National Board of Review Names HUGO Best Film of the Year; DRIVE, THE ARTIST, and THE DESCENDANTS Make Top 10

     December 1, 2011


The National Board of Review has announced their honors for 2011.  As always, the wide selection allows the NBR to technically have a say in directing awards season, and their picks remain solid.  While I didn’t go nuts over Hugo, a lot of people did and so it’s not surprising NBR gave it Best Picture and named Martin Scorsese as Best Director.  For the most part, I like all of NBR’s choices.  I’m glad any time Drive gets attention, the acting picks are all worthy, and I’m happy Crime After Crime and 13 Assassins got some love.  Notable snubs include Young Adult, Moneyball, and Martha Marcy May Marlene.  Of course, anything Clint Eastwood does has to make NBR’s Top 10 so that’s why a spot is wasted on J. Edgar.

Hit the jump for the full list of winners.

hugo-movie-poster-02Here’s the press release, which includes all the winners along with a statement on why NBR chose Hugo as the Best Film of 2011:

New York, NY – (December 1, 2011) – The National Board of Review has named HUGO the 2011 Best Film of the Year. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the film was released on November 23rd by Paramount Pictures.

Below is a full list of the awards given by the National Board of Review:

Best Film: Hugo

Best Director: Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Best Actor: George Clooney, The Descendants

Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Best Original Screenplay: Will Reiser, 50/50

Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants

Best Animated Feature: Rango

Breakthrough Performance: Felicity Jones, Like Crazy

Breakthrough Performance: Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Debut Director: J.C. Chandor, Margin Call

Best Ensemble: The Help

Spotlight Award: Michael Fassbender (A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre, Shame, X-Men: First Class)

NBR Freedom of Expression: Crime After Crime

NBR Freedom of Expression: Pariah

Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation

Best Documentary: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Special Achievement in Filmmaking: The Harry Potter Franchise – A Distinguished Translation from Book to Film

drive-movie-poster-02Top Films (in alphabetical order)

The Artist

The Descendants


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

The Ides of March

J. Edgar

Tree of Life

War Horse

Top 5 Foreign Language Films (In Alphabetical Order)

13 Assassins

Elite Squad: The Enemy Within


Le Havre

Point Blank

Top 5 Documentaries (In Alphabetical Order)

Born to be Wild


George Harrison: Living in the Material World

Project Nim


50-50-movie-poster-01Top 10 Independent Films (In Alphabetical Order)


Another Earth


A Better Life

Cedar Rapids

Margin Call


Take Shelter

We Need To Talk About Kevin

Win Win

“HUGO is such a personal film by Martin Scorsese,” said Annie Schulhof, NBR President. “It is a tribute to the early years of cinema that uses today’s cutting edge technology to bring the audience into a completely unique and magical world. It is visually stunning and emotionally engaging.”

A select group of knowledgeable film enthusiasts and professionals, academics, young filmmakers and students, the National Board of Review viewed over 250 films this year including studio, independent, foreign-language, animated and documentary selections. These screenings were frequently followed by in-depth discussions with filmmakers, directors, actors, producers, and screenwriters. Voting ballots were tabulated by the accounting firm of Lutz & Carr, LLP.

The National Board of Review honors diverse members of the film community at their annual Awards Gala, which also acts as a fundraiser for student grant philanthropy. Hosted by Natalie Morales, this year’s Gala will take place on January 10, 2012 at Cipriani’s 42nd St. in New York City.

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