Thursday, December 1, 2011

National Board of Review Winners

The National Board of Review has always been one of the first major precursors to the Academy Awards and even if the NYFCC beat them to the punch by a couple of days the fact that they went in several different directions just shows how volatile and possibly exciting the awards season will be this year. At least I'm hoping!

And this year's NBR winners are...

Best Film

Top Ten Films
The Artist
The Descendants
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
The Ides of March
J. Edgar
Tree of Life
War Horse

Choosing Hugo was a bit unexpected, but that's what makes it the more exciting. That film should worry though since more often than not this past decade, the winner here has gone on to lose at the Oscars including last year's supposed front-runner The Social Network. We get the usual fan service to their favorites such as George Clooney and Clint Eastwood, but their inclusions of Dragon Tattoo, Harry Potter, and Drive are quite interesting. I am a bit disappointed to see Midnight in Paris miss out here and surprised to see Moneyball and The Help miss out as well. In any case I have seen 6 of the 10 films listed and will no doubt see the other four soon enough.

Best Actor
George Clooney, The Descendants

Best Actress
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Best Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Supporting Actress
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Breakthrough Performance
Felicity Jones, Like Crazy
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Best Ensemble Cast
The Help

Spotlight Award
Michael Fassbender (A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre, Shame, X-Men: First Class)

Getting an acting win here, even for breakthrough performance, definitely increases one's chances of getting an Oscar nomination if the last few years are any indication. Translating those nominations into wins is a bit more dicey. The big winner here is perhaps Tilda Swinton and Shailene Woodley especially the latter since she's a newcomer. Speaking of newcomers, seems like Felicity Jones and Rooney Mara held off Elizabeth Olsen this time around. Neither Glenn Close nor Viola Davis won, but the latter (as well as Jessica Chastain) was buoyed by that Ensemble award. Finally, Michael Fassbender, the male equivalent of Chastain, won the Spotlight Award which he certainly deserved. I do wish he shared it with Ryan Gosling who has two films in the Top 10.

Best Director
Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Debut Director
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call

Best Original Screenplay
Will Reiser, 50/50

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, & Jim Rash, The Descendants

Special Filmmaking Achievement Award
Harry Potter Franchise

Best Animated Feature

NBR definitely gave Hugo, The Descendants, 50/50, and Harry Potter big boosts today. The latter especially for being in the Top 10 and getting a Special Achievement Award. It's also quite fun to see Jim Rash (Dean Pelton in Community) pop up in the Oscar race.

Top Ten Independent Films
Another Earth
A Better Life
Cedar Rapids
Margin Call
Take Shelter
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Win Win

This was yet another huge blow for Martha Marcy May Marlene since it was expected to end up here. Two years ago, District 9 made this shortlist and ended up getting Oscar-nominated for Best Picture. I wonder if any of these films can do the same. For my part, I've only seen 4 of the 10 films here--50/50, Beginners, Cedar Rapids, and Win Win.

Best Foreign Film
A Separation

Top Five Foreign Films
13 Assassins
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within
Le Havre
Point Blank

Best Documentary
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Top Five Documentary Films
Born to be Wild
George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Project Nim

NBR Freedom of Expression
Crime After Crime

Not much to say about these last few categories since I haven't seen any of the films. I have only heard of good things regarding A Separation and Pariah so they'll be on top of my Netflix queue as soon as they're available there.

Basically, it's still anybody's game.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading. Feel free to drop me a line. Instead of being Anonymous though, pick a name. Any name would do. Thanks again!