Awards Tracker

All things Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tonys

Category: National Board of Review

'The Social Network' awards sweep is not unprecedented

Schindlers list

A few times in awards history, one film has dominated the derby, snatching virtually every laurel en route to the Oscar finish line, but only once did a movie pull off a perfect romp: "Schindler's List" (1993). On other occasions, "L.A. Confidential" (1997), "Brokeback Mountain" (2005), "No Country for Old Men" (2007), "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008) and "The Hurt Locker" (2009) won most prizes, but not all, and, in "Brokeback's" case, of course, it tripped up at the Oscars.

Below is a breakdown of the best-picture prizes bestowed by every major awards group in those years. Note: The Critics' Choice Award was launched in 1995.

This year "The Social Network" has pulled off a perfect sweep so far, bagging best picture from the National Board of Review, New York Film Critics' Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., National Society of Film Critics, Critics Choice Award and Golden Globe.


Los Angeles Film Critics Assn: "Schindler's List"
National Board of Review: "Schindler's List"
New York Film Critics Circle: "Schindler's List"
National Society of Film Critics: "Schindler's List"
Golden Globes: "Schindler’s List" (drama), Mrs. Doubtfire" (comedy/musical)
Producers Guild of America: "Schindler's List"
Academy Awards: "Schindler's List"


National Board of Review: "L.A. Confidential"
New York Film Critics Circle: "L.A. Confidential"
Los Angeles Film Critics Assn: "L.A. Confidential"
National Society of Film Critics: "L.A. Confidential"
Critics Choice:  "L.A. Confidential"
Producers Guild of America: "Titanic"
Golden Globes: "Titanic" (drama), "As Good as It Gets" (comedy/musical)
Academy Awards: "Titanic"

Continue reading »

Scorecard: Major awards bestowed so far

Siz leading awards groups have doled out trophies so far this derby season. Below is a rundown of who won what.

CC = Critics' Choice
GG = Golden Globe
LAFCA = Los Angeles Film Critics Assn.
NBR = National Board of Review
NSFC = National Society of Film Critics
NYFCC = New York Film Critics Circle

"The Social Network" – CC, GG, LAFCA, NBR, NSFC, NYFCC

David Fincher, "The Social Network" -- CC, GG, LAFCA, NBR, NSFC, NYFCC

Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network" – NBR, NSFC
Colin Firth, "The King's Speech" – CC, GG, LAFCA, NYFCC

Continue reading »

Hey, National Board of Review: Where's 'Black Swan' and '127 Hours'?

National board of review news

Our forum posters are shocked that the National Board of Review opted for "The Social Network" as best picture. "I do think the National Board of Review is making an effort to not seem like a bunch of tea-sipping, croquet-playing, Anglophilic mama's boys anymore," said our poster Pacinofan.

Overall, our posters are also surprised by the omission of "The Kids Are All Right, "Black Swan" and "127 Hours" from the list of best pictures. See more reaction below and in our forums here.

Montana82: They included "Hereafter" in their top 10 films. Their annual bone to Eastwood.

Kelemenmarc: What I Hate:
- Lesley Manville won over Annette Bening, Julianne Moore or Anne Hathaway.
- Jesse Eisenberg won best actor award.
- Amy Adams didn't win.

Pacinofan:  It is possible Jesse Eisenberg could pull off a Michelle Pfeiffer and win all four of the major critics' prizes and still lose the Oscar and never really be considered the most likely to win it either.

AwardMadness101: Very surprised with the love for The Social Network. I'm all for it, just very surprised. Especially since Fincher was awarded for Best Director just two years ago. It got the Picture/Director/Adapted Screenplay trifecta at NBR; here's to the Oscars!

