The National Board of Review is not a great indicator of the Academy Award.
The NBR has chosen the Best Picture only 7 times in the last 20 years. They’ve only picked it three times in the last decade.
What the NBR does do is build up false hopes. They were the ones who got the “Up in the Air” crowd riled up. They were very disappointed later.
2010 The Social Network
2009 Up in the Air
2008 Slumdog Millionaire- won the Oscar
2007 No Country for Old Men – won the Oscar
2006 Letters from Iwo Jima
2005 Good Night, And Good Luck
2004 Finding Neverland
2003 Mystic River – won the Oscar corrected: lost to “Lord of the Rings”
2002 The Hours
2001 Moulin Rouge
1999 American Beauty – won the Oscar
1998 Gods and Monsters
1997 L.A. Confidential
1995 Sense & Sensibility
1994 Pulp Fiction (tie) Forrest Gump – won the Oscar
1993 Schindler’s List – won the Oscar
1992 Howards End
1991 The Silence of the Lambs – won the Oscar