Sunday, May 26, 2024

Awards Season Is Over: Now Let’s Disband the National Board of Review, They Got Just About Everything Wrong


The awards season is over at last. Now let’s disband or disregard the National Board of Review, which chooses their winners based on personal ties and preferences. They got just about everything wrong. Basically they were a waste of time.

What did they get right? Just Julianne Moore as Best Actress in “Still Alice.” Otherwise, they gave Clint Eastwood his annual award, so that doesn’t count. They missed all the other acting categories and Best Director, as well as Best Picture. They got the screenplay awards wrong. They gave nothing to “Ida,” which won the Oscar for Foreign Film. They snubbed everything and everyone from “Boyhood” (it made their top list) and “Selma” (it got a toss off award). They ignored “Citizen Four.” They were far off the mark for Animated Film. Both “The Imitation Game” and “The Theory of Everything” didn’t exist in their world.

“Fury” won Best Ensemble! “Fury.” Are you kidding? Over “Imitation Game,” “Boyhood,” “Birdman,” “Into the Woods.” Do you remember who was in “Fury”? (Brad Pitt.)

What is the purpose of this group? Why are the studios still kowtowing to them? NBR, as I’ve written before, shills for Warner Bros and Eastwood (Eastwood probably has no idea). They pick winners based on relationships as they did this year with A24’s “Most Violent Year.” Ridiculous. And their membership– just fans who pay a lot of money to meet stars, get their pictures taken, is even more ridiculous.

It’s time to say goodbye to the NBR. Do the studios really need their phoney baloney name on ads in December? No. The audience is totally overwhelmed by all the awards shows. The movie publicists all hate them. Let’s stick with the real ones, and give the fakers the heave-ho.

2014 National Board of Review winners:

Best Film: A Most Violent Year
Best Director: Clint Eastwood – American Sniper
Best Actor (TIE): Oscar Isaac – A Most Violent Year; Michael Keaton – Birdman
Best Actress: Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Best Supporting Actor: Edward Norton – Birdman
Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
Best Original Screenplay: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller – The Lego Movie
Best Adapted Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson – Inherent Vice
Best Animated Feature: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Breakthrough Performance: Jack O’Connell – Starred Up & Unbroken
Best Directorial Debut: Gillian Robespierre – Obvious Child
Best Foreign Language Film: Wild Tales
Best Documentary: Life Itself
William K. Everson Film History Award: Scott Eyman
Best Ensemble: Fury
Spotlight Award: Chris Rock for writing, directing, and starring in – Top Five
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Rosewater
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Selma

Top Films
American Sniper
Gone Girl
The Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
The Lego Movie

Top 5 Foreign Language Films
Force Majeure
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem
Two Days, One Night
We Are the Best!

Top 5 Documentaries
Art and Craft
Jodorowsky’s Dune
Keep On Keepin’ On
The Kill Team
Last Days in Vietnam

Top 10 Independent Films
Blue Ruin
A Most Wanted Man
Mr. Turner
Obvious Child
The Skeleton Twins
Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
Starred Up
Still Alice

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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