-- Tom O'Neil

Photos: "Black Swan," "127 Hours." Credits: Fox Searchlight

National Board of Review rewards a slew of Oscar dark horses


The National Board of Review has never been the best predictor of what academy voters choose. Though the two did line up in 2008 and 2007, when the NBR chose "Slumdog Millionaire" and "No Country for Old Men," respectively, as its big winners. Last year, it picked "Up in the Air" as the best film of 2009, a film the academy all but snubbed at show time after giving it six key nominations. Before "No Country," you have to go back to 1999, when the group chose "American Beauty" as its top film, to find a correlation between the two award shows.

It is interesting though, that this group of 110 academics, film professionals and students who make up the voters picked some real underdogs in this year's race -- with one key exception. They chose "The Social Network" as best picture of the year, a move that could very well help the organization become a better predictor of the Oscar race.

What is a more far-fetched idea is the choosing of Lesley Manville as best actress of the year. She gave a very honest portrayal of a lonely single woman in Mike Leigh's "Another Year," but is up against some incredibly stiff competition from the likes of Annette Bening, Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lawrence, who also received a nod from the NBR, for breakthrough performance.

Jacki Weaver, and her role in the Australian flick "Animal Kingdom," was also recognized, a surprise for the little-seen Sundance fave that's grossed only $1 million domestically for Sony Pictures Classics. Weaver, a veteran Australian actor, will be up against many more high-profile contenders for the Oscar, including Melissa Leo, Helena Bonham Carter and perhaps Mila Kunis from "Black Swan."

The other stand-out surprise from the NBR is its ensemble recognition for Ben Affleck's "The Town." The R-rated Boston-based heist film was a box-office success, grossing more than $90 million at the domestic box office, and it received accolades for all its performances, particularly Jeremy Renner in his role as the Affleck character's unstable right-hand man. The film has been left off a lot of best-of lists from the prognosticators thus far, but the nod from the NBR could be a solid boost for the well-playing Warner Bros. film.

-- Nicole Sperling

Photo: Ben Affleck and Jeremy Renner in "The Town." Credit: Warner Bros.


Lesley Manville's awards surprise


In a town where movie buffs are as savvy about the Oscar game as Boston Red Sox fans are about baseball, its easy to forget what a peculiarly American event awards season is. At least until you talk to an Oscar race newcomer like Lesley Manville, the British actress who learned today that she had won the Best Actress Award from the National Board of Review for her performance in Mike Leighs Another Year.

I didnt even know what the NBR was until somebody said to me tonight, Well youve won it and its a great one cause it kicks off the season, said Manville from her home in London, in a tone suggesting a mix of gratitude and bewilderment. We have a couple of awards here, you know, the BAFTAs. But in the U.S., theres dozens of them, arent there?

Dozens and then some. Actors who drive Hollywood Boulevard with their windows down in January should stay alert, cause someone is liable to toss a statuette in the car.

But the National Board of Reviews is a significant prize, one considered a gauge of which films have early momentum in the Oscar race. A New York-based nonprofit made up of cineastes, academics, film professionals and students, the NBR has more bookish tastes than the academy, which is why a performance like Manvilles in a small film can get some traction.

In Another Year, Manville plays Mary, a lonely, fragile woman in her 40s or 50s resisting the inexorable march of time. Though she has had a robust career in British television and theater, Manville has earned little attention in the U.S. until this film, her seventh screen collaboration with Leigh.

Its the first time its happened to me in my career, Manville said. If it helps open up things for me workwise, then thats good. If it opens things up in the States, Id love to come work there for a bit. Im ready for that adventure. 

 --Rebecca Keegan

Photo: British actress Lesley Manville. Credit: Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times.

'Social Network' tops National Board of Review winners


"The Social Network" dominated the 2010 National Board of Review of Motion Picture Awards announced Thursday afternoon. The acclaimed drama about the founders of the social-networking site Facebook won best film, best actor for Jesse Eisenberg, best director for David Fincher and adapted screenplay for Aaron Sorkin.

Lesley Manville earned best actress for her role as a struggling single woman in Mike Leigh's downbeat "Another Year." Best supporting actor went to Christian Bale as a crack-addicted former professional boxer in "The Fighter" and Jacki Weaver was named best supporting actress as the mother of a gang of thieves in "Animal Kingdom."

