The National Board of Review Opens “Green Book”


Today, the National Board of Review announced their picks for the best of 2018!

Every year, the announcement of the NBR’s picks is considered to be the “official” start of Awards Season.  (This despite the fact that the Spirit Nominations were announced a few weeks ago and the Gotham Awards were handed out just last night.)  Getting honored by the NBR is considered to be a big boost, when it comes to getting Academy recognition.  Of course, nothing’s guaranteed but, since 2010, every NBR best picture winner (with the exception of A Most Violent Year in 2014) has received a corresponding Oscar nomination.

(Interestingly enough, the last time that the NBR winner actually went on to also win the Oscar for Best Picture was way back in 2008.  That’s when Slumdog Millionaire won.)

This year, the NBR named, as best picture of the year, Green Book.  That’s certainly a boost that Green Book, which has been struggling at the box office, needed.  The NBR also gave a big boost to A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper for Best Director, Lady Gaga for Best Actress, Sam Elliott for Best Supporting Actor), If Beale Street Could Talk (Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress), First Reformed (Best Original Screenplay and Top Ten of the Year) and maybe Black Panther and A Quiet Place (both of which were named as one of the ten best films of 2018).

Not getting a boost from the NBR: Spike Lee’s BlackKklansman and Damien Chazelle’s First Man, neither of which received any mention.

Here are the National Board of Review’s picks for the best of 2018:

  • Best Film:  GREEN BOOK
  • Best Director:  Bradley Cooper, A STAR IS BORN
  • Best Actor:  Viggo Mortensen, GREEN BOOK
  • Best Actress: Lady Gaga, A STAR IS BORN
  • Best Supporting Actor: Sam Elliott, A STAR IS BORN
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Regina King, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Paul Schrader, FIRST REFORMED
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Barry Jenkins, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
  • Best Animated Feature:  INCREDIBLES 2
  • Breakthrough Performance: Thomasin McKenzie, LEAVE NO TRACE
  • Best Directorial Debut:  Bo Burnham, EIGHTH GRADE
  • Best Foreign Language Film:  COLD WAR
  • Best Documentary:  RBG
  • Best Ensemble:  CRAZY RICH ASIANS
  • William K. Everson Film History Award: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND and THEY’LL LOVE ME WHEN I’M DEAD
  • NBR Freedom of Expression Award:  22 JULY
  • NBR Freedom of Expression Award:  ON HER SHOULDERS

Top Films (in alphabetical order)

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • Black Panther
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • Eighth Grade
  • First Reformed
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • A Quiet Place
  • Roma
  • A Star Is Born

Top 5 Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order)

  • Burning
  • Custody
  • The Guilty
  • Happy as Lazzaro
  • Shoplifters

Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order)

  • Crime  + Punishment
  • Free Solo
  • Minding the Gap
  • Three Identical Strangers
  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order)

  • The Death of Stalin
  • Lean on Pete
  • Leave No Trace
  • Mid90s
  • The Old Man & the Gun
  • The Rider
  • Searching
  • Sorry to Bother You
  • We the Animals
  • You Were Never Really Here

The National Board of Review Honors Greta Gerwig, The Disaster Artist, Get Out, and Wonder Woman!


The National Board of Review has spoken and the Oscar season has truly begun!

Here’s what won:

Best Picture: The Post

Best Director: Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird

Best Actor: Tom Hanks in The Post

Best Actress: Meryl Streep in The Post

Best Supporting Actor: Willem DaFoe in The Florida Project

Best Supporting Actress: Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird

Best Original Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson for Phantom Thread

Best Adapted Screenplay: Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber for The Disaster Artist

Best Animated Feature: Coco

Best Documentary Feature: Jane

Best Foreign Language Film: Foxtrot

Best Ensemble: Get Out

Breakthrough Performer: Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name

Best Directorial Debut: Jordan Peele for Get Out

NBR Spotlight Award: Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins for their collaboration on Wonder Woman

NBR Freedom of Expression Award: First They Killed My Father and Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982–1992

Top 10 Films of 2017 (in alphabetical Order):

