The National Board of Review today named Universal/DreamWorks/Participant Media’s The Green Book as best movie and Bradley Cooper as best director for Warner Bros.’ A Star Is Born. The honorees will be feted at the NBR Awards Gala, hosted by Willie Geist, on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at Cipriani 42nd Street.
The National Board of Review does it their way when it comes to lauding awards contenders and often isn’t in lockstep with who the ultimate Oscar winner is. Last year, they named Steven Spielberg’s The Post as best picture along with its stars Tom Hanks as best actor and Meryl Streep as best actress. The Post only earned two Oscar noms last year for best picture and Streep and came up empty in regards to wins. The last time NBR synced with AMPAS on best picture was for 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire.
Green Book also took best actor for Viggo Mortensen who plays ‘Tony the Lip’, the driver (and bodyguard) of American pianist Don Shirley as they travel through the South during the divided 1960s South on a concert tour. Today’s news is a ray of sunshine for Green Book as the film has struggled in its first week at 1,000 theaters at the box office making $8.3m. That said, audience exits have been through the roof for the Peter Farrelly-directed period drama with an A+ CinemaScore and four-and-a-half stars. Green Book also surprised many earlier this fall when it took the top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Last year Greta Gerwig took best director at the NBR for Lady Bird. She would get nominated at the Oscars, but AMPAS handed the trophy to Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water. The last time NBR and Oscars agreed on best director was the 2006-2007 awards season when they named Martin Scorsese for The Departed. Quite often, in recent NBR millennial history, they’ve lauded notable Hollywood directors like Clint Eastwood (for American Sniper, and Invictus), David Fincher (The Social Network, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Ridley Scott (The Martian). In addition to Cooper a Best Director, A Star Is Born came up with wins for Lady Gaga as Best Actress and Sam Elliott as Best Supporting Actor.
Also receiving multiple wins was Annapurna’s If Beale Street Could Talk from director Barry Jenkins (who was actually named best director in 2016 for Moonlight by NBR) with Regina King as Best Supporting Actress and Jenkins for Best Screenplay.
BR President Annie Schulhof said in a statement, “We are proud to honor Green Book as our best film – it is a warm and heartfelt look at a remarkable friendship, brought to the screen at a moment where its story of love, compassion, and shared humanity deeply resonates. We are also thrilled to award Bradley Cooper as our best director – he is an extraordinary talent behind the camera, bringing a fresh and modern perspective, as well as superb craftsmanship and tremendous heart, to the classic story of A Star is Born.”
Below is a full list of the National Board of Review’s recipients:
Best Film: GREEN BOOK
Best Director: Bradley Cooper, A STAR IS BORN
Best Actor: Viggo Mortensen, GREEN BOOK
Best Actress: Lady Gaga, A STAR IS BORN
Best Supporting Actor: Sam Elliott, A STAR IS BORN
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
Best Original Screenplay: Paul Schrader, FIRST REFORMED
Best Adapted Screenplay: Barry Jenkins, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
Best Animated Feature: INCREDIBLES 2
Breakthrough Performance: Thomasin McKenzie, LEAVE NO TRACE
Best Directorial Debut: Bo Burnham, EIGHTH GRADE
Best Foreign Language Film: COLD WAR
Best Documentary: RBG
Best Ensemble: CRAZY RICH ASIANS
William K. Everson Film History Award: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND and THEY’LL LOVE ME WHEN I’M DEAD
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: 22 JULY
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: ON HER SHOULDERS
Top Films (in alphabetical order)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
If Beale Street Could Talk
Mary Poppins Returns
A Quiet Place
A Star Is Born
Top 5 Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order)
Happy as Lazzaro
Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order)
Crime + Punishment
Minding the Gap
Three Identical Strangers
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order)
The Death of Stalin
Lean on Pete
Leave No Trace
The Old Man & the Gun
Sorry to Bother You
We the Animals
You Were Never Really Here