Ed Harris (r) with Colin Farrell, 'The Way Back'
Ed Harris (r) with Colin Farrell, 'The Way Back'

I was voted into the National Society of Film Critics in 1980. Most years my own ballots bear little resemblance to the results, and that's the case this time around. To live is to suffer. RTJ's picks for 2010:

PICTURE: The Ghost Writer, Winter's Bone, Let Me In

DIRECTOR: Roman Polanski, The Ghost Writer; Debra Granik, Winter's Bone; Peter Weir, The Way Back

ACTOR: Matt Damon, Hereafter*; Ed Harris, The Way Back; Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network

ACTRESS: Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right (and Mother and Child); Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone; Naomi Watts, Mother and Child (and Fair Game)

SUPPORTING ACTOR: John Hawkes, Winter's Bone; Pierce Brosnan, The Ghost Writer; Colin Farrell, The Way Back

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Olivia Williams, The Ghost Writer; Melissa Leo, The Fighter; Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

SCREENPLAY: Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, The Kids Are All Right; Mike Leigh, Another Year; Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Pavel Edelman, The Ghost Writer; Christopher Doyle, Ondine; Russell Boyd, The Way Back

FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM: Un Prophète (France), Mother (South Korea), White Material (France)

NONFICTION: Sweetgrass**

*In the acting categories we vote for the performer, period. In many cases the performer will have appeared in more than one film released during the year, and the NSFC allows for citing as many of them as the group agrees on. That happens once the winners and runners-up have been determined, and it's usually a matter of consensus after very brief chat around the table. If Matt Damon had won, the citation might well have included his role in True Grit as well as his major performance in Hereafter. See also my ACTRESS votes.

** I voted for two other films in this category, but only to protect the full 3-point strength of my vote for Sweetgrass (a lone vote in a category counts only as 1 point). They weren't unworthy movies, but Sweetgrass was the only one I cared about.

To read the results of the Society's awards balloting at large, go here. -RTJ