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

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 5, 2012 at 3:04PM

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).
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'Zero Dark Thirty'
'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"
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

This article is related to: Awards, Awards, Oscars, Critics Groups


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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.