Could it be that members of the Houston Film Critics Society are inordinately influenced by Time Magazine? Or do they simply like – really, really like -- The Social Network?
Whatever the reason, HFCS announced Saturday – just a few days after Time anointed Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as Person of the Year – that the organization had chosen The Social Network, the near-universally acclaimed drama about , well, Zuckerberg’s founding of Facebook, as the Best Picture of 2010.
But wait, there’s more: During its annual awards presentation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Saturday, HFCS also named Jesse Eisenberg – who memorably and fearlessly portrays Zuckerberg as an often-insufferable enigma in Social Network – as Best Actor.
And the kudos just kept on coming: Social Network claimed top HFCS trophies for Best Director (David Fincher) and Best Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin) as well.
The sci-fi thriller Inception emerged as runner-up in the final awards tally, with two HFCS prizes – Best Cinematography (Wally Pfister) and Best Original Score (Hans Zimmer) – to its credit.
For Best Original Song, HFCS ventured way outside of the box to select a tune from the criminally under-rated Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – “We Are Sex Bob-Omb!” (music and lyrics by Beck). No, really.
And in its brand new Worst Picture category, HFCS chose to dishonor the ill-fated, critically reviled comic book adaptation, Jonah Hex.
On the other hand, most other HFCS selections could be considered, if not more predictable, certainly more conventional: Natalie Portman of Black Swan, Best Actress; Christian Bale of The Fighter, Best Supporting Actor; Hailee Steinfeld of True Grit, Best Supporting Actress; Restrepo, Best Documentary; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Best Foreign Film; Toy Story 3, Best Animated Film.
HFCS also announced four special tributes – two for Oscar-winning notables, two for dedicated local heroes – during the Saturday program at MFAH. George Clooney was named winner of the Humanitarian of the Year Award, while Texas native Sissy Spacek was honored with a Lifetime Achievement accolade. The HFCS 2010 Cinematic Achievement awards went to Hector Luna, founder and editor of C-47 Houston magazine, and Charles Dove, director of the Rice University Media Center.
Here's the video of "We Are Sex Bob-Omb!":