Thursday, December 2, 2010

National Board of Review Winners [Now with the Top 11]

And so it begins. In the coming weeks, dozens of critics groups will announce their collective winners for 2010. As usual, the National Board of Review is kicking things off (as it always does) as the first group to give out actual awards, as opposed to simply listing nominees/favorites. While I like a great many of these winners (and I'm ecstatic about one) I can't help but be slightly worried. The NBR isn't really the strongest indicator of what films and performances will dominate the course of awards season. Tim Burton picked up their Best Director award for 2007, but he failed to get much else, save for a Golden Globe nomination.

The 2010 Top 11:
  1. Another Year
  2. The Fighter
  3. Hereafter
  4. Inception
  5. The King's Speech
  6. Shutter Island
  7. The Social Network
  8. The Town
  9. Toy Story 3
  10. True Grit
  11. Winter's Bone

The 2010 winners are:

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 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

Spotlight Award for Best Directorial Debut: Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, Restrepo

Best Original Screenplay: Chris Sparling, Buried

Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

Special Filmmaking Achievement Award: Sofia Coppola, for 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

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

I'm surprised to see The Social Network dominate so thoroughly (not that I'm complaining). I never thought Eisenberg would ever win something, but would go through awards season as a constant nominee. But for the film to win for directing, acting, and writing, along with picture is a pretty great start. For Best Actress, it just goes to show you that early Cannes buzz can translate into awards. Though she failed to win anything at Cannes, Another Year's Lesley Manville has slowly been regaining steam. Some will find her placement in lead questionable (haven't seen the film, so no comment), but regardless, this is a big step forward for her. More predictably, long-time prediction Christian Bale picked up the first of what will likely be many awards over the next three months. Along with Geoffrey Rush, Bale is the most obvious choice for the Oscar, and this race is only going to get more interesting.

In other news: JACKI WEAVER ACTUALLY WON SOMETHING. Still my favorite supporting performance (male or female) of the year, Weaver's performance is totally worthy of some serious awards lovin' and to see her break into awards season with the very first set of critics awards is fantastic. Finally, in Foreign Language Film, the race becomes even more interesting with Of Gods and Men taking the award. This puts pressure on a great number of foreign hopefuls, namely Cannes champion Uncle Boonmee, as it's looking less and less likely that one film is going to dominate this often easy-to-call category.

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