The National Board of Review have announced their winners, continuing this crazy start to the 2014 Awards Season.
They are in love with J.C Chandor’s A Most Violent Year, awarding it Best Film, Best Actor for Oscar Isaac in a tie, and Best Supporting Actress for Jessica Chastain. Reviews have been strong for Chandor’s third feature, which has become one of the strongest late contenders.
There were other surprises – 84 year-old Clint Eastwood was named Best Director for American Sniper, the screenplay awards went to Chris Miller and Phil Lord for The Lego Movie and Paul Thomas Anderson for Inherent Vice, and Fury was awarded Best Ensemble.
This is promising, considering I am such a fan of Paul Thomas Anderson. I can’t imagine him making a bad film, but Inherent Vice has not been particularly well-received. As for Fury, I liked the film a lot, but not some of its ensemble.
Birdman received two acting awards for Michael Keaton and Edward Norton, while Jack O’Connell was deservedly recognised for Breakthrough Performance in Starred Up and Unbroken. I have only seen Starred Up but it is one of the year’s very best performances.
Starred Up was also acknowledged in the NBR’s Top 10 Independent Films along with other critical favourites like Blue Ruin, A Most Wanted Man, The Skeleton Twins and Snowpiercer. We probably won’t see these films mentioned too many times during the season, so it is great to see them recognised here.
The five films recognised for Best Documentary also made it to the 15 film shortlist announced this morning, while one of my favourites of the year in Nightcrawler made it to their Top 10 Films list, along with a number of Best Pic contenders.
Here is the complete list:
A Most Violent Year (J.C Chandor)
Clint Eastwood, American Sniper
Oscar Isaac, A Most Violent Year, and Michael Keaton, Birdman (TIE)
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Best Supporting Actor
Edward Norton, Birdman
Best Supporting Actress
Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
Best Original Screenplay
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, The Lego Movie
Best Adapted Screenplay
Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice
Best Animated Feature
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Jack O’Connell, Starred Up and Unbroken
Best Directorial Debut
Gillian Robespierre, Obvious Child
Best Foreign Language Film
William K. Everson Film History Award
Chris Rock for writing, directing, and starring in Top Five
NBR Freedom of Expression Award
Rosewater and Selma
Top 10 Films
The Imitation Game
The Lego Movie
Top 5 Foreign Language Films
Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem
Two Days, One Night
We Are the Best!
Top 5 Documentaries
Art and Craft
Keep On Keepin’ On
The Kill Team
Last Days in Vietnam
Top 10 Independent Films
A Most Wanted Man
The Skeleton Twins
Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
By Andrew Buckle