National Board of Review Picks Top Ten, Led by 'Zero Dark Thirty,' Shuts Out 'Life of Pi,' 'Hobbit,' 'Master'

Awards
by Anne Thompson
December 5, 2012 3:04 PM
19 Comments
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'Zero Dark Thirty'
Following its big wins Monday from the New York Film Critics Circle, "Zero Dark Thirty" also leads the National Board of Review winners with Best Film, Director (Kathryn Bigelow, who also won the NYFCC) and Actress (Jessica Chastain).

Also getting a needed boost was "Silver Linings Playbook," which won Best Actor for Bradley Cooper and adapted screenplay for David O. Russell.  The Weinsteins are also happy for the Supporting Actor win for Leonardo DiCaprio ("Django Unchained"). Supporting Actress Ann Dowd has been running her own campaign for the consciousness-raising indie "Compliance," which clearly played well for a group comprised mainly of educators. Rian Johnson got a push forward in the original screenplay category for brainy sci-fi film "Looper."

While the NYFCC went for Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie" for best animated feature, the NBR, which usually votes ahead of the New York Critics, went for another Disney film, "Wreck-It-Ralph."

Emmanuelle Riva and Jean Louis Trintignant of "Amour"

Among the special awards, "Argo"'s Ben Affleck was singled out for "Special Achievement in Filmmaking," while ubiquitous "Argo" actor John Goodman earned the Spotlight Award for his many films this year. "The Impossible" earned a prize for breakthrough actor Tom Holland, and diminutive Quvenzhané Wallis nabbed her breakthrough award for "Beasts of the Southern Wild." Michael Haneke continued his winning run with foreign film "Amour," and Sony Pictures Classics is also happy for its doc win for frontrunner "Searching for Sugar Man." Not landing a win here or on the Oscar doc shortlist is "Central Park Five," which settled for the NBR Freedom of Expression Award, along with message movie "Promised Land." Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" had to settle for inclusion on the best indie list.

While "Looper," "Perks of Being a Walllower" and "Promised Land" all made the NBR's top ten list, don't necessarily expect them to land in the Academy best picture list. Notable omissions from this top ten list include: "Life of Pi," "Anna Karenina,"  "The Sessions," "Dark Knight Rises," "Flight," "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," and "The Master."

Likely to also score a SAG ensemble nomination is "Les Miserables."

Best Film:  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 Animated Feature: WRECK-IT RALPH
Special Achievement in Filmmaking: Ben Affleck, ARGO
Breakthrough Actor: Tom Holland, THE IMPOSSIBLE
Breakthrough Actress: Quvenzhané Wallis,  BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
Best Directorial Debut: Benh Zeitlin, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
Best Foreign Language Film:  AMOUR
Best Documentary: SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN
William K. Everson Film History Award: 50 YEARS OF BOND FILMS
Best Ensemble: LES MISÉRABLES
Spotlight Award: John Goodman (ARGO, FLIGHT, PARANORMAN, TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE)
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: CENTRAL PARK FIVE
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: PROMISED LAND
 
 
Top Films
(in alphabetical order)
 
ARGO
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
DJANGO UNCHAINED
LES MISÉRABLES
LINCOLN
LOOPER
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER
PROMISED LAND
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
 
Top 5 Foreign Language Films
(In Alphabetical Order)
 
BARBARA
THE INTOUCHABLES
THE KID WITH A BIKE
NO
WAR WITCH
 
Top 5 Documentaries
(In Alphabetical Order)
 
AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY
DETROPIA
THE GATEKEEPERS
THE INVISIBLE WAR
ONLY THE YOUNG
 
Top 10 Independent Films
(In Alphabetical Order)
 
ARBITRAGE
BERNIE
COMPLIANCE
END OF WATCH
HELLO I MUST BE GOING
LITTLE BIRDS
MOONRISE KINGDOM
ON THE ROAD
QUARTET
SLEEPWALK WITH ME

Awards
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19 Comments

  • top 10 reviews | February 21, 2013 12:58 AMReply

    Emmanuelle Riva and Jean Louis Trintignant

  • RJ | December 6, 2012 10:52 AMReply

    Yeah, ok.

