The National Board Of Review: I Give Up!

The rather enigmatic National Board of Review announced their selections for the best films of 2010 today.  The NBR is traditionally considered to be the first precursor to how the actual Oscar race will shape up.  Typically, those honored by the NBR are, at the very least, nominated by the Academy.  Strangely, nobody seems to be sure just who exactly makes up the membership of the NBR.  As far as I can tell, it appears to be a collection of film professors and cable tv executives.  It wouldn’t surprise me to discover that the NBR is actually some sort of Illuminati conspiracy or MK-Ultra experiment designed to keep American filmgoers from thinking for themselves.

Anyway, as I look over this year’s award winners, all I can say is that I give up.  If my reaction to Avatar indicated to me that I’m totally out-of-step with mainstream opinion, then the current Pavlovian acclaim of the Social Network proves it.  I will never be a part of the mainstream and it’s not by choice.  It’s just I am apparently thoroughly incapable of understanding how the mainstream brain works. 

So, that’s what the National Board of Review taught me today.  I am destined to always be alone, railing against the dying of the light.  Thank you for the insight, assholes.

Anyway, here’s this year’s award winners:

Best Picture: The Social Network (Don’t get me wrong, the Social Network is a good movie.  It’s just not that good.) 

Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network

Best Actor: Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network (I am so sick of hearing that this is Jesse’s “breakthrough” role.  Jesse’s breakthrough was in Adventureland, long before the mainstream ever decided to embrace him.)

Best Actress: Lesley Manville, Another Year (Haven’t seen it yet)

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter (Another movie that I will see when it opens later this month.  Still, Bale should have been nominated for American Psycho back in the day.)

Best Supporting Actress: Jacki Weaver for Animal Kingdom (Yay!  This award gives me hope.)

Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3 (yay!)

Best Documentary: Waiting For Superman (Yes, my favorite movie of the year —Exit Through The Gift Shop — was totally ignored.)

Best Ensemble Cast: The Town (Bleh.  So I guess that would include Jon Hamm, who gave such an amazingly bad performance in this film?)

Breakthrough Performance: Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone (Another yay but you know all the mainstream is going to offer her is a role in a Twilight rip-off and maybe a Maxim cover shoot.)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network (Fuck Aaron Sorkin and his elitist, sexist, technophobic script.)

Best Original Screenplay: Chris Sparling for Buried (which I didn’t see, mostly because I’m claustrophobic and the movie is called Buried.)

Ten Best Films Of The Year (in alphabetical order):

Another Year

The Fighter

Hereafter (which sucked!)

Inception (yay!)

The King’s Speech (I’m actually really looking forward to seeing this)

Shutter Island (kinda bleh but enjoyable)

The Town

Toy Story 3

True Grit (another one I can’t wait to see)

Winter’s Bone (yay!)

Yep, you read that right.  No awards for such presumed favorites as James Franco and 127 Hours, Black Swan, or The Kids Are All Right.  But you better believe they found room to honor a shallow, pandering film like Hereafter.

Finally, here are the Top Ten Independent Films of 2010, according to the toadsuckers at the National Board of Review:

Animal Kingdom (yay!)

Buried (Now I guess I have to see it)

Fish Tank (yay!)

The Ghost Writer (yay — kinda)

Greenberg (bleh)

Let Me In (another kinda yay)

Monsters (shrug)

Please Give (yay!)

Somewhere (going to see it when it opens down here, Sofia Coppola is my role model)

Youth in Revolt (shrug, it’s neither bleh nor yay)

You can read the full list of winners at The Wrap.

Anyway, in order to show just how exactly I feel when confronted with mainstream thought and opinion, here’s an old picture of me with a tampon stuck up my nose.

5 responses to “The National Board Of Review: I Give Up!

  1. Well, Jennifer Lawrence won’t be in a Twilight-ripoff (thank the goddess), but I think she got a role in Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class. Also, her in a Maxim photoshoot. Why you may have something there. 🙂

    I think Black Swan will still dominate the awards season. I rarely put any stock in what the National Board of Review does the past decade or so. The major Critics and Film Circles are better indicators of which films will be the prohibitve favorites for the Big Show.

    Black Swan, The Fighter and True Grit are the only three I plan on actually seeing this month and in the theaters instead of screeners leading up to the Oscars.


    • 🙂 Maxim covergirl is actually one of my fallback amibtions in case the whole writing thing doesn’t work out. 🙂

      But anyway, as far as Jennifer Lawrence is concerned, I remember reading that about her being in the new X-Men film and I remember thinking at the time, “As long as its not Twilight.” 🙂 Plus, the X-Men films didn’t hurt Anna Pacquin.

      I’m looking forward to Black Swan and True Grit and The King’s Speech (and yes, it all goes back to the whole stuttering thing). The Fighter I wasn’t looking forward to but I’ve been getting a bit mor eenthused about it lately.

      To me, the NBR and the critics groups just proves that the Oscars are mostly about jumping on a bandwagon.


      • Being Maxim covergirl hasn’t hurt those who have had the pleasure. LOL

        The Fighter I’m really looking forward to since I’m a huge student and fan of boxing and Mickey Ward is one of the sport’s more interesting characters in the past 20 years. The three fights he had against Artuo Gatti were the stuff of legend. (Can sense Lisa Marie’s eyes starting to glaze over)

        David O. Russell as the director with Christian Bale as one of his leads also got me quite intrigued. Russell is not what you’ll call an easy filmmaker to work with. I’ve read words such as “asshole”, “tinpot dictator” and other fine titles heaped upon his Napoleonic-complicated head. I’m surprised we haven’t heard Bale and Russell had killed each other on-set. 🙂


        • I kinda sorta know a little about Mickey Ward and his brother because Jeff’s a boxing fan and he even wrote and published a poem about the brother a few years ago before I even met him so I’m kinda all excited and hoping that the movie does really well with the Oscars and everything because then I can be all like, “My man was there before any of you. Deal with it, bitch.” lol.

          I also read a book about Independent filmmakers in the 90s but I can’t remember what it was called but it had a lot of stuff in it about David O. Russell and how he was making a movie with George Clooney and he and Clooney got into a fist fight or something. So, I do kinda have to wonder how he got along with Bale. And you know, Christian Bale is kind of a jerk apparently but some guys just wear jerk really well.


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