The National Board of Review Honors Lesley Manville, Christian Bale

(L-R) Lesley Manville, Christian Bale

As award season begins to quietly take shape, the National Board of Review handed out their annual prizes Thursday afternoon (December 2), Deadline reports.

As expected, David Fincher‘s The Social Network took top honors with Best Film for 2010. Fincher received the Best Director award, while Jesse Eisenberg was crowned Best Actor. Aaron Sorkin also took home Best Adapted Screenplay.

Leading the Brits were Lesley Manville and Christian Bale. An unlikely frontrunner in the Best Actress category, Manville won for her role as the good-natured, yet lonely wine lover Mary in Another Year, the British drama from decorated writer/director Mike Leigh. BBC America fans might recognize Manville from a couple of episodes of Law & Order: UK, where she played defense barrister Phyllis Gladstone.

The Welsh-born Bale was named Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal Dicky Eklund, a former boxing champ-turned-trainer whose life is torn apart by drugs in The Fighter. Both films are set to open in the U.S. later this month.

The 2010 National Board of Review’s annual gala will be held in New York City on January 11.