Thursday, December 4, 2008

National Board of Review Picks "Slumdog"

Oh, the NBR.  They take so much pride in being THE FIRST critics organization to announce their best-of-the-year picks, and every year they instill so much hate across the internet because they always manage to somehow, somewhere be COMPLETELY random.  As far as critics go, they DO matter because they're first...they can help draw attention to a film that has little momentum, but in the end game they ultimately do very little to shape the overall picture.  With all that in mind...

NBR Awards 2008

Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Director: David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Actor: Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino (um, what?)
Actress: Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Supporting Actor: Josh Brolin, Milk (no Ledger? This is the big surprise...)
Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Foreign Language: Mongol (seriously? I fail to get this movie apparently)
Documentary: Man on Wire (huzzah!)
Animated Feature: Wall-E
Ensembled Cast: Doubt
Breakthrough Actor: Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire
Breakthrough Actress: Viola Davis, Doubt
Directorial Debut: Courtney Hunt, Frozen River
Original Screenplay: Nick Schenk, Gran Torino (hm)
Adapted Screenplay: (tie) Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire AND Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 
Spotlight Award: Melissa Leo, Frozen River and Richard Jenkins, The Visitor

(alphabetical order)
Burn After Reading
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Gran Torino
The Wrestler

Top Five Foreign Language
Edge of Heaven
Let the Right One In
Roman de Guerre
A Secret
Waltz With Bashir

Top Five Documentary
American Teen
The Betrayal
Dear Zachary
Encounters at the End of the World
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

Here's what I surmise: They love Clint wayyyyy too much.  But I'm actually thinking that Gran Torino may strike a deep, deep note with the Academy (at least with nominations).  As much as the conversation about it has been polarizing, it's interesting it gets this kind of recognition.

However, no Revolutionary Road or Doubt on their Top 10.  Interesting that they have both Clint's films and Defiance.  And I'm thrilled for seeing Burn After Reading here.

Interesting picks.

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