  1. Baby Driver
  2. Call Me By Your Name
  3. The Disaster Artist
  4. Downsizing
  5. Dunkirk
  6. The Florida Project
  7. Get Out
  8. Lady Bird
  9. Logan
  10. Phantom Thread

Top 10 Independent Films of 2017:

  1. Beatriz at Dinner
  2. Brigsby Bear
  3. A Ghost Story
  4. Lady MacBeth
  5. Logan Lucky
  6. Loving Vincent
  7. Menashae
  8. Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
  9. Patti Cake$
  10. Wind River

Top 5 Documentaries:

  1. Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
  2. Brimstone & Glory
  3. Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars
  4. Faces Places
  5. Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of Isis

Top 5 Foreign Language Films:

  1. A Fantastic Woman
  2. Franzt
  3. Loveless
  4. Summer 1993
  5. The Square

The National Board of Review names Manchester By The Sea the best of 2016!


manchester-by-the-sea-sundance-2016

Oscar season has officially begun!

Earlier today, The National Board of Review named their picks for the best of the year.  They went with Manchester By The Sea and a whole lot of other films that I hope to finally get to see in December!

My favorite two winners?  Amy Adams for best actress and Kubo and the Two Strings for Best Animated Film.

A cavaet: Of the so-called “major” precursors, The National Board of Review is usually the one that seems to match up the least with the actual Oscar results.

Here are the winners!

Best Film:  Manchester by the Sea

Best Director:  Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Actor:  Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Best Actress: Amy Adams, Arrival

Best Supporting Actor: Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Best Supporting Actress:  Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Best Original Screenplay:  Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay:  Jay Cocks and Martin Scorsese, Silence

Best Animated Feature:  Kubo and the Two Strings
Breakthrough Performance (Male): Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Breakthrough Performance (Female): Royalty Hightower, The Fits

Best Directorial Debut:  Trey Edward Shults, Krisha

Best Foreign Language Film:  The Salesman

Best Documentary:  O.J.: Made in America

Best Ensemble:  Hidden Figures

Spotlight Award: Creative Collaboration of Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg

NBR Freedom of Expression Award:  Cameraperson

Top Films

Top 5 Foreign Language Films

  • Elle
  • The Handmaiden
  • Julieta
  • Land of Mine
  • Neruda

Top 5 Documentaries

  • De Palma
  • The Eagle Huntress
  • Gleason
  • Life, Animated
  • Miss Sharon Jones!

Top 10 Independent Films

  • 20th Century Women
  • Captain Fantastic
  • Creative Control
  • Eye in the Sky
  • The Fits
  • Green Room
  • Hello, My Name is Doris
  • Krisha
  • Morris from America
  • Sing Street

Kubo_and_the_Two_Strings_poster

What a Lovely Day! The National Board of Review Honors Mad Max: Fury Road!


MadMaxFuryRoad

OH MY GOD!

So, like a lot of people, I was expecting the National Board of Review to name Spotlight as best picture of the year.  I haven’t seen Spotlight yet but I have to admit that I’m already kind of bored of hearing about how it’s the Oscar front-runner.  I mean, for all I know, Spotlight could be the best film ever made but I like it when my awards season is interesting.  It’s boring when one film — like The Social Network a few years ago — keeps winning every single award.

So, with all that in mind, I was really happy to hear that the National Board of Review picked Mad Max: Fury Road for best picture.  I was happy because not only is Fury Road a really great movie that deserves the love but also because it was just so unexpected!  Way to go, NBR!

(The only thing that would have made things better would have been if the Guitar Guy had won Best Supporting Actor.)

Now, I’d caution anyone about getting too excited.  Just because a film wins one of the precursor awards, that does not mean that it’s going to be nominated come Oscar time.  Last year, for instance, the NBR picked A Most Violent Year for best picture.  However, at the same time, it can be argued that the momentum that led to Her being nominated in 2014 began with its victory at the NBR.

So, who knows?

Anyway, here are the NBR winners!

