Martin Scorsese's pro-celluloid meets child fantasy tale "Hugo" was awarded Best Picture and Best Director by the National Board of Review yesterday.
The NBR is normally the first major group out of the gate at awards season until the New York Film Critics Circle stole their thunder this year, but with no clear front runners at the moment, their list has proven quite different.
"The Descendants" got a lot of love with George Clooney taking Best Actor, Shailene Woodley scoring Best Supporting Actress, and the film taking Best Adapted Screenplay. Will Reiser's "50/50" took the Best Original Screenplay honor, while J.C. Chandor was named 'Best Debut Director' for his financial thriller "Margin Call".
Tilda Swinton was awarded Best Actress for "We Need to Talk About Kevin", Christopher Plummer got Best Supporting Actor for "Beginners", and "The Help" won for Best Ensemble Cast.
Special acting awards were given for 'Breakout Performances' to Felicity Jones for "Like Crazy" and Rooney Mara for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", while Michael Fassbender took the 'Spotlight Award' for his four films this year -" A Dangerous Method," "Jane Eyre," "Shame" and "X-Men: First Class".
"Rango" won Best Animated Feature, "A Separation" scored Best Foreign Language Feature, and "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" won Best Documentary. 'NBR Freedom of Expression' awards were also handed out to "Crime After Crime" and "Pariah", while the "Harry Potter" franchise scored a 'Special Achievement in Filmmaking' award.
The NBR also famously announces Top 5 & 10 lists for four major kinds of films (studio, indie, documentary, foreign language) but doesn't rank them. Here's each category in alphabetical order:
Top 10 Films: The Artist, The Descendants, Drive, 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: 13 Assassins, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, Footnote, Le Havre, Point Blank
Top 5 Documentaries: Born to be Wild, Buck, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Project Nim, Senna
Top 10 Independent Films: 50/50, Another Earth, Beginners, A Better Life, Cedar Rapids, Margin Call, Shame, Take Shelter, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Win Win