The first awards group of the 2017 Oscar season just went Post-al.
The National Board of Review has announced its annual choices for the best achievements in filmmaking, naming Steven Spielberg‘s yet-to-be released The Post as the year’s Best Film.
Their list is hot off the press, as it were, the first one published just ahead of the New York Film Critics Circle.
Along with a Top 10 List for the best films of the year, awards were given for Best Actor, Actress, and the other usual suspects. (Complete list below.)
The NBR is a mysterious, eclectic group that often mixes expected citations with surprising snubs, ignoring some artier fair for more mainstream offerings.
While many of the year’s most critically-acclaimed films did make the cut, the most glaring surprise that jumps out from this list are the two biggest snubs. Well, four actually:
- The Shape of Water and star Sally Hawkins
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and star Frances McDormand
Both films and actresses have been tracking at the very top of Picture and Actress categories by most Awards Season pundits. It’s been conventional wisdom that the Best Actress race would come down to those two. But here? They don’t even exist. (Expect the NBR to be the outlier, not the standard setter.)
Interestingly enough, both are released by Fox Searchlight. Odd as it would seem, one wonders if there’s bad blood between that indie studio branch and the NBR.
Instead, the National Board went nearly all-in on Steven Spielberg‘s ode to journalism. It’s the true story of The Washington Post’s legal fight to publish The Pentagon Papers in the early 1970s. Those classified documents revealed the U.S. Government’s decades-long corrupt involvement in Vietnam.
In addition to Best Film, acting titans Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks were named Best Actress and Actor for their performances as, respectively, Post owner Kay Graham and Editor-in-Chief Ben Bradlee. The last film to make a Picture / Actor / Actress sweep was David Lean’s A Passage to India in 1984. Lean also won director, but Spielberg did not.
That went to one of the group’s biggest surprises: Greta Gerwig, for her semi-autobiographical coming-of-age indie Lady Bird. The first-time helmer beat out bigger names and productions for Best Director, like Spielberg for The Post, Paul Thomas Anderson for Phantom Thread (he won Best Original Screenplay), and Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk (listed in the NBR’s Top 10).
Lady Bird also snagged a very worthy Supporting Actress win for Laurie Metcalf.
Other films getting Awards Season boosts: Jordan Peele‘s horror racism allegory Get Out, and James Franco‘s passion project The Disaster Artist.
Joining Three Billboards in the snub ghetto: The Beguiled, The Big Sick, Blade Runner 2049, Detroit, Hostiles, mother!, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Stronger, and Victoria & Abdul.
NATIONAL BOARD OF REVIEW
Best Film: The Post
Other Top Films (listed alphabetically)
Call Me By Your Name
The Disaster Artist
The Florida Project
Best Director: Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Best Actress: Meryl Streep, The Post
Best Actor: Tom Hanks, The Post
Best Supporting Actor: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Best Supporting Actress: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Best Original Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
Best Adapted Screenplay: Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, The Disaster Artist
Best Animated Feature: Coco
Breakthrough Performance: Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Best Directorial Debut: Jordan Peele, Get Out
Best Foreign Language Film: Foxtrot
Best Documentary: Jane
Best Ensemble: Get Out
Spotlight Award: Creative Collaboration of Patty Jenkins & Gal Gadot, for Wonder Woman
NBR Freedom of Expression Award (tie):
Angelina Jolie, First They Killed My Father
John Ridley, Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992
Top 5 Foreign Language Films
A Fantastic Woman
Top 5 Documentaries
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Brimstone & Glory
Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars
Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and The Rise of ISIS
Top 10 Independent Films
Beatriz At Dinner
A Ghost Story
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
Honoring annual achievements in film since 1929, the National Board of Review is a “select group of film enthusiasts, filmmakers, professionals, academics, and students of varying ages and backgrounds” who watch over 250 films and participate in discussions with directors, actors, producers, and screenwriters before making and announcing their selections.
Click on links below for other Critics Group Awards and Guild Nominees that have been announced so far for the 2017 / 18 season:
90th Annual Academy Award nominees
Writers Guild of America winners
Directors Guild of America winners
Screen Actors Guild winners
Producers Guild of America winners
Critics Choice Awards winners
Golden Globe Winners
National Society of Film Critics
Oklahoma Film Critics Circle
Chicago Film Critics Association
Atlanta Film Critics Circle
San Diego Film Critics Society
Philadelphia Film Critics Circle
Toronto Film Critics Association
San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Boston Society of Film Critics
Washington D.C. Film Critics Association
AFI Top 10 of 2017
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
New York Film Critics Circle