Best Film:  Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Director:  Ridley Scott – The Martian

Best Actor:  Matt Damon – The Martian

Best Actress: Brie Larson – Room

Best Supporting Actor:  Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Best Supporting Actress:  Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight

Best Original Screenplay:  Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight

Best Adapted Screenplay:  Drew Goddard – The Martian

Best Animated Feature:  Inside Out
Breakthrough Performance:  Abraham Attah – Beasts of No Nation & Jacob Tremblay – Room

Best Directorial Debut:  Jonas Carpignano – Mediterranea

Best Foreign Language Film:  Son of Saul

Best Documentary:  Amy

William K. Everson Film History Award:  Cecilia De Mille Presley

Best Ensemble:  The Big Short

Spotlight Award: Sicario for Outstanding Collaborative Vision

NBR Freedom of Expression Award:  Beasts of No Nation & Mustang

Top Films

Top 5 Foreign Language Films

  • Goodnight Mommy
  • Mediterranea
  • Phoenix
  • The Second Mother
  • The Tribe

Top 5 Documentaries

  • Best of Enemies
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
  • The Diplomat
  • Listen to Me Marlon
  • The Look of Silence

Top 10 Independent Films

A Most Violent Year Is A Most Unexpected National Board Of Review Winner!


A Most Violent Year

The National Board of Review has spoken!  They named their picks for the best of 2014 earlier today and — to the shock of many (especially me) — they picked JC Chandor’s crime drama A Most Violent Year as the best film of the year!

I love surprises!

Now, a lot of us were expecting A Most Violent Year to be an Oscar contender, with practically everyone expecting Jessica Chastain to either be nominated for best actress or supporting actress.  (The NBR named her best supporting actress.)  But I think a lot of us were expecting to see the NBR select Boyhood, Birdman, or maybe Selma.

Also of note is that Clint Eastwood won best director for American Sniper, which appears to be coming on strong as a potential Oscar nominee as well.

(Also of note: Foxcatcher was totally ignored by the NBR.)

Here are the NBR winners!

BEST PICTURE
“A Most Violent Year”

BEST DIRECTOR
Clint Eastwood, “American Sniper”

BEST ACTOR (TIE)
Oscar Isaac, “A Most Violent Year”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”

BEST ACTRESS
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Edward Norton, “Birdman”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jessica Chastain, “A Most Violent Year”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, “The Lego Movie”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Paul Thomas Anderson, “Inherent Vice”

BEST ENSEMBLE
“Fury”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM 
“Wild Tales”

BEST DOCUMENTARY
“Life Itself”

SPOTLIGHT AWARD
Chris Rock for writing, directing, and starring in “Top Five”

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCES
Jack O’Connell, “Starred Up” and “Unbroken”

DEBUT DIRECTOR
Gillian Robespierre, “Obvious Child”

WILLIAM K. EVERSON FILM HISTORY AWARD
Scott Eyman

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
“Rosewater”
“Selma”

BEST PICTURE NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“American Sniper”
“Birdman”
“Boyhood”
“Fury”
“Gone Girl”
“The Imitation Game”
“Inherent Vice”
“The Lego Movie”
“Nightcrawler”
“Unbroken”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“Force Majeure”
“Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem”
“Leviathan”
“Two Days One Night”
“We Are the Best!”

BEST DOCUMENTARY NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“Art and Craft”
“Jodorowsky’s Dune”
“Keep On Keepin’ On”
“The Kill Team”
“Last Days in Vietnam”

BEST INDEPENDENT FILMS (alphabetical)
“Blue Ruin”
“Locke”
“A Most Wanted Man”
“Mr. Turner”
“Obvious Child”
“The Skeleton Twins”,
“Snowpiercer”,
“Stand Clear of the Closing Doors”
“Starred Up”
“Still Alice”

The National Board of Review Falls For Her


The National Board of Review announced their picks for the best films and performance of 2013 earlier today and the results are a bit … unexpected.

For best picture, they picked Spike Jonze’s Her, a film that has not exactly been seen as being an Oscar front-runner.  Meanwhile, the two presumptive frontrunners — 12 Years A Slave and Gravity — had to make due with just being mentioned in the NBR’s Top Ten list.  Also, it’s interesting to note that the NBR totally snubbed American Hustle which, just yesterday, was named best film of the year by the NYCC.

Despite the impression that one might get from a lot of breathless film bloggers (like me, to cite just one example), winning a critic’s prize does not automatically translate into Academy recognition.  It’ll be interesting to see if the acclaimed but reportedly offbeat Her manages to turn the NBR prize into Oscar momentum.

