In Contention‘s “The Circuit” has revealed the winners of the Washington, D.C.-area film critics’ association, and for the second time in a row (following last week’s NBR awards) The Social Network has swept the table in the top categories, winning for Best Picture, Best Director (David Fincher) and Best Adapted Screenplay.
The D.C guys gave their Best Actor award to The King’s Speech headliner Colin Firth instead of TSN‘s Jessie Eisenberg, who was the NBR’s choice. They also handed their Best Actress trophy to Winter’s Bone‘s Jennifer Lawrence and bestowed two wins upon David O. Russell‘s The Fighter — Christan Bale for Best Supporting Actor and Melissa Leo for Best Supporting Actress.
In Contention‘s Kris Tapley has claimed that Christopher Nolan‘s Inception “was the big winner over all [due to] taking four awards including Best Original Screenplay.” That’s actually bullshit — an original screenplay award plus three tech awards (Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Score) amounts to four wins, but it’s the big-gun categories that matter. If anything, Inception‘s D.C.-area honors point to a likelihood that people are generally viewing it as an original, technically dazzling film that didn’t quite deliver where it really counts. If you want to be really blunt about, these awards are actually an indication that Inception is pretty much finished as a Best Picture contender. If you admire but don’t really love a film, shower it with below-the-line awards.
A majority of the D.C.-area critics choosing Jennifer Lawrence‘s performance over Natalie Portman‘s in Black Swan may be a bellwether in itself. As Lawrence’s character is steady and steely, Portman’s is frenzied and anguished. There’s no question that Portman delivers more of a knockout perf, and yet Lawrence’s brave determination won the day.
[The above Social Network promo is a new 60-second TV spot that Sony ran last night during Leslie Stahl‘s 60 Minutes interview with Mark Zuckerberg.)