Wednesday, December 4, 2013

National Board of Review Winners

American Hustle had a big day yesterday winning Picture, Screenplay, and Supporting Actress from the New York Film Critics Circle, but, in what I hope is a sign to come this awards season, the National Board of Review went a different way altogether.

Best Film

Top Ten Films
12 Years a Slave
Fruitvale Station
Inside Llewyn Davis
Lone Survivor
Saving Mr. Banks
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The Wolf of Wall Street

Her also won Best Director giving much needed boost to Jonze's film, but it must be said that for the past few years the winner of the Academy Awards tended to come from the top 10 rather than the pick for best film. The usual suspects are all here with American Hustle and Captain Phillips missing. Out of the 11 films cited here, I've only so far seen three (12 Years, Fruitvale, and Gravity) so I'm looking forward to seeing the others in the next few weeks.

Best Actor
Bruce Dern, Nebraska

Best Actress
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks

Best Supporting Actor
Will Forte, Nebraska

Best Supporting Actress
Octavia Spencer, Fruitvale Station

Breakthrough Performances
Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station
Adele Exarchopoulos, Blue is the Warmest Color

Best Ensemble

Spotlight Award
Career Collaboration of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio

An acting win here means more regarding getting an Oscar nomination rather than winning an Oscar, but this certainly gives all of these actors a boost, especially Dern in a packed field (and Spencer and Forte in largely unshaped fields). Jordan and Exarchopoulos seem to be in line in sharing the bulk of Breakthrough awards in the coming months. Can those translate Oscar? We'll see. Slightly shocked to see Prisoners pick up Ensemble thinking that would've been an easy win for 12 Years a Slave.

Best Director
Spike Jonze, Her

Best Directorial Debut
Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station

Best Original Screenplay
Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis

Best Adapted Screenplay
Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street
Best Animated Feature
The Wind Rises

Creative Innovation in Filmmaking Award

As I said before it was a big day for Jonze winning here, but Coogler's accomplishment also shouldn't be forgotten. Though I wonder how steep that competition is this year. The Screenplay awards look solid, but it's too early to say if it all means anything yet. The Wind Rises is out front though winning here as well as the NYFCC over Frozen. Can Miyazaki win the Oscars?

Top 10 Independent Films
Ain't Them Bodies Saints
Dallas Buyers Club
In a World...
Mother of George
Much Ado About Nothing
The Place Beyond the Pines
Short Term 12
The Spectacular Now

Pretty great list, mostly because I've seen half of the films and pretty much really liked them all with top honors going to Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing. Curious to see Frances Ha or Before Midnight not mentioned here though.

Best Foreign Language Film
The Past

Top 5 Foreign Language Films
Beyond the Hills
The Grandmaster
A Hijacking
The Hunt

Best Documentary
Stories We Tell

Top Five Documentary Films
20 Feet from Stardom
The Act of Killing
After Tiller
Casting By
The Square

Out of the 12 films here, I've only seen exactly one, the beautiful documentary Stories We Tell and I do hope that one goes all the way. I have only heard good stuff about The Past, The Hunt, 20 Feet from Stardom, and The Act of Killing.

William K. Everson Film History Award
George Stevens, Jr.

NBR Freedom of Expression Award

There's not much to say at the moment. Every film and performances cited here obviously get a boost, but it's all still too early. We're at the honeymoon phase where anything and everything can still happen.

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