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AWARDS WATCH ’08 | “Slumdog Millionaire” Takes Top Prize From National Board of Review

AWARDS WATCH '08 | "Slumdog Millionaire" Takes Top Prize From National Board of Review

Danny Boyle‘s “Slumdog Millionaire” has been named the best film of the year by the National Board of Review. Celebrating its 100th year, the Board also awarded “Slumdog” best adapted acreenplay honors for Simon Beaufoy and best breakthrough actor for Dev Patel. “Slumdog” joined “Burn After Reading,” “Changeling,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Dark Knight,” “Defiance,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Gran Torino,” “Milk,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “WALL-E,” and “The Wrestler” in the organization’s top ten list. Last year, four of the five Academy Award nominees for Best Picture were featured in the NBR’s top ten.

“2008 was a very special year for film with diverse and wonderful storytelling and we are proud to honor these achievements,” said NBR President Annie Schulhof in a statement. “Several of the films from our Top 10 list, along with our Best Film of the Year, share the universal message about the resilience and the strength of the human spirit. ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ with brilliant direction by Danny Boyle and incredible performances, shares a passionate story about one man’s courage and determination for the woman he loves.”

The awards, which kick off a series of critics’ awards announced throughout December and early January, also named best actor Clint Eastwood for his work on “Gran Torino” and best actress Anne Hathaway for her work on “Rachel Getting Married.” Other acting honors went to “Vicky Cristina Barcelona“‘s Penelope Cruz for best supporting actress, “Milk“‘s Josh Brolin for best supporting actor, Viola Davis for best breakthrough actress and Melissa Leo and Richard Jenkins sharing the organization’s Spotlight Award.

Man on Wire” won best documentary, topping a list that included “American Teen,” “The Betrayal,” “Dear Zachary,” “Encounters at the End of the World” and “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desire, ” while “Mongol” led the foreign film list, which also included “Edge of Heaven,” “Let The Right One In,” “Roman de Gare,” “A Secret” and “Waltz With Bashir.”

The 2008 NBR Awards will be presented at the annual gala on January 14th, 2009 at Cipriani’s 42nd St. in New York City. Whoopi Goldberg is slated to host.

Full list of the awards given by the National Board of Review:

Best Film: “Slumdog Millionaire

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

Best Actor: Clint Eastwood, “Gran Torino”

Best Actress: Anne Hathaway, “Rachel Getting Married”

Best Supporting Actor: Josh Brolin, “Milk”

Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”

Best Foreign Film: “Mongol

Best Documentary: “Man on Wire

Best Animated Feature: “WALL-E

Best Ensemble Cast: “Doubt

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) Eric Roth, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and Simon Beaufoy for “Slumdog Millionaire”

Spotlight Award: Melissa Leo for “Frozen River” and Richard Jenkins for “The Visitor”

The BVLGARI Award for NBR Freedom of Expression: “Trumbo

Top Eleven Films (In alphabetical order):
Burn After Reading
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Gran Torino
Slumdog Millionaire
The Wrestler

Top Ten Independent Films (In alphabetical order):
Frozen River
In Bruges
In Search of a Midnight Kiss
Mr. Foe
Rachel Getting Married
Snow Angels
Son of Rambow
Wendy and Lucy
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
The Visitor

Top Six Foreign Films (In alphabetical order):
Edge of Heaven
Let The Right One In
Roman de Gare
A Secret
Waltz With Bashir

Top Six Documentary Films (In alphabetical order):
American Teen
The Betrayal
Dear Zachary
Encounters at the End of the World
Man on Wire
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desire

The latest coverage of awards announcements, visit indieWIRE’s Awards Watch section.

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