‘American Beauty’ Rules Cyberspace

Director Sam Mendes‘ “American Beauty” took top honors today as the Online Film Critics Society handed down its third annual awards. The quirky tale of modern-day life in a suburban nightmare was named best picture by the 112-member group of Web-based writers and critics.

“American Beauty” also took nods for Mendes (best director) and star Kevin Spacey (best actor). The film leads all comers going into the Jan. 20 Golden Globes, with six nominations.

Fellow Golden Globe nominee Reese Witherspoon won best actress accolades from the cyber scribes for her role in the high school comedy “Election.”

In the supporting categories, Haley Joel Osment (“The Sixth Sense“) and Catherine Keener (“Being John Malkovich“) were top vote getters for actor and actress, respectively.

The stylish German export “Run Lola Run” ran away with awards for best foreign language film and for Mathilde Bonnefoy’s breakneck editing.

Charlie Kaufman‘s off-the-wall writing in “Being John Malkovich” brought him a best original screenplay award, while Alexander Payne took the prize for best adapted screenplay for “Election.”

Other winners included: “The Buena Vista Social Club” (best documentary); “Sleepy Hollow” (best cinematography); and “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut” (best original score).