Industry News: NBR Top Films of 2018

The National Board of Review (NBR) announced its winners, including a list of 2018’s Top Ten Films, to be formally awarded January 8, 2019, in NYC. The inspirational ’60s race relations dramedy Green Book (first prize as best picture and for one of its leading men) and the music-filled romance remake A Star Is Born (three of the top acting prizes) have been crowned the new frontrunners of awards season, with Alfonso Cuarón’s deeply personal black and white foreign language film Roma a distant third place in terms of awards season momentum.

Many films’ Academy Awards chances are boosted by these accolades, but don’t count out buzzy royalty fantasia The Favourite, Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in Vice, Steve McQueen’s struggling but spectacular heist drama Widows, Spike Lee’s neglected but brilliant BlacKkKlansman or late-year entry The Mule (not screened for NBR voters, and director/lead actor Clint Eastwood has had late-breaking films enter the fray before) to score nominations come Oscar time.

Faring well in today’s NBR nominations is popular streaming service Netflix, home of both The Coen Brothers’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and also the upcoming Roma. Both are now screening in select cities theatrically, and Buster Scruggs can be streamed right now. Little-seen indies from the first half of the year, First Reformed and Eighth Grade, plus blockbuster popular and critical hits from early this year, Black Panther and A Quiet Place, just picked up lots of momentum. Emily Blunt appears to be a factor in upcoming awards as love for both her films, A Quiet Place and Mary Poppins Returns, seems apparent in these votes.

I’ve hyperlinked to movies reviewed on this site. Let the awards season begin!

Best Film: Green Book

Best Director: Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Best Actor: Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
Best Actress: Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Best Original Screenplay: Paul Schrader, First Reformed
Best Adapted Screenplay: Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
Best Animated Feature: Incredibles 2
Breakthrough Performance: Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace
Best Directorial Debut: Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade
Best Foreign Language Film: Cold War
Best Documentary: RBG
Best Ensemble: Crazy Rich Asians
William K. Everson Film History Award: The Other Side of the Wind and They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: 22 July
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: On Her Shoulders

Top Films of 2018 (alphabetical, I presume we see these as the ten movies nipping at the heels of Green Book)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Black Panther
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Eighth Grade
First Reformed
If Beale Street Could Talk
Mary Poppins Returns
A Quiet Place
Roma
A Star Is Born

Top 5 Foreign Language Films
Burning
Custody
The Guilty
Happy as Lazzaro
Shoplifters

Top 5 Documentaries 
Crime + Punishment
Free Solo
Minding the Gap
Three Identical Strangers
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Top 10 Independent Films 
The Death of Stalin
Lean on Pete
Leave No Trace
Mid90s
The Old Man & the Gun
The Ride
Searching
Sorry to Bother You
We the Animals
You Were Never Really Here

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