The critics awards are off and running after the New York Film Critics Circle announced its picks for the best of the year yesterday, and today the National Board of Review has named Her the best picture of 2013. Spike Jonze was also named Best Director for the film, while the acting honors went to Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), Will Forte (Nebraska), and Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station). Always an eclectic list, the NBR’s Top 10 includes The Wolf of Wall Street, Gravity, Lone Survivor, and Prisoners. Wholly absent from the Top 10 is the NYFCC’s pick for Best Film, American Hustle.
The NBR winner for Best Picture has failed to match up with Oscar since 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, as last year’s award went to Zero Dark Thirty, but for the past 13 years every NBR winner has landed a Best Picture nomination, so this bodes well for Her‘s Oscar prospects. Read the full list of NBR winners after the jump.
The second major critics organization has announced its Best of 2012 winners, and director Kathryn Bigelow’s drama Zero Dark Thirty is once again the victor. The National Board of Review named Zero Dark Thirty the best film of the year, also awarding Kathryn Bigelow with Best Director and Jessica Chastain with Best Actress. Bradley Cooper bested heavyweight Daniel Day-Lewis for the Best Actor trophy for his work in Silver Linings Playbook, while Leonardo DiCaprio and Ann Dowd took home the supporting awards for Django Unchained and Compliance, respectively. Other notable wins include Rian Johnson’s Looper script winning Best Original Screenplay (huzzah!) and Les Miserables being named Best Ensemble, with The Perks of Being a Wallflower (huzzah again!) and Argo making the Top 10 list.
It certainly looks like the critics will be rallying around Zero Dark Thirty this year, but as we’ve seen many times in the past, the critics’ pick doesn’t always match up with Oscar. Since 2000, only two NBR Best Film winners have gone on to win the Oscar: No Country for Old Men and Slumdog Millionaire. Other past NBR Best Film winners include Hugo, The Social Network, and Up in the Air. Hit the jump for the full list of 2012′s honorees.
The National Board of Review has announced their honors for 2011. As always, the wide selection allows the NBR to technically have a say in directing awards season, and their picks remain solid. While I didn’t go nuts over Hugo, a lot of people did and so it’s not surprising NBR gave it Best Picture and named Martin Scorsese as Best Director. For the most part, I like all of NBR’s choices. I’m glad any time Drive gets attention, the acting picks are all worthy, and I’m happy Crime After Crime and 13 Assassins got some love. Notable snubs include Young Adult, Moneyball, and Martha Marcy May Marlene. Of course, anything Clint Eastwood does has to make NBR’s Top 10 so that’s why a spot is wasted on J. Edgar.
Hit the jump for the full list of winners.
Just how happy was Wes Anderson to receive a Special Filmmaking Achievement award from the National Board of Review for Fantastic Mr. Fox? Enough that he showed up to accept the award in stop-motion form and in character, and we’ve got the video to prove it.
Though Anderson’s movie wasn’t among the board’s Top 10 for 2009 – well actually 11, since the “best film,” Up in the Air, gets its own category – the Special Achievement Award is nothing to sneeze at, and in my opinion it’s well deserved. With, of course, the help of many skilled animators, Anderson brought the eye for intricately crafted sets that made The Royal Tenenbaums such a joy to watch into the animated world, and with the help of Noah Baumbach transformed Roald Dahl’s classic tale into a witty little film for kids and adults alike.
Hit the jump to check out the video.
The National Board of Review has chosen Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air as the Best Picture of 2009, but as Anne Thompson states, the National Board of Review tends to be a bellwether of where Oscar momentum is heading, but not necessarily a forecaster of where it will be. However, it’s a near-certainty that Up in the Air will be getting some Oscar nominations because not only is it in the zeitgeist (the main character Ryan Bingham fires people for a living), but it’s just a damn good film and critics agree with an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes (look for my review tonight). If you’d like a track record for the NBR, its Best Picture choice has gone on to be nominated for Best Picture Oscar nine of the past ten years (their selection of Quills in 2000 was a swing and a miss), and won the award the past two years.
George Clooney also won the NBR’s Best Actor award for Up in the Air (tied with Morgan Freeman for Invictus), Carey Mulligan won Best Actress for An Education, Woody Harrelson won Best Supporting Actor for The Messenger, Anna Kendrick won Best Supporting Actress for Up in the Air, and Clint Eastwood won Best Director for Invictus. Hit the jump for the full list of winners including the NBR’s picks for the 10 Best Films of the Year after Up in the Air.