The Austin Film Critics Association announced its top picks of the year yesterday, with Darren Aronofsky's psychosexual drama Black Swan taking Best Film and an additional four prizes, including a Best Actress win for Natalie Portman. The actress has swept virtually every critics' group awards out there for her turn as a deranged prima ballerina; indeed, her AFCA Best Actress decision was one of only two categories that didn't require a second ballot (Aaron Sorkin's win for Best Adapted Screenplay was the other early lock). The organization also singled out the locally filmed TV show Friday Night Lights for a special award honoring its five years of awesomely good, criminally underrated drama (well, in so many words).
The AFCA, a 20-member group culled from Central Texas TV, print, and online organizations, also renamed one of its categories the Robert R. McCurdy Honorary Breakthrough Artist Award in honor of founding member Bobby McCurdy, who died suddenly last week. His family and friends will establish a scholarship in his name that will sponsor high school seniors taking educational trips to Europe before college; see www.austinfilmcritics.org in coming weeks for details.
Best Film: Black Swan
Best Director: Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
Best Actor: Colin Firth, The King's Speech
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Best Supporting Actress: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Best Original Screenplay: Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, and John McLaughlin; Black Swan
Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Best Cinematography: Matthew Libatique, Black Swan
Best Original Score: Daft Punk, Tron: Legacy
Best Foreign Language Film: A Prophet (Un Prophète), France
Best Documentary Film: Exit Through the Gift Shop
Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3
Robert R. McCurdy Honorary Breakthrough Artist Award: Chloë Grace Moretz, Kick-Ass and Let Me In
Best First Film: Gareth Edwards, Monsters
Best Austin Film: Ben Steinbauer, Winnebago Man
Special Honorary Award: Friday Night Lights, for producing excellent, locally made television in Austin for the past five years
Top 10 Films:
1) Black Swan
2) The Social Network
4) Toy Story 3
5) The King's Speech
6) True Grit
7) The Fighter
8) A Prophet (Un Prophète)
9) Winter's Bone
10) Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
The membership of the Austin Film Critics Association includes Marjorie Baumgarten (The Austin Chronicle), Jenn Brown (Slackerwood), Dave Campbell (Smells Like Screen Spirit), C. Robert Cargill (Film.com), Laurie Coker (Hill Country News), Korey Coleman (Spill), Chris Cox (Spill), Cole Dabney (INsite Magazine), Victor Diaz (News 8 Austin), Charles Ealy (Austin American-Statesman), Peter S. Hall (Horror's Not Dead, Cinematical, and Horror Squad), Kimberley Jones (The Austin Chronicle), Jette Kernion (Cinematical), Harry Knowles (Ain't It Cool News), Bobby McCurdy (INsite Magazine), Neil Miller (Film School Rejects), Marc Savlov (The Austin Chronicle), Martin Thomas (Spill), Eric Vespe (Ain't It Cool News), and Chase Whale (GordonAndTheWhale.com). For more info, visit www.austinfilmcritics.org.
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