Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2014 National Board of Review Award Winners

There are two things you can count on with the National Board of Review: 1) They love Clint Eastwood, and 2) that they really do pick some oddball choices. So no, it was no surprise to me that American Sniper won something, especially something for Clint, because these guys have historically loves his films, even the less than stellar ones. And while the initial news that A Most Violent Year won Best Film was shocking, it eventually wore off when I remembered that they went their own way last year with Her (which later became a player, but at the time seemed like an offbeat choice). We should never look too much into these early awards, although the acting winners all look like real Oscar potentials. That being said, it has been a long time since a winner of Best Film here did not go on to get an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. A Most Violent Year is flirting with the top category, and this is just the boost it needed. It could easily beat out these Academy-friendly films that are less-than-stellar for a spot, and its cast and director only help its cause. It is a long season, so I hate to make too many bold claims, but lets just say that today, A Most Violent Year put itself in the Oscar race, whether it ends of making the cut depends on how the rest of the season unfolds. As always, we'll have to wait and see...

Best Film
“A Most Violent Year”

Best Director
Clint Eastwood (“American Sniper”)

Best Actor 
(TIE)Oscar Isaac (“A Most Violent Year”) and 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 Animated Feature
“How to Train Your Dragon 2″

Breakthrough Performance
Jack O’Connell “Starred Up” and “Unbroken”

Best Directorial Debut
Gillian Robespierre “Obvious Child”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Wild Tales”

Best Documentary
“Life Itself”

William K. Everson Film History Award
Scott Eyman

Best Ensemble

Spotlight Award 
Chris Rock for writing, directing, and starring in “Top Five”

NBR Freedom of Expression Award

NBR Freedom of Expression Award

Top 10 Films
“American Sniper”
 “Gone Girl”
 “The Imitation Game”
 “Inherent Vice”
 “The Lego Movie”

Top 5 Foreign Language Films
“Force Majeure”
 “Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem”
 “Two Days, One Night”
 “We Are the Best!”

Top 5 Documentaries
“Art and Craft”
 “Jodorowsky’s Dune”
 “Keep On Keepin’ On”
 “The Kill Team”
 “Last Days in Vietnam”

Top 10 Independent Films
“Blue Ruin”
 “A Most Wanted Man”
 “Mr. Turner”
 “Obvious Child”
 “The Skeleton Twins”
 “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors”
 “Starred Up”
 “Still Alice”

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