Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Awards Watch: Slumdog Leads National Board of Review

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 4, 2008 at 8:55AM

Slumdog Millionaire's awards momentum continues to build with Thursday's National Board of Review announcement. Remember, this not particularly illustrious group is helpful for just that--building a list of winners who keep on winning. Being left off is no badge of shame, but it can be a telltale sign of weakness. Also, this group tends to reflect movies that were screened early, and carries a certain New York bias.
0

Slum460Slumdog Millionaire's awards momentum continues to build with Thursday's National Board of Review announcement. Remember, this not particularly illustrious group is helpful for just that--building a list of winners who keep on winning. Being left off is no badge of shame, but it can be a telltale sign of weakness. Also, this group tends to reflect movies that were screened early, and carries a certain New York bias.

For example, I would say that Clint Eastwood's Changeling is losing steam at this stage just as Gran Torino gains some heat (while Eastwood won an NBR best actor nod, the film has met a mixed reception from some critics; UPDATE: here's Todd McCarthy.)

Anne Hathaway's bid for a best actress Oscar slot is gaining traction, while Melissa Leo and Richard Jenkins had to settle for "Spotlight" also-ran status. And it's unlikely that, as worthy as it is, the Coen brothers comedy Burn After Reading is going to get far with the serious-minded Academy (maybe screenplay). The Wrestler is most likely a Mickey Rourke best actor play, while Wall-E, which will probably get closer to a best picture nomination than any animated film has since the Academy added the animation category, may be overlooked by many live-action-oriented branches, most crucially, the actors.

Artier entries Revolutionary Road, The Reader, and Happy-Go-Lucky are more likely to be championed by critics groups and actors. (Despite the ensemble award and breakthrough artist prize for Viola Davis for Doubt, this is not a good day for producer Scott Rudin.) Ed Zwick's Holocaust drama Defiance gets a much-needed boost from the NBR. For now the list solidifies the leading Oscar contenders at this stage: Slumdog Millionaire, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Milk, and Frost/Nixon. In fact, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that they will in fact wind up as the Oscars' Top Five for best picture.

The full list of winners is on the jump:


And the winners are:

Film: "Slumdog Millionaire"

Director: David Fincher, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

Actor: Clint Eastwood, "Gran Torino"

Actress: Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"

Supporting Actor: Josh Brolin, "Milk"

Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

Foreign Language Film: "Mongol"

Documentary: "Man On Wire"

Animated Feature: "Wall-E"

Ensemble Cast: "Doubt"

Breakthrough Performance by an Actor: Dev Patel, "Slumdog Millionaire"

Breakthrough Performance by an Actress: Viola Davis, "Doubt"

Directorial Debut: Courtney Hunt, "Frozen River"

Original Screenplay: Nick Schenk, "Gran Torino"

Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire and Eric Roth, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

Spotlight Award: Melissa Leo, Frozen River and Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor"

The BVLGARI Award for NBR Freedom of Expression: "Trumbo"

TOP TEN FILMS

"Burn After Reading"

"Changeling"

"The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button"

"The Dark Knight"

"Defiance"

"Frost/Nixon"

"Gran Torino"

"Milk"

"Wall-E"

"The Wrestler"

[Originally appeared on Variety.com]

This article is related to: Awards, Oscars


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.