The National Board of Review, which historically has been the first group to lead the year-end calvacade of awards, has ceded that spot to the New York Film Critics Circle.
Last year, the Gotham crix jumped ahead of everyone by announcing its winners on Nov. 28. After missing out on even considering eventual Oscar nominee “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” the group shifted this year’s awards to Dec. 3.
That gave the NBR a chance to get back out in first but the New York based awards group went with Dec. 5 as their date. And the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. is convening on Dec. 7 to vote on their best of the year.
The NBR has a spotty record at crystal balling the Oscars. Last year, it named “Hugo” Best Picture while its helmer Martin Scorsese won his third Best Director NBR prize. George Clooney (“The Descendants“) won his third NBR Best Actor award in five years and Tilda Swinton (“We Need to Talk About Kevin”) won Best Actress. Christopher Plummer (“The Beginners”) took the Supporting Actor award while “The Descendants” also won Supporting Actress (Shailene Woodley) and Adapted Screenplay (Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash). Original Screenplay went to Will Reiser for “50/50.” Only Plummer and “The Descendants” scribes repeated at the Oscars.
Two years ago, “The Social Network” swept the NBR, winning Best Picture, Best Actor (Jesse Eisenberg), Best Director (David Fincher) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin). Best Actress went to Lesley Manville (“Another Year”) while Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) and Jacki Weaver (“Animal Kingdom”) took the supporting prizes. Only Sorkin and Bale prevailed at the Oscars.