Cinema News and Reviews for the Rest of Us

‘The Social Network’ dominating early awards

Many films are released to praises of “Best Picture Frontfunner” throughout the year, and every year many of them fall off the awards map or lose their top status to winter releases, culture shifts, odd whims in the Academy voting block, and even calculated smear campaigns that actually work more often than you’d think (just last year, the producers of The Hurt Locker helped shovel Avatar negativity into the voting period).  But usually this time of year, we start to get a solid idea of how the Oscar race is shaping up, and occasionally we get the sense that a landslide way be in the works.  Early signs in the 2010 season point to a landslide.

The first slew of critics’ awards have been delivered, and David Fincher’s The Social Network has won every single one.

BFCA Best Picture:  The Social Network

National Board of Review Best Picture:  The Social Network

Los Angeles Film Critics Best Picture:  The Social Network

New York Films Critics Best Picture:  The Social Network

Southeastern Film Critics Best Picture:  The Social Network

So far, it’s been a clean sweep.  And not only that, but the lists have many different runner-up choices, suggesting that no other single film has thus far given The Social Network a concerted battle.  The King’s Speech pops up most often as the serious challenger, but it’s likely too “English” and little-seen to win in the end, especially against such a tough front-runner.  Also, there doesn’t appear to be a big-time contender coming at the end of the month.  The Coens’ True Grit was supposed to fill that role, but while the reviews have been stellar and the film certainly looks great, the buzz it has amidst the awards circuit has been thus far muted.  It was even snubbed from nomination by a few award bodies.

There’s still a lot of time until the Oscars, but the road appears clear for The Social Network to storm the show.  And my reaction is, “awesome.”  Fincher’s film is, in my opinion, the greatest film released this year, and it joins 2010’s Inception and HBO’s The Pacific as one of the great cinematic achievements of the past decade.  The best film of the year, repleat with masterful writing, pitch-perfect direction, and mesmerizing acting actually winning Best Picture?  Seems too good to be true.  Suspense can be great, but this is one landslide I’ll enjoy watching.

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