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Black Swan leads Critics Choice award nominations

Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis as rival ballerinas, got a record 12 nominations in the Critics' Choice Movie Awards. Close behind was The King's Speech.

December 13, 2010

Actor Natalie Portman is shown in a scene from "Black Swan." Film critics are abuzz over the film.

Fox Searchlight/ Niko Tavernise/AP

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Los Angeles

``Black Swan,'' a melodrama set in the ballet world, took center stage among the nominees for the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, an event that has surpassed the Golden Globes as a leading Oscar predictor.

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The film, drawing sell-out crowds in early limited release across North America, scored 12 nominations -- a record in the event's 16-year history, organizers said Monday.

Close behind -- with 11 each -- were the British royals drama ``The King's Speech'' and the yet-to-open Western remake ''True Grit.'' The sci-fi smash ``Inception'' picked up 10 nominations, and corporate drama ``The Social Network'' nine.

All five will vie for both best picture and director, along with ``127 Hours.'' The 10-strong best picture race also includes ''The Fighter,'' ``The Town,'' ``Toy Story 3'' and ``Winter's Bone.''

Small art-house releases dominated the field, leaving ``Toy Story 3'' and ``Inception'' to fly the flag for mainstream crowd-pleasers. Notably absent among the nominees were such awards-season contenders as Sofia Coppola's upcoming ''Somewhere'' and the Martin Scorsese hit ``Shutter Island.''

Winners will be announced Jan. 14 in a Hollywood ceremony that will be broadcast live on cable channel VH1.

The awards, organized by the 250 members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association in the United States and Canada, have matched the Academy Awards' best picture choice eight times in the past 10 years. The Golden Globes, run by the considerably smaller Hollywood Foreign Press Association, have a 50 percent success rate in that time.

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