The National Board Of Review really, really liked Hugo

The National Board Of Review really, really liked Hugo

Although the New York Film Critics Circle recently robbed it of its long-held tradition of always being the first to rank the year’s best movies, the National Board Of Review has gone ahead and compiled a list anyway, as otherwise it has no reason to exist. They went to the trouble of forming a board, after all. Anyway, this year the opinionated potpourri of film professionals, professors, historians, students, and guys in Eraserhead T-shirts has bestowed its top honors on Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, awarding it both Best Film and Best Director in the first real break from those earlier, more independently minded lists we saw this week.

In fact, critical favorite The Artist, though it made the NBR’s list of 2011’s Top 10 films, was completely shut out in the major categories, while The Descendants finally started picking up some steam, mirroring the group’s 2009 championing of Up In The Air by giving George Clooney, whom it obviously just loves, Best Actor honors alongside a Best Supporting Actress nod for Shailene Woodley and a Best Adapted Screenplay win for Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash. (So at least someone from Community is having a good week.)

As with every year, it’s worth noting that the NBR is pretty much always off-base when it comes to picking eventual Oscar winners or even nominees (witness last year’s total snubs of Black Swan, 127 Hours, and The Kids Are All Right), though they’re usually on point about predicting some of the more obvious choices—like Christopher Plummer, who picked up a Best Supporting Actor award for Beginners to add to his growing trophy pile. But this time around, in a year where there aren’t any clear leaders yet, the NBR’s selections only illustrate what a muddled and unpredictable race it will be.

Best Film: Hugo

Best Director: Martin Scorsese, Hugo

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

Best Original Screenplay: Will Reiser, 50/50

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

Best Animated Feature: Rango

Breakthrough Performance: Felicity Jones, Like Crazy

Breakthrough Performance: Rooney Mara, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Debut Director: J.C. Chandor, Margin Call

Best Ensemble: The Help

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

NBR Freedom of Expression: Crime After Crime

NBR Freedom of Expression: Pariah

Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation

Best Documentary: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Special Achievement In Filmmaking: The Harry Potter Franchise - A Distinguished Translation from Book to Film

Top Films (In Alphabetical Order)
The Artist
The Descendants
Drive
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Ides Of March
J. Edgar
The Tree Of Life
War Horse


Top Five Foreign Language Films (In Alphabetical Order)
13 Assassins
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within
Footnote
Le Havre
Point Blank


Top Five Documentaries (In Alphabetical Order)
Born To Be Wild
Buck
George Harrison: Living In The Material World
Project Nim
Senna


Top 10 Independent Films (In Alphabetical Order)
50/50
Another Earth
Beginners
A Better Life
Cedar Rapids
Margin Call
Shame
Take Shelter
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Win Win

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