    Bigelow may come out as a frontrunner, but I doubt it will win. I think it may be, ironically, the "Avatar" this year, and I really hope SIlver Linings comes out on top. One of the best films I've seen in the past few years.

    Lawrence FTW. Chastain is a very capable actress, but Lawrence was superior in every single way this year.

  • George | December 6, 2012 12:47 AMReply

    A propaganda film full of lies wins top honors. America, f*ck yeah.

  • Salty Bill | December 5, 2012 6:21 PMReply

    So what's the diff between an "indie film" and a "non-indie film?" I really can't tell from the separate lists.

  • Gerbo | December 7, 2012 6:14 PM

    an indie film can be in the overall top ten list. a studio film can't be in the indie list. it's kind of obvious, right?

  • Corvo | December 5, 2012 6:13 PMReply

    Ann WHO ???? NBR is a laughable association. How can someone take them seriously?

  • Gene of Aquitaine | December 8, 2012 3:01 AM

    Ann Dowd is one of the finest character actresses working today..I have not seen this film but am pleased to see her recognized for what must have been outstanding work in this little seen movie to be chosen ahead of the purchased 'for your consideration' ads for more high profile actresses in bigger films.

  • jingmei | December 7, 2012 2:18 AM

    @Corvo: Just means you dont' about cool indie films such as Compliance.

  • Jetta | December 5, 2012 7:53 PM

    Ann Dowd is an awesome character actress. I've been a fan for years because of all the great work she's done on the various Law & Order shows.

  • ... | December 5, 2012 6:03 PMReply

    Jennifer Lawrence for Best Actress!! She was amazing..

  • Pedro Canhenha | December 5, 2012 5:41 PMReply

    Sad to see one of the best films of the year unrecognized. Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" is simply superb and more daring than anything done this year.

  • R.R. | December 5, 2012 3:43 PMReply

    I think you are off Anne in thinking The Sessions will get in for Best Picture but Beasts of the Southern Wild won't. There is so much passion for Beasts but none for The Sessions besides your site.

  • The Dude | December 5, 2012 3:42 PMReply

    Lincoln starting to lose steam, as I expected weeks ago.

  • David Lean Fan | December 5, 2012 3:33 PMReply

    Wasn't The Master suppose to be the critical darling of the year? Truly hilarious. I'm madly in love with this Oscar season. Wild cards are exploding left and right; however, I wish they went for a different choice in the best actress field instead of a predictable Chastain. All in all, pleased with the surprises.

  • Michael M. | December 8, 2012 10:49 PM

    The Master/Moonrise Kingdom/Amour/Holy Motors or Tabu deserve any wins over all these commercialized propaganda pieces. I'll puke if they actually commemorate a tarnished and ambivalent piece of historical propaganda such as Bin Laden's death, truly pathetic. Obviously trying to win over the feminist/Nationalist crowd.

  • John | December 6, 2012 12:05 AM

    What do you mean"predictable" Chastain? Would you rather they pick someone obscure, rather than deserving?

  • Tom Brueggemann | December 5, 2012 3:54 PM

    Without getting into details, the ZD30 I saw doesn't glorify war crimes. Torture and other possibly objectional elements are included in the narrative, but Bigelow and Boal aren't remotely propagandists, and they include elements that make a discerning audience think about the costs of what were involved here.

  • David Lean Fan | December 5, 2012 3:50 PM

    I actually have no intention of seeing Zero Dark Thirty. I have no intention of paying money to watch the glorification of America's grotesque and genocidal war crimes. So no! I am not getting an "erection over a Nationalist propaganda piece." However, I am happy to see critic groups voting for what they like, not what Oscar prognosticating bullies want them to vote for.

  • Michael M. | December 5, 2012 3:45 PM

    Only you would get an erection over a Nationalist propaganda piece.

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