National Board Of Review Names ‘Green Book’ Best Picture; ‘A Star Is Born’s Bradley Cooper As Best Director


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 BornThe 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. 

Mahershala Ali as Dr. Donald Shirley and Viggo Mortensen as Tony Vallelonga in “Green Book,” directed by Peter Farrelly. Universal

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.

Warner Bros

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


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

Black Panther

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Eighth Grade

First Reformed

If Beale Street Could Talk

Mary Poppins Returns

A Quiet Place


A Star Is Born

Top 5 Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order)




The Guilty

Happy as Lazzaro


Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order)


Crime  + Punishment

Free Solo

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

The Rider


Sorry to Bother You

We the Animals

You Were Never Really Here




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