UPDATE: The full list is now available at the bottom of this post, via press release.
The National Board of Review-- one of the first groups to announce awards for the year, and also one of the most mysterious and least influential-- has named The Social Network the Best Picture of the year, in addition to choosing Jesse Eisenberg for Best Actor and Aaron Sorkin for Best Adapted Screenplay. Another Year's Lesley Manville was named Best Actress, while Christian Bale of The Fighter was chosen as Best Supporting Actor and Animal Kingdom's Jacki Weaver as Best Supporting Actress.
Oscar bloggers may be the only people who wring their hands over the NBR and their choices, given that the group is made up of a fairly random group of New York-based people with interest in film, and skews even older than the Academy. The group's taste is generally fairly conservative, though, which makes their pick of The Social Network-- regarded as a hip and youth-centric movie-- something of a surprise. Much as the NBR's choices don't influence anyone else, their embracing of The Social Network may indicate that David Fincher's film is more accessible to older viewers than previously assumed.
There are plenty of oddball choices in here to chew over, while keeping in mind that the NBR is an idiosyncratic group always. I never would have expected them to fall so hard for Buried, awarding it Best Original Screenplay and also including it in the list of top 10 independent films, and picking The Town for Best Ensemble cast is a bit of a surprise as well, given that they had already shown so much love for The Social Network. Take a look at the full list of winners below-- with a grain of salt, always-- and share your favorite and least favorite surprises in the comments.
Below, the full list of winners.
Best Film: The Social Network
Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network
Best Actor: Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Best Actress: Lesley Manville, Another Year
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Best Supporting Actress: Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Best Original Screenplay: Chris Sparling, Buried
Best Foreign Language Film: Of Gods and Men
Best Documentary: Waiting for “Superman”
Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3
Best Ensemble Cast: The Town
Breakthrough Performance: Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Debut Directors: Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, Restrepo
Spotlight Award: Sylvain Chomet and Jacques Tati, The Illusionist
Special Filmmaking Achievement Award: Sofia Coppola for writing, directing, and producing Somewhere
William K. Everson Film History Award: Leonard Maltin
NBR Freedom of Expression: Fair Game, Conviction, Howl
Production Design Award: Dante Ferretti, Shutter Island
Ten Best Films (in alphabetical order)
The King’s Speech
Toy Story 3
Five Best Foreign-Language Films(in alphabetical order)
I Am Love
Life, Above All
Five Best Documentaries (in alphabetical order)
A Film Unfinished
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
The Tillman Story
Top Ten Independent Films: (in alphabetical order)
The Ghost Writer
Let Me In
Youth in Revolt