Story 3," while documentary honors went to "Waiting for "Superman."

Best original screenplay went to Chris Sparling for "Buried."

Jennifer Lawrence won best breakthrough performance for "Winter's Bone." On Tuesday, Lawrence was nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award for the film.

Best ensemble went to the cast of "The Town."

The National Board of Review comprises film professionals, educators, historians and students.

The NBR is also one of the movie season's bellwethers for the Academy Award. Three years ago, its best picture selection, "No Country for Old Men," went on to win the best picture Oscar. And its 2008 big winner, "Slumdog Millionaire," dominated the Academy Awards. Last year, though, the the NBR and the Academy agreed to disagree on most choices. NBR voted "Up in the Air" the best picture winner, while the Academy chose "The Hurt Locker."

Notably  missing from the list of winners were such Oscar-front runners as "127 Hours," "True Grit," "The King's Speech" and "Black Swan," though "Grit," "Speech" and "Winter's Bone" made NBR's top 11 films of 2010 list.

The NBR awards will be presented at their annual gala on Jan. 11 at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Other winners announced Thursday:

Best foreign-language film: "Of Gods and Men"

Special Filmmaking Achievement Award: Sofia Coppola, for writing, directing and producing "Somewhere"

William K. Everson Film History Award: Leonard Maltin

NBR Freedom of Expression: "Fair Game," "Conviction" and "Howl"

--Susan King

Photo: Jesse Eisenberg, left, and Joseph Mazzello in "The Social Network." Credit: Merrick Morton/Columbia TriStar