Thursday, December 07, 2006

NBR Reaction

I'm always excited for the National Board of Review. Not really in anticipation of their choices, which are random to say the least (Quills, Finding Neverland), but because they represent the start of the Awards season.

This year's awards seem like no exception, and I'm sure will have very little lasting impact. Nevertheless, here are my thoughts:

Best Film: Letters From Iwo Jima

Reaction: Hmm.. Very interesting *strokes chin*. Even with the most dumbfounded choices NBR usually manages to get its winner into the BP Oscar shortlist (at least in recent memory), so Jima's odds will be undoubtedly cut. As will Clint Eastwood's, but we'll get onto that soon.

The rest of the top 10 from the National Board of Review:

Blood Diamond
The Departed
The Devil Wears Prada
Flags Of Our Fathers
The History Boys
Little Miss Sunshine
Notes on a Scandal
The Painted Veil

Films that needed this: Babel, Flags Of Our Fathers
Films that will probably be exclusively NBR: The History Boys, Notes On a Scandal
Films that are BP Longshots: Blood Diamond, Little Miss Sunshine, The Painted Veil
Films that shine: The Departed, The Devil Wears Prada (yay!)
Films hurt by the snub: The Queen
Films that will march on regardless of the snub: Dreamgirls

Best Director: MARTIN SCORSESE, The Departed

The thing that I always find utterly confusing about the NBR is their distribution of Picture and Director, which rarely ever matches. Now I am delighted that Martin Scorsese has justly received this award, but it strikes me as odd, despite his massive overdue status with Oscar, that NBR should choose not to give this prize to Clint Eastwood, who (despite my hatred of) is seen by many as a legendary figure, and has directed TWO of the NBR top ten. By no means am I complaining about this, but it just seems bizarre. A Departed-Eastwood result would have made much more sense. Oh well, I guess that's NBR for ya.

Best Actor: FOREST WHITAKER, The Last King of Scotland
Best Actress: HELEN MIRREN, The Queen

Reaction ZzZzZ.. but fair

Best Supporting Actor: DJIMON HOUNSOU, Blood Diamond
Best Supporting Actress: CATHERINE O'HARA, For Your Consideration

Reaction: Completely random. Hounsou, who already has 1 oscar nomination, and hasn't done an awful lot since, may have got this based on his seemingly emotive foreigner role (plus lack of competition). I would have thought this award may have gone to Michael Sheen -- a further blow for The Queen. Catherine O'Hara, whose lead Globe status makes this even more difficult to comprehend, may find the road ends there, when or if she's nominated there.

Best Foreign Film: VOLVER
Best Animated Feature: CARS

Reaction: Pretty routine picks. Cars is quite a boring pick. HAPPY FEET!

Best Ensemble Cast: THE DEPARTED
Breakthrough Performance by an Actor: RYAN GOSLING, Half Nelson
Breakthrough Performance by an Actress: (2)
Best Directorial Debut: JASON REITMAN, Thank You for Smoking

Reaction: The Departed's win pretty much leaves its acting status quo. Anyone could still be nominated there. Gosling continues to be the dark horse of the Actor race. Hudson and Kikuchi's mentions help to drive their supporting bids -- especially Kikuchi's.

Best Original Screenplay: ZACH HELM, Stranger Than Fiction
Best Adapted Screenplay: RON NYSWANER, The Painted Veil

Reaction: Meh

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