I’ve written a lot about the National Board of Review and its phony baloney way of selecting winners for its awards.
Today the NBR gave no fewer than 7 awards to movies made by independent studio A24. David Laub, head of marketing for A24, sits on the NBR board. That’s all you need to know. He’s listed on a 2021 mentorship website as “a distribution executive for film and television studio A24, where he works in all aspects of film distribution including acquisitions, marketing, publicity, and exhibition.’
The NBR gave two of its biggest awards to Joel Coen’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” Coen won for Screenplay and Bruno Delbonnel won for cinematography.
Two of the NBR’s top 10 films of the year were from A24, “Macbeth” and “Red Rocket.”
Two of the top 10 indie films on the NBR list also came from A24: “C’mon C’mon” and “The Green Knight.”
In foreign films, the NBR cited “Lamb,” another A24 film. They weren’t sheepish about it either.
Is it a scandal? Yes. Netflix, for whom no one feels any sympathy, was almost totally shut out of the NBR with their films “The Lost Daughter,””Tick Tick Boom” and “Power of the Dog.” And also for a foreign film, “The Hand of God.” Amazon was shut out for “Being the Ricardos.” There were dozens more oversights including Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” which was at least worthy of mention, and Edgar Wright’s “Last Night in Soho.”
But A24 had the advantage. The little studio doesn’t like me because I write this every year. They don’t invite to me to screenings or send me review links. They don’t send press releases or emails. I had to buy my ticket to “Macbeth” at the New York Film Festival. The NBR equally snubs me for their big gala in January. But this is a fraud perpetuated on the public, and I don’t mind calling it out.