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‘Hugo’ Tops National Board of Review Winners

'Hugo' Tops National Board of Review Winners

Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” topped the winners of the National Board of Review’s annual awards, taking honors for best picture and best director. Scorsese’s George Harrison documentary was also honored in the NBR’s list of best documentaries.

In a refreshing change of pace from last year (when “The Social Network” swept all critics groups), all of the NBR’s major winners are different than the New York Film Critics Circle, who announced earlier this week.

Other major winners included “The Descendants,” which took honors for actor (George Clooney), supporting actress (Shailene Woodley) and adapted screenplay (Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash). Tilda Swinton took the best actress award for “We Need To Talk About Kevin,” while Christopher Plummer won best supporting actor for “Beginners.”

Unlike most other groups, the NBR also publishes their top 10 overall films, which included “Hugo,” “The Descendants,” “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” and their annual ode-to-Clint Eastwood “J. Edgar” (the NBR always include Eastwood’s films in their top 10, even if they are not well received). Notably missing from the list? Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris,” Tate Taylor’s “The Help,” Jason Reitman’s “Young Adult,” Simon Curtis’s “My Week With Marilyn” and Bennett Miller’s “Moneyball.”

Other notable snubs came in their separate list of the best independent films, where “Cedar Rapids” was included at the expense of “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and “Like Crazy.”

Below is a full list of the awards given by the National Board of Review:

Best Film: Hugo
Best Director: Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Best Actor: George Clooney, The Descendants
Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
Best Original Screenplay: Will Reiser, 50/50
Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants
Best Animated Feature: Rango
Breakthrough Performance: Felicity Jones, Like Crazy
Breakthrough Performance: Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Debut Director: J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Best Ensemble: The Help
Spotlight Award: Michael Fassbender (A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre, Shame, X-Men: First Class)
NBR Freedom of Expression: Crime After Crime
NBR Freedom of Expression: Pariah
Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation
Best Documentary: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Special Achievement in Filmmaking: The Harry Potter Franchise – A Distinguished Translation from Book
to Film

Top Films
(in alphabetical order)
 The Artist
The Descendants
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
(In Alphabetical Order)
13 Assassins
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within
Le Havre
Point Blank

Top 5 Documentaries
(In Alphabetical Order)
 Born to be Wild
George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Project Nim

Top 10 Independent Films
(In Alphabetical Order)
Another Earth
A Better Life
Cedar Rapids
Margin Call
Take Shelter
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Win Win


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Toby Arnold

The reason they keep honoring Clint Eastwood every year is because Clint Eastwood keeps making very fine movies every year. People have started taking Eastwood for granted. He is an exceptional storyteller and J EDGAR is no exception. I think its very objective approach is maybe a turnoff for some people, but it is consistently, intelligently and coherently applied. It's a great picture.


Wow Martha Marcy got completely snubbed. Am I just missing it in there? At least Felicity Jones got the breakthrough award in terms of her chances. I can't say I'm surprised about Margin Call's best first director though. Who are they going to award for their first effort; someone who comes in and does a phenomenal job directing Spacey, Irons, Tucci, Moore, Bettany etc., or unknowns directing unknowns. If Margin Call wasn't around they might stand more of a chance.

Bobby C

Congrats to Hugo and Martin Scorsese! Well-deserved wins! Truly a masterpiece!


I was disappointed The Adventures of Tintin didn't made the cut, such a fantastic film and never got no recognition it should have deserved.

Julia Chasman

I know people think the NBR is a weird, old-school, just plain OLD group — but, I love this movie HUGO, and I've heard some people were underwhelmed. But I loved every minute of it! And ever since NBR gave my movie QUILLS top honors, I've realized their refined taste, and special savvy :)

Congrats to Marty for making a 3D kids film like no other.

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