Los Angeles critics delivered an early fillip to The Social Network’s Oscar prospects as they anointed the drama their film of the year last night [12], with Carlos claiming the runner-up spot.

Both films earned their directors the top directing award as David Fincher and Olivier Assayas tied for the prize.

Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) president Brent Simon also announced that the group had voted Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) for best actor and named Edgar Ramirez runner-up for Carlos.

In a slew of left-field selections, Kim Hye-ja earned the best actress accolade for Mother while runner-up was Jennifer Lawrence from Winter’s Bone. In the supporting stakes, Niels Arestrup won for A Prophet followed by Geoffrey Rush in runner-up spot for The King’s Speech, while Animal Kingdom’s Jacki Weaver took the supporting actress honours and Olivia Williams was named runner-up for The Ghost Writer.

Aaron Sorkin won the screenplay prize for The Social Network and David Seidler’s work on The King’s Speechearned him a runner-up prize.

Carlos concluded a fine night when it was named best foreign language film. The runner-up was South Korea’s Mother. Toy Story 3 was named best animated film with The Illusionist as runner-up, while Last Train Home and Exit Through The Gift Shop were named best documentary and runner-up.

In other awards:

Cinematography: Matthew Libatique, Black Swan
Runner-up: Roger Deakins, True Grit

Music/Score: Alexandre Desplat, The Ghost Writer and  Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Social Network (tie)

Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas, Inception
Runner-up: Eve Stewart, The King’s Speech

New Generation: Lena Dunham, Tiny Furniture

Douglas E Edwards Independent/Experimental Film/Video: Film Socialism

Legacy Of Cinema Awards: Serge Bromberg for Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno, and the F W Murnau Foundation and Fernando Pena for the restoration of Metropolis

Career Achievement: Paul Mazursky

The 36th annual LAFCA awards ceremony will be held on January 15 in Los Angeles.