While we here at CityBeat World Headquarters are putting the final touches on our annual Year in Film in Music issue, I thought I’d check in to let you know that IndieWIRE’s annual Critic’s Poll has now been posted to the interwebs.
No surprise here: David Fincher’s The Social Network was the dominating winner, adding yet another piece of critical hardware to its already robust trophy case. The question now becomes: Can anything stop the Facebook origin story from stomping the competition come Oscar time?
Perhaps the biggest surprise on the list is the love for Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, a delirious, Polanski-esque psychological thriller that comes dangerously close to B-movie camp (while also aping elements of the Dardenne brothers and using bits of The Red Shoes for inspiration).
Don’t get me wrong: I liked Black Swan — mostly for Natalie Portman’s fearlessly committed lead performance — but I didn’t anticipate it finishing at No. 4 in the IndieWIRE poll after garnering a mixed-to-poor response when I saw it at a critics/industry screening at the Toronto Film Festival back in September. And, contrary to its Golden Globe nods, it seemed far too out there to get much mainstream awards-season attention beyond Portman’s performance.
Of course, it’s always dangerous to predict how a film is going to be received once it travels outside the film festival bubble and into the culture at large.