Monday, December 13, 2010


San Francisco, CA, December 13, 2010—The San Francisco Film Critics Circle (SFFCC) has named The Social Network the Best Picture of 2010, while its writer Aaron Sorkin took the prize for Best Adapted Screenplay. In a tie vote, The Social Network helmer David Fincher shares the Best Director award with Darren Aronofsky, director of Black Swan.

The San Francisco Film Critics Circle, which includes twenty-nine Bay Area film critics, also honored The King's Speech star Colin Firth in the Best Actor category (Firth repeats in this category, following his SFFCC Best Actor win for A Single Man last year). Best Actress honors go to Michelle Williams of Blue Valentine, as half of a married couple whose love faces the test of time. Two noir-ish turns nabbed supporting awards: John Hawkes as Best Supporting Actor for Winter's Bone and Jacki Weaver as Best Supporting Actress for Animal Kingdom.

Best Original Screenplay went to David Seidler for The King's Speech, a British historical drama detailing the role of speech therapy in launching King George VI's reign. Best Cinematography honors went to Matthew Libatique for his colorfully dynamic photography of Black Swan.

For Best Documentary, the San Francisco critics picked The Tillman Story—a Bay Area tragedy thrown onto a national stage as Army Ranger Pat Tillman's family fought for the truth about his combat death. Best Foreign Language Film went to South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho's offbeat thriller Mother (Madeo), and Toy Story 3 was named Best Animated Feature.

The group presented its Marlon Riggs Award—honoring a Bay Area filmmaker or individual who represents courage and innovation in the world of cinema—to Elliot Lavine, a teacher, exhibitor, and repertory curator who has brought fresh attention to neglected films.

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With regard to the full list of winners for the 2010 SFFCC Awards, I've placed an asterisk (*) next to those who scored my vote. A comparison with my previous list of preliminary nominations naturally reveals major discrepancies. This is the result of a tabulation process that reduced nominations down to a final selection of two (in some cases three, when there was a tie). The quality of the arguments for and against the final two films in each category was not only fascinating to listen to and participate in but had much to do with shaping my final votes. Other than for Best Actor and Best Actress, I fared pretty well. I'm especially pleased with the SFFCC's decision to bestow the Marlon Riggs Award to Elliot Lavine. Elliot's programming over the past two decades has revived rare archival studio, independent, and exploitation titles, which have played a major role in the renewed popularity of film noir and pre-Production Code features.

Best PictureThe Social Network (*)
Best Director—Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan (*) and David Fincher, The Social Network (TIE)
Best Original Screenplay—David Seidler, The King's Speech (*)
Best Adapted Screenplay—Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network (*)
Best Actor—Colin Firth, The King's Speech
Best Actress—Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
Best Supporting Actor—John Hawkes, Winter's Bone (*)
Best Supporting Actress—Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom (*)
Best Animated FeatureToy Story 3 (*)
Best Foreign Language FilmMother (South Korea) (*)
Best DocumentaryThe Tillman Story (*)
Best Cinematography—Matthew Libatique, Black Swan (*)

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The San Francisco Film Critics Circle, founded in 2002, is comprised of film critics from Bay Area publications. Its members include Jeffrey Anderson (, Jeanne Aufmuth (Palo Alto Weekly), Barry Caine (Oakland Tribune/Contra Costa Times), Peter Canavese (, Andrea Chase (Killer Movie, Rossiter Drake (San Francisco Examiner), Cheryl Eddy (SF Bay Guardian), Michael Fox (J-The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California), Susan Gerhard (SF360), Pam Grady (, Michael Guillén (The Evening Class), Peter Hartlaub (San Francisco Chronicle), Dennis Harvey (Variety), Johnny Ray Huston (SF Bay Guardian), Jonathan Kiefer (Sacramento News and Review), Mick LaSalle (San Francisco Chronicle), Carla Meyer (Sacramento Bee), Omar Moore (, Randy Myers (Bay Area News Group), Mary Pols (, Sara Maria Vizcarrondo (BoxOffice Magazine), Tim Sika (, Michael Snyder (Sirius Satellite Radio), Ruthe Stein (San Francisco Chronicle), Jan Wahl (KCBS AM & FM), Jason Walsh (Pacific Sun), Sura Wood (The Hollywood Reporter), Kelly Vance (East Bay Express), and Richard Von Busack (Metro Newspapers).

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