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NBR kicks off Oscar prognostication season

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All thumbs up!

Today many actors and directors got pretty excited as the Oscar prognostication season has kicked off.

For those of you unfamiliar, the National Board of Review is comprised of film historians, film pros and others, and is best known for presenting the first nationally recognized awards of Oscar season.

The NBR awards winners and announces best-movie lists. But they don’t do nominations.

* Best Film: Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire

Directed by Danny Boyle, the film follows the reflections of a poor boy (Dev Patel) from the slums of Mumbai, India, who ends up on the country’s version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Patel was also chosen for best breakthrough performance by an actor.

The director of a new movie set in Mumbai paid tribute to the Indian city as his film also won top prize at the British Independent Film Awards.

It’s a city with a big heart that’s been wounded this week, but it will recover.

It is weird to win this at the end of what’s been a terrible week,”

– said the Slumdog Millionaire director, referring to the attacks that killed 172 there.

* Best Director: David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

* Best Actor: Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino

Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino

He was selected as best actor for his performance as a racist Korean War vet in the not-yet-released Gran Torino. Directing himself, Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a crusty retired assembly-plant worker who, recently widowed, seems peeved at just about everyone.

* Best Actress: Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married

Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married

The buzz just got a little strong. Looks like Anne is a shoe-in for Oscar contention after today’s news. Her latest film Rachel Getting Married is already getting a lot of attention after leading the upcoming Spirit Awards with six nominations, including one for best picture.

* Best Supporting Actor: Josh Brolin, Milk

* Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

* Best Foreign Language Film: Mongol

* Best Documentary: Man on Wire

* Best Animated Feature: WALL-E

* Best Ensemble Cast: Doubt

The cast of this film — headlined by Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman — won for ensemble. One of the members Viola Davis ( Far From Heaven, 2002) won for breakthrough performance.

* Breakthrough Performance by an Actor: Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire

* Breakthrough Performance by an Actress:
Viola Davis, Doubt

* Best Directorial Debut: Courtney Hunt, Frozen River

* Best Original Screenplay: Nick Schenk, Gran Torino

* Best 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

* BVLGARI Award for NBR Freedom of Expression: Trumbo

* Top 10 Films: (In alphabetical order)

Burn After Reading


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Dark Knight



Gran Torino



The Wrestler

Last year’s NBR pick for best film, No Country for Old Men, went on to win best picture at the Oscars.

But does this mean NBR prognostications are always right? Nope!

Category: TV/ Movies
December 5th, 2008
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