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'The Social Network' Named Best Film By National Board of Review

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The Social Network
Columbia Pictures
"The Social Network"

The film also snags awards for director David Fincher, actor Jesse Eisenberg and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.

The Social Network has been named best film of the year by the National Board of Review, which announced its year-end awards today.

The New York-based group also hailed the film’s David Fincher as best director, Jesse Eisenberg as best actor and Aaron Sorkin for best adapted screenplay. [For the full list of winners, click here.]

“We believe the film portrays a dramatic story that will stand up over time and appeal to many generations,” said NBR president Annie Schulhof, said.

Made up of academics, film professionals and fans, the NBR will hand out its awards on Jan. 11 at Cipriani’s 42nd St. in New York City.

While the NBR has chosen a couple of eventual Oscar winners like No Country for Old Men and Slumdog Millionaire as its best picture winners in the past, its choices don’t usually point to final Oscar wins. Last year, for example, the NBR cast its lot with Up in the Air.

In other categories, the NBR handed its best actress prize to Lesley Manville, who plays a tipsy single in the British film Another Year.

The best supporting honors went to Christian Bale, for his performance in the boxing drama The Fighter, and Jacki Weaver, for her role in the Australian crime tale Animal Kingdom.

Chris Sparling took the prize for best original screenplay for the suspense drama Buried.

The NBR gave its Production Design Award to Dante Ferretti for Shutter Island.

The group also handed out honors for best documentary, Davis Guggenheim’s critical look at the American education system, Waiting for 'Superman'; best foreign language film, Xavier BeavoisOf Gods and Men, a French film set in a monastery in Algeria; and best animated film, Lee Unkrich’s Toy Story 3.

Ben Affleck’s Boston crime saga The Town received a prize for best ensemble cast. Jennifer Lawrence, of Winter’s Bone, was singled out for a breakthrough performance award, while Slyvain Chomet and the late Jacques Tai were assigned a Spotlight Award for their animated film The Illusionist.

Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington were honored as Debut Directors for their Afghan War-set doc Restrepo.

Sofia Coppola was given a Special Filmmaking Achievement Award for writing, directing and producing Somewhere.

Leonard Maltin was chosen to received the group’s William K. Everson Film History Award.

The NBR Freedom of Expression Award was earmarked for three films: Fair Game, Conviction and Howl.

The NBR also named its 10 best films of 2010. While that list doesn’t include Network, it did embrace Another Year, The Fighter, Hereafter, Inception, The King’s Speech, Shutter Island, The Town, Toy Story 3, True Grit and Winter’s Bone.

Its five-best foreign language films are: I Am Love; Incendies; Life, Above All; Soul Kitchen and White Material.

Its choices for the five best documentaries are: A Film Unfinished, Inside Job, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Restrepo and The Tillman Story.

It also threw in a list of top 10 independent films: Animal Kingdom, Buried, Fish Tank, The Ghost Writer, Greenberg, Let Me In, Monsters, Please Give, Somewhere and Youth in Revolt.

Winners list on the next page.