Pete Hammond

With a record 12 nominations including Best Picture , Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan led the list of nominations for the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s 16th Annual Critics Choice Movie Awards announced early Today. The Weinstein Company’s The King’s Speech and Paramount’s True Grit followed closely with 11 nods each. Warners’ Inception managed 10 noms without a single acting mention, while Sony Pictures’s critics group darling, The Social Network was named 9 times. The winners will be announced in a live ceremony from the Hollywood Palladium on January 14 on VH1 which recently reupped its deal to carry the event after airing it for the past three years. MTV Music Awards Executive Producer Jesse Ignjatovic of the Den of Thieves production company will serve as the show’s new Executive Producer.

The BFCA has an emerging reputation as a strong precursor of Academy Award nominations and wins. Last year, the group was the first televised movie awards show of the season to name The Hurt Locker as Best Picture and Kathryn Bigelow as Best Director as well as and gave all four eventual Oscar acting winners Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Monique and Christoph Waltz first chance to try out their acceptance speeches. In fact, in their 15 year history, the BFCA managed to mirror the Oscar choice for Best Picture 9 out of 15 times including the last four years in a row. Last year 8 of their 10 nominees for Best Pic went on to grab those slots from Oscar too.

This year, the other nominees for Best Pic include 127 Hours, The Fighter, The Town, Toy Story 3, and Winter’s Bone. Interestingly with the exception of The Kids Are All Right, the CCMA’s list of 10 match exactly with the American Film Institute’s Top Ten Films of 2010 that was released Sunday. Only variation between the two was The King’s Speech inclusion on the CCMA honor role. Due to its English origins, it was ineligible for the AFI countdown but was given a special mention. Of special note, between True Grit and The Social Network, producer Scott Rudin’s films garnered 20 nominations including two Best Pic nods for himself. Mark Wahlberg who stars in The Fighter landed a nom for himself as producer of a Best Pic nominee but was overlooked for his lead acting role (he was nominated as part of the ensemble however).

Nominees for Best Actor include last year’s winner Jeff Bridges for True Grit, Robert Duvall in Get Low, Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network, Colin Firth in The King’s Speech, James Franco for 127 Hours, and Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine. In the uber competitive Best Actress race those mentioned are Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right, Jennifer Lawrence , a double nominee for Winter’s Bone as the 20 year old is also named in the Best Young Actor/Actress category, Natalie Portman for Black Swan, Sweden’s Noomi Rapace in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine and Rabbit Hole’s Nicole Kidman who landed a record seventh acting nomination having won the org’s first Best Actress award for To Die For in 1995.

Darren Aronofsky, Danny Boyle, Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, David Fincher, Tom Hooper and Christopher Nolan made the cut for Best Director while helmers for four other Best Pic nominees were overlooked including David O. Russell for The Fighter and Ben Affleck for The Town. Competing for Best Animated Feature are Despicable Me, How to Train Your Dragon, The Illusionist, Tangled, and Toy Story 3.

There were no major surprises or snubs but certainly disappointment from several awards hopefuls that were completely blanked including Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter, Secretariat, Fair GameLove and Other Drugs and James L. Brooks’ How Do You Know which both failed even a mention in the Best Comedy category, while less-than-stellar titles like Date Night, Due Date, Get Him To The Greek, and The Other Guys somehow did. Sentimental favorite Michael Douglas was also overlooked in both Best Actor and Supporting Actor races.

Awards Columnist Pete Hammond - tip him here.