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Film board picks ‘Social Network’

Jesse Eisenberg, left, and Joseph Mazzello in a scene from “The Social Network.”
Jesse Eisenberg, left, and Joseph Mazzello in a scene from “The Social Network.”

The National Board of Review, widely considered a harbinger of the Academy Awards, has chosen “The Social Network” as the best film of the year.

The board also named David Fincher best director, Aaron Sorkin’s script best adapted screenplay and Jesse Eisenberg best actor.

Eisenberg plays Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg in the film, which has won critical praise and earned more than $180 million worldwide at the box office.

The National Board of Review is one of the first notable groups to announce its picks for the year, beginning in earnest the long drumbeat of critics groups that will name their own choices ahead of the Oscars on Feb. 27.

In the past three years, the board’s winner has twice gone on to win best picture at the Oscars: “No Country for Old Men” in 2007 and “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2008. Last year’s winner was “Up in the Air.”

Tossing a ‘Bone’

The rural crime thriller “Winter’s Bone” earned a leading seven nominations Tuesday for the Spirit Awards honoring independent film, including best picture.

Also nominated for best picture were James Franco’s survival tale “127 Hours,” Natalie Portman’s ballet drama “Black Swan,” Ben Stiller’s dark romance “Greenberg” and Annette Bening’s lesbian family drama “The Kids Are All Right.”

The awards will be presented Feb. 26, the day before the Academy Awards.

‘Jackass’ still kicking

Johnny Knoxville’s crew is again following a box-office release with a digital addendum.

Producers Paramount Pictures and MTV Films said “Jackass 3.5” will be released in weekly online installments, with a feature-length film following in March.

The footage will feature surplus stunts from “Jackass 3D,” which has earned more than $116 million at the box office since its October release.