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article image'Zero Dark Thirty' takes top prize from National Board of Review

By Tim O'Brien     Dec 5, 2012 in Entertainment
New York - Upon further review, will the front-runners heading into Oscars be "Les Miserables" or "Lincoln"? Looking at the recent awards being handed out, one would say no.
After the New York Film Critics handed "Zero Dark Thirty" its top award, the National Board of Review (NBR) not only seconded that emotion, they raised its stock. “'Zero Dark Thirty' is a masterful film,” said Annie Schulhof, NBR president said when announcing the winners today (Dec. 5).
Of course, not all critic awards from each city that has them makes headlines, but New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, plus Boston, do. Nor does every organization need to be featured in banner headlines across publications throughout the land.
However, the National Board of Review makes heads turn. As they award "Zero Dark Thirty" its top prize, other films will up their campaigns and wonder what is going wrong. Truth is, nothing is going wrong as this is often how this plays out.
“Kathryn Bigelow takes the viewer inside a definitive moment of our time in a visceral and unique way. It is exciting, provocative and deeply emotional,” added Schulhof.
Top films
"Beast of the Southern Wild"
Django Unchained"
"Les Miserables
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower"
"Promised Land"
"Silver Linings Playbook"
Best Film: "Zero Dark Thirty"
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Best Actor: Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Best Supporting Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, "Django Unchained"
Best Supporting Actress: Ann Dowd, "Compliance"
Best Original Screenplay: Rian Johnson, "Looper"
Best Adapted Screenplay: David O. Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Best Animated Feature: "Wreck-It Ralph"
Special Achievement in Filmmaking: Ben Affleck, "Argo"
Breakthrough Actor: Tom Holland, "The Impossible"
Breakthrough Actress: Quvenzhané Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Best Directorial Debut: Benh Zeitlin, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Best Foreign Language Film: "Amour"
Best Documentary: "Searching for Superman"
William K. Everson Film History Award: "50 Years of Bond Films"
Best Ensemble: "Les Miserables"
Spotlight Award: John Goodman ("Argo" - "Flight" - "ParaNorman" - "Trouble With the Curve")
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: "Central Park Five"
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: "Promised Land"
When it comes to cure balls, the NBR has done just that. While its ensemble award went to "Les Miserables," the best movie went to "Zero Dark Thirty," which means ensemble doesn't make for a best film. And it beat "Argo" to boot, which boasts a great cast worthy of the award as well. Then there is John Goodman, who is in "Argo, too, who took a spotlight award. After seeing the list of films he appeared, is surely deserving.
As "Zero Dark Thirty" dominates, that may be a hard task to duplicate come Oscar time, but these awards have made the path to glory very interesting. After all, Bigelow won Oscars for director and film for "The Hurt Locker." Can she do the same in such a short amount of time between the two? If one thinks that doesn't enter the minds of voters, just ask Steven Spielberg.
Absent along the way are films that gained attention but have not been in the running. They include "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Master," and even "Hitchcock." While it is tough for blockbusters to crack into the top film category, it is not impossible. Films like "The Lord of The Rings: Return of the King," "Forrest Gump," "Rain Man" and "Titanic" have all entered that stratosphere, to name a few.
The National Board of Review's annual awards will officially be handed out on Jan. 8, 2013 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. It will be hosted by Meredith Vieira.
Note: due to the numerous awards handed out every year, not all of them will be put in the news cycle. The ones that feature critics from cities across the country, will be put in the blog. Certain stalwarts like the NBR and the like, will be put in the news portion. An example of the blog would be New York Film Critics Awards (go here). It isn't necessary to clog the news with every single award that gets handed out. Another example was the Governors Awards (blog here).
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