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National Board of Review is full of Surprises

National Board of Review is full of Surprises

I don’t usually put a lot of stock into awards seasons races.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the Oscars but usually the films that are selected aren’t always my cup of tea.  However I do have to hand it to the National Board of Review for thinking outside the box today with it’s awards announcement.  While The Social Network won Best Picture as expected, Jesse Eisenberg beat Colin Firth and James Franco for Best Actor. The film received two more wins as David Fincher collected the Best Director prize and Aaron Sorkin took home Best Adapted Screenplay.  Lesley Manville of Another Year took home Best Actress while Jacki Weaver took home Best Supporting Actress for her chilling performance in Animal Kingdom.  Christian Bale picked up the Best Supporting Actor prize for his performance in The Fighter.

However the biggest shocker is in Best Original Screenplay which was expected to go to Christopher Nolan for Inception.  Instead it went to Chris Sparling for Buried, a film that was thought to be dead but now has a shot in the arm.  Overall these awards were really interesting and while I might not agree with all of them, it is nice to see the National Board of Review thinking outside the box for once.

Best Film: The Social Network

Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network

Best Actor: Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network

Best Actress: Lesley Manville, Another Year

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter

Best Supporting Actress: Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Best Foreign Language Film: Of Gods and Men

Best Documentary: Waiting for “Superman”

Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3

Best Ensemble Cast: The Town

Breakthrough Performance: Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone

Debut Directors: Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, Restrepo

Spotlight Award: Sylvain Chomet and Jacques Tati, The Illusionist

Best Original Screenplay: Chris Sparling, Buried

Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

Special Filmmaking Achievement Award: Sofia Coppola for writing, directing, and producing Somewhere

William K. Everson Film History Award: Leonard Maltin

NBR Freedom of Expression: Fair Game, Conviction, Howl

Production Design Award: Dante Ferretti, Shutter Island

Ten Best Films

(in alphabetical order)

Another Year
The Fighter
The King’s Speech
Shutter Island
The Town
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

Five Best Foreign-Language Films

(in alphabetical order)

I Am Love
Life, Above All
Soul Kitchen
White Material

Five Best Documentaries

(in alphabetical order)

A Film Unfinished
Inside Job
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
The Tillman Story

Top Ten Independent Films

(in alphabetical order)

Animal Kingdom
Fish Tank
The Ghost Writer
Let Me In
Please Give
Youth in Revolt