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Toronto critics heap praise on The Social Network

Hot on the heels of top honours from the Boston and New York film critics, the Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA) has awarded five top prizes to The Social Network.

The drama about the tangled creation of Facebook won best film, director for David Fincher, actor for Jesse Eisenberg, supporting actor for Armie Hammer and screenplay for Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires.

“It’s the first film that really captures the internet culture and its strangely obsessive nature of web capitalism,” TFCA president Brian D Johnson told Screen.

“In fact it’s very unusual for a very mainstream American movie that is morally ambiguous and told from multiple viewpoints with a complex protagonist,” Johnson added. “It’s not a clear-cut case of good and evil. We were attracted by the complexity of it.”

Winter’s Bone star Jennifer Lawrence took the best actress honour for her “extraordinary-minded single feat of acting,” while newcomer Hailee Steinfeld was awarded the best actress prize for her performance in True Grit as an 1870s teenager avenging her father’s murder.

Exit Through The Gift Shop, an inventive puzzle of a documentary from the street artist Banksy, won the best first feature prize in addition to the Allan King Documentary Award.

How To Train Your Dragon received the best animated feature award, while Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – a runner-up for best picture – was named best foreign-language film.

“As we ended up championing a remarkable diversity of styles there was much discussion about what these films mean about where cinema is headed – whether it be the immersive magic realism of Uncle Boonmee, the ruthless neo-realism of Winter’s Bone, or the subversive mischief of Exit Through the Gift Shop,” Johnson said.

The 2010 TFCA Awards will be presented on January 12, 2011, when the body will also announce the winner of the Rogers Best Canadian Feature Award, which carries a C$15,000 cash prize (up from $10,000 last year). The three nominees are Incendies, Splice and Trigger.

The TFCA will also present the second annual Jay Scott Prize for emerging talent, which carries a $5,000 prize. This year it will go to Toronto writer-director Daniel Cockburn, whose wildly original feature debut, a wry cosmic puzzle called You Are Here,has been winning raves on the festival circuit.

The body will also inaugurate the Deluxe Student Film Award, which gives $3,000 in post-production services to a student film-maker. That winner will also be announced at the awards dinner.

The full list of Toronto Film Critics Association Awards winners:

Best PictureThe Social Network

Best Actor – Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network

Best Actress – Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone

Best Supporting Actor – Armie Hammer, The Social Network

Best Supporting Actress – Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit

Best Director – David Fincher, The Social Network

Best Screenplay – Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

Best First FeatureExit Through The Gift Shop

Best Animated FeatureHow To Train Your Dragon

Best Foreign-Language FilmUncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Best Documentary Feature – Exit Through The Gift Shop

Jay Scott Prize For Emerging Talent – Writer-director Daniel Cockburn (You Are Here)

Special Citation – Bruce McDonald for directing four films in 2010: This Movie Is Broken, Trigger, Music From The Big House and Hard Core Logo 2.

Rogers Canadian Film Award Nominees: Incendie sdirected by Denis Villeneuve; Splice directed by Vincenzo Natali; and Trigger directed by Bruce McDonald

 

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