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2022 National Board of Review Winners: ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Takes Top Honor

Colin Farrell and Michelle Yeoh are named this year's NBR winners for Best Actor and Best Actress, while Todd Field's "TÁR" went unrecognized.

Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

“Top Gun: Maverick”

Paramount Pictures

With awards season in full swing, the National Board of Review is the latest body to announce its 2022 film honorees.

This year’s top awards went to “Top Gun: Maverick” for Best Film; Steven Spielberg for Best Director for “The Fabelmans”; Colin Farrell for Best Actor for “The Banshees of Inisherin”; and Michelle Yeoh for Best Actress for “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

“’Top Gun: Maverick’ is a thrilling crowd-pleaser that is expertly crafted on every level,” said NBR President Annie Schulhof via statement. “Tom Cruise, Joseph Kosinski, and the entire filmmaking team have succeeded in making an incredibly popular film that brought audiences back to theaters, while at the same time being a full-on cinematic achievement.”

Over a century old, the NBR is an organization that recognizes excellence in filmmaking. This year, a select group of film enthusiasts, filmmakers, professionals, academics, and students viewed 269 films, many of which were followed by in-depth discussions with directors, actors, producers, and screenwriters.

In addition to the aforementioned categories, the NBR bestows awards for Best Original and Adapted Screenplay, Breakthrough Performance, and Best Directorial Debut, as well as its signature honors the Freedom of Expression Award and Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography.

Notably missing from all of them is Todd Field’s “TÁR,” which has been collecting awards like Best Screenplay at the Gothams, and Best Film and Best Actress for star Cate Blanchett at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards. Given how the list of Top Films leans toward this year’s major box office successes, and some heartrending stories about family and community, the Focus Features film about a hubristic musical genius in decline may have proven to acerbic for the NBR voters’ tastes.

Within the past decade, only one NBR Best Film winner has gone on to win the Best Picture Oscar, so the crowd-pleasing fighter jet spectacle has not all the sudden rocketed up Academy voters preferential ballots. NBR does however have a good track record of honoring films that secure a Best Picture nomination (in recent years only “Da 5 Bloods” and “A Most Violent Year” have missed out), so the Best Film award does work to quell the worry that “Top Gun: Maverick,” the type of blockbuster sequel the Oscars tend to overlook, will not make it into one of the 10 Best Picture nomination slots.

The annual NBR Awards Gala will be hosted by NBC News’ “Sunday Today” anchor Willie Geist on Sunday, January 8, at Cipriani 42nd Street, in New York City.

The full list of 2022 National Board of Review winners is below.

Best Film: “Top Gun: Maverick”

Best Director: Steven Spielberg, “The Fabelmans”

Best Actor: Colin Farrell, “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Best Actress: Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Best Supporting Actor: Brendan Gleeson, “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Best Supporting Actress: Janelle Monáe, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”

Best Original Screenplay: Martin McDonagh, “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Best Adapted Screenplay: Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson, Ian Stokell, “All Quiet on the Western Front”

Breakthrough Performance: Danielle Deadwyler, “Till”

Breakthrough Performance: Gabriel LaBelle, “The Fabelmans”

Best Directorial Debut: Charlotte Wells, “Aftersun”

Best Animated Feature: “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”

Best Foreign Language Film: “Close”

Best Documentary: “’Sr.’”

Best Ensemble: “Women Talking”

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography: Claudio Miranda, “Top Gun: Maverick

NBR Freedom of Expression Award: “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” and “Argentina, 1985”

Top Films (in alphabetical order)
“Aftersun”
“Avatar: The Way of Water”
“The Banshees of Inisherin”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“The Fabelmans”
“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”
“RRR”
“Till”
“The Woman King”
“Women Talking”

Top 5 Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order)
“All Quiet on the Western Front”
“Argentina, 1985”
“Decision to Leave”
“EO”
“Saint Omer”

Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order)
“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”
“All That Breathes”
“Descendant”
“Turn Every Page – The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb”
“Wildcat”

Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order)
“Armageddon Time”
“Emily the Criminal”
“The Eternal Daughter”
“Funny Pages”
“The Inspection”
“Living”
“A Love Song”
“Nanny”
“The Wonder”
“To Leslie”

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