BY: DAVID GERMAIN
LOS ANGELES – Natalie Portman’s ballet drama “Black Swan” led contenders Monday for the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards with a record 12 nominations, among them best picture and actress.
Other best-picture nominees were the survival story “127 Hours,” the boxing saga “The Fighter,” the sci-fi smash “Inception,” the British monarchy tale “The King’s Speech,” the Facebook chronicle “The Social Network,” the heist thriller “The Town,” the animated blockbuster “Toy Story 3,” the Western “True Grit” and the Ozarks crime yarn “Winter’s Bone.”
Presented by the 250 members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the 16th annual awards will be handed out Jan. 14 in a ceremony at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles. VH1 will air the show live.
Along with Portman’s lead-actress nomination, honors for “Black Swan” include a supporting-actress slot for Mila Kunis and a directing nomination for Darren Aronofsky.
“The King’s Speech” and “True Grit” were second with 11 nominations each.
Among “The King’s Speech” honors were a best-actor nomination for Colin Firth and supporting slots for Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush. “True Grit” star Jeff Bridges also earned a best-actor nomination, while his newcomer co-star, 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld, had two nominations, as supporting actress and best young actor or actress.
Also earning two acting nominations were “Winter’s Bone” star Jennifer Lawrence, contending for both lead actress and best young actor or actress; and Chloe Moretz, who earned two spots in the young actor or actress category, for the action comedy “Kick-Ass” and the vampire tale “Let Me In.” Her competition includes “Let Me In” co-star Kodi Smit-McPhee, while Elle Fanning rounded out the category for the father-daughter tale “Somewhere.”
Besides Portman and Lawrence, best-actress nominees are Annette Bening for the lesbian-family story “The Kids Are All Right”; Nicole Kidman for the grieving-parent drama “Rabbit Hole”; Noomi Rapace for the thriller “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”; and Michelle Williams for the marital tale “Blue Valentine.”
Joining Firth and Bridges in the best-actor category are Robert Duvall for the backwoods romp “Get Low”; Jesse Eisenberg for “The Social Network”; James Franco for “127 Hours”; and Ryan Gosling for “Blue Valentine.”
While “The Fighter” star Mark Wahlberg missed out on a best-actor nomination, co-stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo all earned supporting-acting spots.
For best director, Aronofsky is up against Danny Boyle for “127 Hours”; Joel and Ethan Coen for “True Grit”; David Fincher for “The Social Network”; Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech”; and Christopher Nolan for “Inception.”
The Critics’ Choice nominations are part of a flurry of film honors that will help sort out contenders for the Feb. 27 Academy Awards, whose nominations will be announced Jan. 25. The biggest announcements this week are the Golden Globe nominations Tuesday and the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations Thursday.
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