The Chicago Film Critics are the latest critics association to announce their awards and they've gone, like virtually everyone else, with The Social Network.

 These 52 critics love Sorkin & Fincher's warring young entrepeneurs. They also like their actresses real young and their prizes spread out.

Best Picture The Social Network
Best Director David Fincher, The Social Network
Best Actress Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Best Actor  Colin Firth, The King's Speech
Best Supporting Actress Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit

Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld), the captain of True Grit's ship.
  • If you assume that Helena Bonham-Carter, and The Fighter girls are safe in the Supporting Actress race, does this rush of Hailee Steinfeld wins prophecy that she'll be stealing Jacki Weaver's spot? If so how will we ever forgive these (and other critics) who inexplicably ruled in Hailee's favor? Or will Hailee take Mila Kunis's spot? Or does it signify only that True Grit was the last film to screen for critics groups and they tend to love Coen Bros movies more than just about anybody? Your verdict please in the comments.
Best Supporting Actor Christian Bale, The Fighter
  • Since I was taken to task for only bitching about Hailee's category fraud I should note here again that I think this is a lead role too. More bitching! Wheeee. (still and all... Hailee's is the single most fraudulent categorization this year with Bale & Rush doing the Jeff Bridges co-lead thing in their movies. Notice how no one thinks Jeff Bridges is "supporting" in True Grit.)
Best Screenplay Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Best Documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop
Best Foreign Film A Prophet
Best Animated Film Toy Story 3
Best Cinematography Wally Pfister, Inception
Best Original Score Clint Mansell, Black Swan
Most Promising Performer Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
Most Promising Filmmaker Derek Cianfrance, Blue Valentine

The Blue Valentine trio.

A few observations...
  • The median age of the female actress winners is 21. (The median personality is humorless. Seriously... Hailee, Natalie and Jennifer are allergic to smiling in those movies.) Those Chicago critics sure do like 'em young. At least they have for the past four years (each year the youngest nominee has won). For what it's worth, I do promise to stop talking about age biases for at least a couple of weeks but there's one more comprehensive Oscar trivia post about it coming tonight which covers the men, too so it's stuck in me brain.
  • Hmmm. How is Jennifer Lawrence "more promising" than Hailee Steinfeld but can't defeat her in direct battle? Maybe Jennifer slipped like Sugar Ray Leonard in the ring with Christian Bale? Oh no wait, that's right... they demoted Hailee to supporting. Argh. I honestly keep forgetting because it's so ridonculous.
  • Chicago tends to stick with presumed Oscar categories, even if it looks ridiculous; they also named Kate Winslet "Best Supporting Actress" for The Reader.
  • Happy to see an honor for Derek Cianfrance for Blue Valentine. The first step in getting great performances is to cast great actors but you do still have to direct them afterwards. That he did with a confident hand.
  • Can Rapunzel fend off challengers?
  • Toy Story 3 has all but won the animated Oscar even before nominations are announced, but it's getting hard to suss out what it's ostensible competition will be isn't it? How To Train Your Dragon, The Illusionist and Tangled all have devoted fans so which of those three films gets the snub? It becomes really hard to say when one film dominates the discussion to such a degree that you hear of little else.
 And finally, thanks to In Contention for pointing this out but it's so brilliant.

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