RED CARPET MONITOR: “Manchester” takes National Board of Review Best Film

redcarpetmonitorThe National Board of Review, which has been long-derided by many a columnist (ahem, NOT me…) for being a sycophantic fan-based group, is nevertheless influential (if to a small degree only) and watched by many in the industry, just to see what they will pick as their annual awards winners. Usually the group goes with high-profile titles, supposedly to help bring the stars to their January awards dinner.

And although the group has picked a popular indie, Manchester By The Sea, as their Best Film winner this year, it seems they may be going for more than just film people – the film is being distributed by Amazon Studios…so it looks like the NBR is angling to get Jeff Bezos at their dinner this year…heh heh heh…

The winners are very similar to the winners of Monday’s Gotham Awards in New York, with both nbr-hero02groups giving major award love to Manchester and critical favorite Moonlight as well.

On the down side, no love for eCO favorites Little Men, A Street Cat Named Bob, or Microbe and Gasoline here, no surprise, but a nod to delightful Irish musical Sing Street on their top ten indies this year is a pleasant holiday treat.  And another eCO favorite, Kubo And The Two Strings, took NBR’s top animated film this year.

Right now, for all the talk about La La Land being the Oscar front-runner, I’m not so sure, and never have been. The Academy does love films about the industry, and the Damien Chazelle musical does fit the bill. But Manchester and Moonlight are both running right in there, and don’t appear to be giving any ground without a fight.

Here’s the 2016 National Board of Review winners list:

Best Film
Manchester by the Sea

Best Director
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Actor
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Best Actress
Amy Adams, Arrival

Best Supporting Actor
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Best Supporting Actress
Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Best Original Screenplay
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay
Jay Cocks and Martin Scorsese, Silence

Best Animated Feature
Kubo and the Two Strings

Breakthrough Performance (Male)
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Breakthrough Performance (Female)
Royalty Hightower, The Fits

Best Directorial Debut
Trey Edward Shults, Krisha

Best Foreign Language Film
The Salesman

Best Documentary
O.J.: Made in America

Best Ensemble
Hidden Figures

Spotlight Award
Creative Collaboration of Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg

NBR Freedom of Expression Award
Cameraperson

Top Films
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hail, Caesar!
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Moonlight
Patriot’s Day
Silence
Sully

Top 5 Foreign Language Films
Elle
The Handmaiden
Julieta
Land of Mine
Neruda

Top 5 Documentaries
De Palma
The Eagle Huntress
Gleason
Life, Animated
Miss Sharon Jones!

Top 10 Independent Films
20th Century Women
Captain Fantastic
Creative Control
Eye in the Sky
The Fits
Green Room
Hello, My Name Is Doris
Krisha
Morris from America
Sing Street

We’ll discuss the NBR choices and other awards presented later this week on next weekend’s edition of Subject:CINEMA, so don’t you dare miss it!

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