Los Angeles – The Facebook drama The Social Network
was picked as the year's best picture on Sunday by the influential Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
The group's best-actor prize went to Colin Firth for the British monarchy tale The King's Speech, while Kim Hye-ja won best actress for the South Korean drama Mother. The runners-up were Edgar Ramirez for the terrorist epic Carlos and Jennifer Lawrence for the Ozarks crime thriller Winter's Bone.
Overseas crime dramas won the other acting honors: Jacki Weaver as supporting actress for Australia's Animal Kingdom and Niels Arestrup as supporting actor for France's A Prophet. The runners-up were Olivia Williams for the thriller The Ghost Writer and Geoffrey Rush for The King's Speech.
In a tie vote, the directing prize was shared by David Fincher for The Social Network and Olivier Assayas for Carlos, which also was the best-picture runner-up. Carlos won for best foreign-language film, and the runner-up was Mother.
The Social Network, which stars Jesse Eisenberg as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, won two other honours: Aaron Sorkin earned the best-screenplay prize, while composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross shared the award for best musical score with Alexandre Desplat for The Ghost Writer.
Toy Story 3
The runner-up for best screenplay was David Seidler for The King's Speech, which stars Firth as Queen Elizabeth II's father, George VI, as he struggles to overcome a debilitating stammer.
Tom Hanks and Tim Allen's blockbuster Toy Story 3 was chosen as best animated film, while French filmmaker Sylvain Chomet's The Illusionist was runner-up.
Winners, including career-achievement recipient Paul Mazursky, will be honoured at a ceremony in Los Angeles on January 15.
Along with the New York Film Critics Circle, which announces its winners on Monday, the Los Angeles reviewers' awards are among the key critical picks that help single out potential favorites on the buildup to the February 27 Academy Awards.
The Social Network and The King's Speech generally are considered the front-runners for the Oscars, whose nominations come out January 25.
Top critics groups usually pick different films, though 2009's The Hurt Locker preceded its best-picture win at the Oscars with the same honor from the Los Angeles and New York groups, along with the National Society of Film Critics.
Critics' awards also often go to smaller, even obscure films, though the Los Angeles group went mainstream two years ago and gave its best-picture prize to the animated blockbuster WALL-E.
Among the group's other awards Sunday:
Cinematography: Matthew Libatique – Black Swan; runner-up, Roger Deakins – True Grit.
Production design: Guy Hendrix Dyas – Inception; runner-up, Eve Stewart – The King's Speech.
Documentary: Last Train Home; runner-up, Exit Through the Gift Shop.