Best animated film went to "Toy Story 3," while documentary honors went to "Waiting for "Superman."

Best original screenplay went to Chris Sparling for "Buried."

Jennifer Lawrence won best breakthrough performance for "Winter's Bone." On Tuesday, Lawrence was nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award for the film.

Best ensemble went to the cast of "The Town."

The National Board of Review comprises film professionals, educators, historians and students.

The NBR is also one of the movie season's bellwethers for the Academy Award. Three years ago, its best picture selection, "No Country for Old Men," went on to win the best picture Oscar. And its 2008 big winner, "Slumdog Millionaire," dominated the Academy Awards. Last year, though, the the NBR and the Academy agreed to disagree on most choices. NBR voted "Up in the Air" the best picture winner, while the Academy chose "The Hurt Locker."

Notably  missing from the list of winners were such Oscar-front runners as "127 Hours," "True Grit," "The King's Speech" and "Black Swan," though "Grit," "Speech" and "Winter's Bone" made NBR's top 11 films of 2010 list.

The NBR awards will be presented at their annual gala on Jan. 11 at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Other winners announced Thursday:

Best foreign-language film: "Of Gods and Men"

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" and "Howl"

--Susan King

Photo: Jesse Eisenberg, left, and Joseph Mazzello in "The Social Network." Credit: Merrick Morton/Columbia TriStar

'Social Network' tops National Board of Review of Motion Pictures awards

The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures on Thursday named The Social  Network as best film of 2010. The film also picked up NBR awards for director David Fincher, best actor for Jesse Eisenberg and screenplay for Aaron Sorkin.


Check back soon for a full list.

Predictions: Who'll win National Board of Review

The National Board of Review will unveil its award champs tomorrow and it's foolhardy to try and predict winners. Even though the group has "review" in its title, it's not comprised of film reviewers. It's a film-appreciation society comprised of New York sophisticates (lawyers, socialites, etc.) who have quirky tastes. About 15 or 16 of them sit on its Exceptional Photoplay Committee and have the most clout in choosing winners, but a fraction of the votes cast by NBR's screening group gets factored in too. The latter gang is comprised of about 50 people, largely film students. No NBR members' names are made public.

National board of review winners newsThe current regime seized power around 2003 and began purging old members. So, if you're looking for patterns in the NBR award results, it's smart to focus on just the past five years or so to get a good sense of voters' film tastes.

Over at Gold Derby, I'm running a contest to predict this year's winners and results are surprising. Most participants believe "The Social Network" will win best picture. In olden days, more traditional films used to reign. "The King's Speech" fits that voting trend now, but NBR's taste has been a bit more contemporary of late. Last year, "Up in the Air" swept the prizes, but that may have been because NBR is absolutely crazy for everything having to do with George Clooney. Heck, it named that snoozefest "Good Night, and Good Luck" best picture in 2005.

NBR voters are also excessively infatuated with everything by Clint Eastwood, so expect "Hereafter" to nab at least one prize this year, although certainly not best picture. (Not successful enough.)

Most voters in the Gold Derby contest also make a bold forecast for lead actress: Natalie Portman ("Black Swan"). Maybe that's not so surprising considering they opted for another pretty ingnue last year: Carey Mulligan in "An Education," who made them regret the choice by delivering an awkwardly boring acceptance speech at the podium. But Annette Bening ("The Kids Are All Right") poses a formidable foe. She's an old pal of NBR, having won for "Being Julia" in 2004.

Here are my own foolhardy predictions:

BEST PICTURE:  "The King's Speech"
BEST ACTOR:  Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"
BEST ACTRESS:  Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:  Andrew Garfield, "The Social Network"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:  Amy Adams, "The Fighter"
BEST DIRECTOR:  Ben Affleck, "The Town"

 -- Tom O'Neil



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