Wednesday, December 05, 2012

2012 National Board of Review Awards Winners

The non-profit organization members have voted and the 2012 awards have been announced just a few minutes ago. 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.

The award winners are known well in advance of the Awards Gala that is taking place on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City and this year Meredith Viera will host the Gala.

These are the award winners as published at the official site.

Best Film: Zero Dark Thirty
“Zero Dark Thirty is a masterful film,” said Annie Schulhof, NBR President. “Kathryn Bigelow takes the viewer inside a definitive moment of our time in a visceral and unique way. It is exciting, provocative and deeply emotional.”

Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty
Best Directorial Debut: Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Actress: Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty
Best Supporting Actress: Ann Dowd in Compliance
Breakthrough Actress: Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Actor: Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook
Best Supporting Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained
Breakthrough Actor: Tom Holland in The Impossible

Best Original Screenplay: Rian Johnson for Looper
Best Adapted Screenplay: David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook

Best Ensemble: Les Misérables
Best Animated Feature: Wreck-It Ralph
Best Foreign Language Film: Amour (Love)
Best Documentary: Searching for Sugarman
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Central Park Five
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Promised Land

Special Achievement in Filmmaking: Ben Aflleck for Argo
Spotlight Award: John Goodman in Argo, Flight, Paranorman and Trouble with the Curve
William K. Everson Film History Award: 50 Years of Bond Films

Last the organization lists their top films in alphabetical order. Please notice that list does NOT include award winners in each category.

Top Films
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Misérables
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Promised Land
Silver Linings Playbook

Top 5 Foreign Language Films
The Intouchables
The Kid With a Bike
Rebelle (War Witch)

Top 5 Documentaries
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
The Gatekeepers
The Invisible War
Only The Young

Top 10 Independent Films
End of Watch
Hello I Must Be Going
Little Birds
Moonrise Kingdom
Sleepwalk with Me

This group does not characterize for giving probable Oscar winners, but I believe that in some categories the honored films, actors and filmmakers will probably get nominations. Now we have to learn the LA Critics Awards and perhaps we will get a better perspective of what NON-Academy members liked this year.  We have to wait for the guilds to announce their nominations to start to get a more faithful picture of what Oscar nominations could look as guild members are also Academy members.

The one category that I'm still quite unsure, Best Actress, is not becoming clear here; even do I know that Jessica Chastain is a sure strong contender. If LA Critics give award to another actress -not Rachel Weisz or Jessica Chastain-, then will be more confused, but more interesting in what will come next.

Somehow is very hard for me to imagine that Bradley Cooper delivered a better performance than Daniel Day-Lewis, but we already know that Cooper has been a contender for a nomination.  Had no idea that DiCaprio has a supporting role and not a lead role in Tarantino's latest, which seems extremely strange to me.  But we know how everyone (studios, producers, publicists) "plays" with the lead and supporting categories in the search to win an award.

Saw Looper and is not that bad, but to me is more a classical Hollywood action/crime/drama movie than an American indie; still have no clue for the reason-why the script deserved an award.  Saw Argo and well, as expected is a very good movie as good as all the movies Ben Affleck has directed but due to the role he played in movie, this time his performance is also good.

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