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Which National Board of Review winners are likely to repeat at Oscars?

By Zach Laws
By Zach Laws
Dec 05 2012 14:51 pm
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National Board of Review NBR Oscars awards  Zero Dark Thirty Silver Linings Playbook movies entertainment news 24680975Two days after being acclaimed by the New York Film Critics Circle, "Zero Dark Thirty" won Best Picture and Director (Kathryn Bigelow) from the National Board of Review as well. And star Jessica Chastain won Best Actress from this New York-based awards group. 

The NBR also surprised with some of their picks, including Bradley Cooper ("Silver Linings Playbook") for Best Actor and Ann Dowd ("Compliance") for Best Supporting Actress.  

Below, a category-by-category breakdown of this second batch of precursor prizes:

BEST PICTURE: "Zero Dark Thirty"
Zero Dark Thirty” collects its second Best Picture prize after winning at NYFCC on Monday, officially making it the critics' darling.

Since the group was formed in 1932, 20 of the NBR winners have repeated at the Oscars: “It Happened One Night” (1934), “On the Waterfront” (1954), “Marty” (1955), “Around the World in 80 Days” (1956), “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957), “Tom Jones” (1963), “A Man for All Seasons” (1966), “Patton” (1970), “The Sting” (1973), “Ordinary People” (1980), “Chariots of Fire” (1981), “Gandhi” (1982), “Terms of Endearment” (1983), “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989), “Dances with Wolves” (1990), “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991), “Schindler’s List” (1993), “Forrest Gump” (1994), “American Beauty” (1999), and “No Country for Old Men” (2007).

RELATED: "Zero Dark Thirty" sweeps NBR Awards

RELATED: Complete list of winners

Yet a staggering 21 films selected as Best Picture from NBR weren’t even nominated for the Oscar: “Topaze” (1932), “Night Must Fall” (1937), “Confessions of a Nazi Spy” (1939), “None But the Lonely Heart” (1944), “The True Glory” (1945), “Monsieur Verdoux” (1947), “Paisan” (1948), “Bicycle Thieves” (1949), “The Old Man and the Sea” (1958), “Question 7” (1961), “The Eleanor Roosevelt Story” (1965), “Far From the Madding Crowd” (1967), “The Shoes of the Fisherman” (1968), “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” (1969), “Macbeth” (1971), “Days of Heaven” (1978), “Manhattan” (1979), “Betrayal” (tied with “Terms of Endearment,” 1983), “Empire of the Sun” (1987), “Gods and Monsters” (1998), and “Quills” (2000).

What does this say for “Zero Dark Thirty’s” chances at the Oscars? It’ll certainly be nominated, but as was the case with “The Social Network” (2010), Academy voters may not reward a cold, brainy film when they’re offered more emotional fare.

TOP 10: "Argo," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Django Unchained," "Les Miserables," "Lincoln," "Looper," "Perks of Being a Wallflower," "Promised Land," "Silver Linings Playbook"
Last year, five out of the 10 films selected by NBR -- “The Artist,” “The Descendants,” “Hugo,” “The Tree of Life,” and “War Horse” -- were nominated for Best Picture. Of this year’s 10 NBR picks, the most likely Oscar nominees are “Argo,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Django Unchained,” “Les Miserables,” “Lincoln,” and “Silver Linings Playbook,” as well as winner “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Shut out were “Life of Pi,” “The Master,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” and “Flight,” while “Moonrise Kingdom” made the list of Top 10 Independent Films. Often times an eventual Best Picture nominee or two is left off the NBR list, so don’t strike those films from your predictions just yet.

BEST DIRECTOR: Kathryn Bigelow, “Zero Dark Thirty”
If the NYFCC win wasn’t enough, Bigelow is now a surefire Best Director nominee. Having won so recently for a similar film, it’s too soon to call Bigelow the front-runner, but if she continues to win critics awards, she may soon take that spot.

BEST ACTOR: Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Cooper enters the Best Actor race in a big way. In the past decade, only twice has the Best Actor winner at NBR not been nominated by Oscar -- Clint Eastwood (“Gran Torino”) and Campbell Scott (“Roger Dodger”). If Cooper cracks the top five, who will he knock out? Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”) and Hugh Jackman (“Les Miserables”) look like locks, while Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”), Denzel Washington (“Flight”) and John Hawkes (“The Sessions”) may be losing momentum.

BEST ACTRESS: Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Chastain picks up her first award of the season, besting Jennifer Lawrence from “Silver Linings Playbook.” Lawrence needs to win something soon in order to regain her front-runner status.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Leonardo DiCaprio, “Django Unchained”
DiCaprio is one of Hollywood’s favorite unrewarded stars, so if he continues to pick up precursor awards, look for him to become the new front-runner. He faces competition within his own film from both Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz (who’s being campaigned in lead but could nevertheless find himself in the featured category).

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Ann Dowd, “Compliance”
Dowd enters the race as a dark horse contender in a field that includes several A-listers in more high-profile films. Yet like Jackie Weaver (“Animal Kingdom”) before her, a win from NBR puts Dowd in the conversation.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Rian Johnson, “Looper”
The Original Screenplay race has its first victor in “Looper.” NBR usually goes with an out-of-left-field choice in this category, and the last two winners -- “50/50” (2011) and “Buried” (2010) -- weren’t even nominated by the Oscars. The violent sci-fi thriller isn’t the sort of thing Academy voters usually go for, but stranger things have happened.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Russell threatens Tony Kushner in the Adapted Screenplay race. Both “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Lincoln” are strong Best Picture contenders, and both Russell and Kushner are overdue for Oscars. Look for the two to go neck-and-neck throughout the season.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: "Amour"
Another award for Michael Haneke’s film, though will it win the Oscar? It’s quite a downer, even by Haneke’s standards.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: "Wreck-It Ralph"
Another blow for Pixar as “Wreck-It Ralph” picks up the Best Animated Feature award, threatening “Frankenweenie’s” front-runner status.

BEST DOCUMENTARY: "Searching for Sugar Man"
This film made the Academy’s shortlist, so a nomination is a safe bet. A few more precursor wins and it’ll take the lead.

BEST ENSEMBLE: "Les Miserables"
Although there is no Best Ensemble award at the Oscars, a win for “Les Miserables” in this category is a strong indication at the films chances with SAG.

BREAKTHROUGH ACTOR: Tom Holland, “The Impossible
It’s unlikely that Holland will crack a crowded Best Actor field, but this award at least brings attention to the film.

BREAKTHROUGH ACTRESS: Quvenzhane Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild
Wallis is the best chance at a nomination “Beasts of the Southern Wild” has. This award helps solidify her standing in the race.

BEST DIRECTORIAL DEBUT: Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
After its debut in Sundance, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” looked like a sure bet for a Best Picture nomination. The critics groups can help bring it back if Benh Zeitlin continues winning Debut Director awards.

SPOTLIGHT AWARD: John Goodman
Goodman has been on the outside looking in during this years Oscar race, with strong performances in “Argo” and “Flight.” This award boosts his chances of gaining momentum in a crowded Best Supporting Actor field.  

 

 
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