On Tuesday, we saw another chapter written in the romance between the National Board of Review and Clint Eastwood. The director took home the Best Director prize for “American Sniper.” This comes just one day after we saw a continuance in the love story between the New York Film Critics Circle and the films of Mike Leigh with Timothy Spall‘s Best Actor win for “Mr. Turner.”
Eastwood’s win brings the total number of times the NBR has rewarded him to seven times in a span of less than 20 years. It started in 1999 when Eastwood was awarded the organization’s Career Achievement prize. In 2003, his film “Mystic River” won the group’s prize for Best Film and in 2004 he received a Special Achievement Award for his work as a director, producer, actor and composer for “Million Dollar Baby.” In 2006 he won the group’s top prize again when “Letters from Iwo Jima” won Best Film. In 2008 he won the Best Actor prize for “Gran Torino” and in 2009 he claimed the group’s Best Director prize for “Invictus.”
The number of times the NBR has rewarded Eastwood increases even more, when his films that have made the group’s top ten list are factored in, from seven times to 16 times. Films by Eastwood that have made the organization’s top ten list are: “Unforgiven” (1992), “Million Dollar Baby” (2004), “Flags of our Fathers” (2006), “Changeling” (2008), “Gran Torino” (2008), “Invictus” (2009), “Hereafter” (2010), “J. Edgar” (2011) and “American Sniper” (2014).
The amount of love NBR has for Eastwood is further demonstrated by the inclusion of “Hereafter” and “J. Edgar” in their top ten lists considering that both films were panned by most critics. “Hereafter” scored 56 out of 100 on Metacritic and 46% on Rotten Tomatoes and “J. Edgar” scored 59 out of 100 on Metacritic and 43% on Rotten Tomatoes.
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