‘Social Network’ Takes Top Critics’ Choice Award

Movie wins best picture, director, adapted screenplay and score. Colin Firth and Natalie Portman take top acting awards

There is order in the universe: the largest critics' U.S. group, the Broadcast Film Critics Association, agreed with almost all of the smaller critics groups and named "The Social Network" the best film of 2010 at the Critics Choice Movie Awards on Friday night.

Natalie PortmanThe film took home four awards, winning Best Picture and also securing trophies for David Fincher (Best Director), Aaron Sorkin (Best Adapted Screenplay) and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (Best Score).

Colin Firth ("The King's Speech") and Natalie Portman ("Black Swan") took home honors for lead actor and actress, while "The Fighter" swept the other acting awards: Christian Bale and Melissa Leo won for their supporting roles, while the cast of the David O. Russell film was also named Best Acting Ensemble.

In sheer numbers, the big winner of the night was Christopher Nolan's "Inception," which took home six awards: Best Action Movie, and a near sweep of technical categories: Best Cinematography, Editing, Art Direction, Sound and Visual Effects.

Colin Firth"Toy Story 3" was named Best Animated Feature, "Easy A" Best Comedy, and "Waiting for 'Superman'" Best Documentary.

In something of a surprise, the original Swedish version of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was named Best Foreign Language Film over "Biutiful" and "I Am Love." David Fincher, who was not present at the show to accept his Best Director award, is currently shooting an English-language version.

Most of the top Oscar contenders came out of the evening with their hopes intact. "Social Network" won the big awards; "The Fighter" showed real strength in the acting categories (actors being by far the Academy's largest branch); "The King's Speech" picked up an expected win for Firth and a significant one for screenwriter David Seidler; "Black Swan" stayed in the game with Portman's win; and "Inception" dominated below-the-line categories.

In the CCMA's sole television category, the miniseries "The Pacific" beat two HBO movies, "You Don't Know Jack" and "Temple Grandin."

The awards, which were held at the Hollywood Palladium and broadcast on VH1, are voted on by the approximately 250 members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. The BFCA includes television, radio and Internet critics.

The Critics Choice Movie Awards are generally a more reliable predictor of the Oscars than the Golden Globes are, matching the Oscar Best Picture winner the last four years in a row and eight of the last 10. (The only mismatches came in 2005 and 2006, when the Oscars chose "Million Dollar Baby" and "Crash" and the critics opted for "Sideways" and "Brokeback Mountain.") 

Last year, of the 19 categories in which the CCMAs and the Oscars overlap, Critics Choice winners went on to win Academy Awards in 13 of them (including one case where Sandra Bullock won the Oscar and tied with Meryl Streep at the CCMAs). Notable areas in which the critics and Academy voters disagreed including both writing categories, in which "Inglourious Basterds" and "Up in the Air" won with the critics, "The Hurt Locker" and "Precious" with the Academy.

The Social NetworkParticipants in the awards ceremony included Jane Fonda, Julianne More, Kevin Spacey, Josh Brolin, Jesse Eisenberg, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone and the cast of "Jackass," who contributed short films spoofing many of the nominated movies. The show was opened by former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said that he was appearing onstage not as a politician but as an out-of-work actor.

Virtually all of the acceptance speeches were gracious and heartfelt, but the show lacked the kind of water-cooler moment provided at last year's CCMAs when Sandra Bullock and Meryl streep engaged in a "torrid" onstage kiss after tying for Best Actress.

Maroon 5 served as the house band, and played "Stuck in the Middle with You" and backed Keri Hilson on "Son of a Preacer Man" as part of the CCMA's inaugural Music+Film Award, which was presented to Quentin Tarantino. Matt Damon was given the Joel Siegel Award, which rewards charitable and philanthropic work.

(photos by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The winners:

BEST PICTURE: "The Social Network"
BEST ACTOR: Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"
BEST ACTRESS: Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christian Bale, "The Fighter"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Melissa Leo, "The Fighter"
BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE: "The Fighter"
BEST DIRECTOR: David Fincher, "The Social Network"
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: David Seidler, "The King's Speech"
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Aaron Sorkin,  "The Social Network"
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Wally Pfister, "Inception"
BEST ART DIRECTION: Guy Henrix Dyas, "Inception"
BEST EDITING: Lee Smith, "Inception"
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Colleen Atwood, "Alice in Wonderland"
BEST MAKEUP: "Alice in Wonderland"
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: "Inception"
BEST SOUND: "Inception"
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: "Toy Story 3"
BEST ACTION MOVIE: "Inception"
BEST COMEDY: "Easy A"
BEST PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION: "The Pacific"
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: "Waiting for 'Superman'"
BEST SONG: "If I Rise" from "127 Hours"; music by A.R. Rahman, lyrics by Dido Armstrong and Rollo Armstrong
BEST SCORE: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, "The Social Network"