Social Network wins critics' gong
The Social Network has been voted the best picture of 2010 by the National Society of Film Critics in the US.
The fictional look at the creation of Facebook dominated at the society's annual awards, which were voted on by 46 prominent movie critics gathered at a Manhattan restaurant.
Jesse Eisenberg was named best actor for his role as Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of the social networking website. David Fincher won for best director and Aaron Sorkin for best screenplay.
The critics reached overseas for the best actress honour, naming Italian star Giovanna Mezzogiorno for her role in Vincere. The film follows the rise to power of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, with him abandoning his wife and child along the way.
Supporting actor awards went to Geoffrey Rush for The King's Speech and Olivia Williams for The Ghost Writer.
The society, founded in 1966, is composed of 61 film critics from across the country, including Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Los Angeles Times' Kenneth Turan, The Wall Street Journal's Joe Morgenstern and David Denby of The New Yorker.
While these critics' choices rarely reflect top honours at the Academy Awards, the New York-based society helps draw attention to new films in advance of the Oscars, staged in late February by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Society members issued a statement calling for a re-examination of the movie rating system set by the Motion Picture Association of America.
The critics praised a decision to change the NC-17 rating for Blue Valentine to an R, but they questioned others. They singled out The King's Speech, which was rated R for "language".
"It's clear the board has become an agency of de facto censorship," read the statement from the critics.