Director Martin Scorsese’s mob epic “The Irishman” has been named the year’s best picture by the National Board of Review.
But in what has thus far been a fairly wide open Oscar race, the critics’ organization spread its love to other top contenders as well. Quentin Tarantino was named best director for “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” which also earned Brad Pitt a supporting actor win. Renée Zellweger earned the best actress prize for the Judy Garland biopic “Judy.” Adam Sandler, who is considered a long-shot for an Oscar nod in a competitive year, earned the best actor award for his turn as a diamond merchant in the gonzo crime drama “Uncut Gems.”
The NBR’s selections are a precursor to a slew of other awards and nominations soon to come as Oscar season kicks into high gear. Later this week, both the New York and Los Angeles film critics’ associations will announce their year-end lists. On Monday, the Golden Globes nominations will be announced, with the Screen Actors Guild nominations landing two days later and other key guild nominations following in January. With an unusually accelerated schedule, Oscar nominations voting will open on Jan. 2.
Founded in 1909, the NBR describes itself as a “select group of film enthusiasts, filmmakers, professionals and academics of varying ages and backgrounds,” though the group’s taste is often at odds with other critics’ groups and industry associations.
Last year, the NBR’s top pick, “Green Book,” went on to win the Oscar for best picture. But generally speaking, while the National Board of Review’s best film picks have often subsequently landed best picture nods, they have only occasionally predicted the eventual winner.
The honorees will be feted at the NBR Awards Gala, hosted by Willie Geist, on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at Cipriani 42nd Street.
Full list of honorees follows:
Best Film: “The Irishman”
Best Director: Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”
Best Actor: Adam Sandler, “Uncut Gems”
Best Actress: Renée Zellweger, “Judy”
Best Supporting Actress: Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”
Best Original Screenplay: Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie, Ronald Bronstein, “Uncut Gems”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Steven Zaillian, “The Irishman”
Breakthrough Performance: Paul Walter Hauser, “Richard Jewell”
Best Directorial Debut: Melina Matsoukas, “Queen & Slim”
Best Animated Feature: “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Parasite”
Best Documentary: “Maiden”
Best Ensemble: “Knives Out”
Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography: Roger Deakins, “1917″
NBR Icon Award: Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: “For Sama”
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: “Just Mercy”
Top Films (in alphabetical order)
Dolemite is My Name
Ford v Ferrari
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Top 5 Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order)
Pain and Glory
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order)
The Black Godfather
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order)
Give Me Liberty
A Hidden Life
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
The Peanut Butter Falcon