THE SOCIAL NETWORK tops DFW Film Critics Picks

©2010, Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Andrew Garfield, left, and Jesse Eisenberg stars as Mark Zuckerberg in Columbia Pictures' THE SOCIAL NETWORK. PHOTO BY: Merrick Morton

The Dallas-Ft. Worth Film Critics Association, of which I must disclose I am a voting member, announced the results of its 17th annual awards today.

The Association’s selection for Best Picture is THE SOCIAL NETWORK, for which director David Fincher also won Best Director. Rounding out the Top Ten: THE KING’S SPEECH, BLACK SWAN, 127 HOURS, WINTER’S BONE, INCEPTION, THE FIGHTER, TRUE GRIT, THE TOWN and THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT.

In the Best Actor category, James Franco was recognized for his performance as Aron Ralston in Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, followed by runners-up, Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Robert Duvall (Get Low) and Michael Douglas (Solitary Man).

In the Best Actress category, Natalie Portman won for her role as Nina Sayers in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan. Ms. Portman is followed by Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole), Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right) and Michele Williams (Blue Valentine).

For Best Supporting Actor, we awarded Christian Bale for his role as boxing legend Dicky Eklund in The Fighter. Runners-up included Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech), Jeremy Renner (The Town), Bill Murray (Get Low) and Chris Cooper (The Company Men).

Melissa Leo took Best Supporting Actress for her part as the hard knocks mother of WBU Welterweight boxers Mark Ward and Dicky Eklund, Alice Ward in The Fighter. She is followed by Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom), Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) and Mila Kunis (Black Swan).

David Fincher’s Best Director win is followed by Danny Boyle for 127 Hours, Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Christopher Nolan (Inception) and Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech).

BIUTIFUL was awarded Best Foreign Language Film over THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, MOTHER, LEBANON and I AM LOVE.


In the Best Animated Film category, TOY STORY 3 beat HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON.

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin was recognized for THE SOCIAL NETWORK, over Christopher Nolan’s INCEPTION.

Enrique Chediak and Anthony Dod Mantle won Best Cinematography for their work on 127 HOURS, followed by Roger Deakins (True Grit) tied with Wally Pfister (Inception).

The association voted WINTER’S BONE as the winner of the Russell Smith Award, named for the late Dallas Morning News film critic. The honor is given annually to the best low-budget or cutting-edge independent film.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association consists of 28 broadcast, print and online journalists from throughout North Texas. For more information, visit

AMPAS Selects Best Visual Effects Candidates



Today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS®) announced the seven contenders for Best Visual Effects in the 82nd Academy Awards®: Twentieth Century-Fox’s $400 million gamble, Avatar, Tri-Star’s alien allegory to Apartheid, District 9, Warner Bros. Pictures’ releases Terminator Salvation andHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Paramount Pictures’ rebooted Star Trek, DreamWorks’ Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Columbia Pictures end-times film, 2012.

Members of the Visual Effects Branch of the Academy will screen 15-minute excerpts of each candidate film to pare the list down to three final nominees for Oscar® consideration.

The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

The 2009 Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, televised live by ABC.

UP IN THE AIR Dominates Dallas-Ft. Worth Film Critics Awards

Ryan Bingham (George Clooney, far right) holds up a cardboard photo of his sister Julie (Melanie Lynskey, far left) and her fiancé Jim (Danny McBride, near left) in the dramatic comedy UP IN THE AIR, a Paramount Pictures release. Photo Credit: Dale Robinette. Copyright © 2009 DW STUDIOS L.L.C. and COLD SPRING PICTURES. All Rights Reserved.

Ryan Bingham (George Clooney, far right) holds up a cardboard photo of his sister Julie (Melanie Lynskey, far left) and her fiancé Jim (Danny McBride, near left) in the dramatic comedy UP IN THE AIR, a Paramount Pictures release. Photo Credit: Dale Robinette. Copyright © 2009 DW STUDIOS L.L.C. and COLD SPRING PICTURES. All Rights Reserved.

Today, Todd Jorgenson of the Denton Record-Chronicle announced the 2009 selections in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Film Critics Association’s sixteenth annual awards.

Also the National Board of Review’s and Washington Area Film Critics Association’s winner, Writer/director Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air was voted Best Film, with George Clooney taking Best Actor for his performance as Ryan Bingham. Following the Best Film selection, the DFW Film Critics’ Top Ten included (in order) The Hurt Locker, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, Up, An Education, A Serious Man, Inglourious Basterds, District 9, Avatar, and Fantastic Mr. Fox.

In the Best Actor category, runners up to Mr. Clooney included Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker), Colin Firth (A Single Man) and Morgan Freeman (Invictus).

Carey Mulligan took Best Actress for her performance as Jenny in An Education, surpassing Meryl Streep (Julie and Julia), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious), Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria) and Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side).

Best Supporting Actor went to Christoph Waltz for his role as Col. Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds, followed by Woody Harrelson (The Messenger), Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), Alfred Molina (An Education) and Christian McKay (Me and Orson Welles).

In the Best Supporting Actress category, Mo’Nique was awarded for her role as Mary in Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire, over Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga (Up In The Air), Marillon Cotillard (Nine) and Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart).

Following Jason Reitman’s win for Best Director (Up in the Air), Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, Lee Daniels for Precious, Joel and Ethan Coen for A Serious Man and Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds.

Writer/director Cary Fukanaga’s drama Sin Nombre won Best Foreign Language film, followed by Broken Embraces, Summer Hours, The Baader Meinhof Complex and Red Cliff.

The Cove, written by Mark Monroe and directed by Louie Psihoyos, won Best Documentary over Anvil: The Story of Anvil, Capitalism: A Love Story, Michael Jackson’s This Is It, Burma VJ and The September Issue.

Up, written and directed by Pete Docter, was selected for Best Animated Film, followed by Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner were awarded Best Screenplay for Up in the Air, ousting the National Board of Review’s pick, Joel and Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man.

The year’s Russell Smith Award for excellence in independent, low-budget cinema, was given to Mr. Daniel’s Precious.

Mr. Safaya is an accredited member of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Film Critics Association, which consists of 33 broadcast, print and online journalists throughout North Texas.