BEST PICTURE
“Her”

BEST DIRECTOR
Spike Jonze, “Her”

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”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Joel and Ethan Coen, “Inside Llewyn Davis”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Terence Winter, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

BEST ENSEMBLE
“Prisoners”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“The Wind Rises”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM 
“The Past”

BEST DOCUMENTARY
“Stories We Tell”

SPOTLIGHT AWARD
Career collaboration of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCES
Adele Exarchopoulos, “#Blue is the Warmest Colo#r”
Michael B. Jordan, “Fruitvale Station”

DEBUT DIRECTOR
Ryan Coogler, “Fruitvale Station”

CREATIVE INNOVATION IN FILMMAKING 
“Gravity”

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
“Wadjda”

BEST PICTURE NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“12 Years a Slave”
“Fruitvale Station”
“Gravity”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“Lone Survivor”
“Nebraska”
“Prisoners”
“Saving Mr. Banks”
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“Beyond the Hills”
“Gloria”
“The Grandmaster”
“A Hijacking”
“The Hunt”

BEST DOCUMENTARY NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“20 Feet from Stardom”
“The Act of Killing”
“After Tiller”
“Casting By”
“The Square”

BEST INDEPENDENT FILMS (alphabetical)
“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“In a World…”
“Mother of George”
“Much Ado About Nothing”
“Mud”
“The Place Beyond the Pines”
“Short Term 12”
“Sightseers”
“The Spectacular Now”

The National Board of Review Honors Zero Dark Thirty


Oscar season continues!  Just a few hours ago, the National Board of Review announced their picks for the best of 2012.  Like the New York Film Critics Circle, the NBR named Zero Dark Thirty the best film of 2012 and Kathryn Bigelow best director.

I haven’t seen Zero Dark Thirty so I can’t judge whether it’s truly a great film or not.  However, to be perfectly honest, I sincerely hope that it doesn’t win every single critics’ award out there because, seriously, that would be sooooooooooo boring!  I mean, I know that all of you establishment film critics love to jump on the bandwagon but seriously, variety is the spice of life!

As much as I wish that the NBR had kept things interesting by choosing some out-of-nowhere pick for best picture, I am happy to see that they honored Bradley Cooper for his excellent work in Silver Linings Playbook.

Along with naming Zero Dark Thirty as best picture, the NBR also listed the 9 runner-ups.  It’s interesting to note that The Dark Knight Rises does not appear anywhere on that list.

On a personal note, I’ll be posting my own picks for the best of 2012 during the first week of January and, trust me, my picks are going to be a lot more interesting than anything you’re going to get from the National Board of Review.

BEST PICTURE
“Zero Dark Thirty”

BEST DIRECTOR
Kathryn Bigelow (“”Zero Dark Thirty””)

BEST ACTOR
Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”)

BEST ACTRESS
Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Leonardo DiCaprio (“Django Unchained”)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Ann Dowd (“Compliance”)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Rian Johnson (“Looper”)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”)

BEST ENSEMBLE
“Les Miserables”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“Wreck-It-Ralph”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM 
“Amour”

BEST DOCUMENTARY
“Searching for Sugar Man”

SPOTLIGHT AWARD
John Goodman

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCES
Tom Holland (“The Impossible”)
Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”)

DEBUT DIRECTOR
Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”)

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT 
Ben Affleck (“Argo”)

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
“Central Park Five”
“Promised Land”

 

 

BEST PICTURE NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“Argo”
“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“Django Unchained”
“Les Miserables”
“Lincoln”
“Looper”
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
“Promised Land”
“Silver Linings Playbook”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“Barbara”
“The Intouchables”
“The Kid with a Bike”
“No”
“War Witch”

BEST DOCUMENTARY NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“Al Weiwei”
“Detropia”
“The Gatekeepers”
“The Invisible War”
“Only the Young”

BEST INDEPENDENT FILMS (alphabetical)
“Arbitrage”
“Bernie”
“Compliance”
“End of Watch”
“Hello, I Must Be Going”
“Little Birds”
“Moonrise Kingdom”
“On the Road”
“Quartet”
“Sleepwalk with Me”