The winners of the National Board of Review Awards have FINALLY been announced after hours of waiting, and out appear so wins I didn’t see coming. Has this widened the field this awards season? They are original and interesting picks, but not the ones you would expect.
Best Film: A Most Violent Year- This came as a shock as I don’t see it as a real Oscar contender. It’s had solid reviews thus far and I know that Clayton Davis at Awards Circuit really likes it and has put it in his list of Best Picture nominees, but I really wasn’t expecting it to win. It’s not really my cup of tea and I’ll probably give it a miss when it is out in cinemas, but it’s a bold pick and one that can really shake up the race.
Best Director: Clint Eastwood (American Sniper)- Oh, come on NBR, stop picking Eastwood. After all the Eastwood-based gags appearing on twitter, I thought that surely he won’t win, and then he does! This is an awful pick, especially with competition from Linklater and Inarritu. At least it wasn’t for Jersey Boys…
Best Actor: Michael Keaton (Birdman) and Oscar Isaac (A Most Violent Year)- Keaton was as expected and deserved: he’s the definite frontrunner for Best Actor at the Oscars. Isaac is a big shock. Once again, he is not a contender at the Oscars and it’s odd seeing him win here. I’m happy for him, though.
Best Actress: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)- This was the obvious choice and the right choice. Moore is almost sure to win her first Oscar for this role, and she is more than deserving: a real talent and one of the best actresses of her generation.
Best Supporting Actor: Edward Norton (Birdman)- It’s so great to see someone else winning and not making this category a forgone conclusion, providing a real challenger to J.K. Simmons. I’m also pleased that Norton is taking on more of these roles- it’s adds real depth to acting and proves that he has incredible range.
Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year)- By winning here, Chastain proves that she is still in with a shout of getting nominated. She’s currently in 6th place in this category, but if she impresses enough critics, she could easily push herself into the top 5.
Breakthrough Performance: Jack O’Connell (Starred Up, Unbroken)- I’m really happy for O’Connell, getting a leading role in a real awards contender without being an A-lister. I’m sure he’ll follow up this award with a BAFTA in the rising star category. He’s really talented and one to watch.
Best Animated Feature: How To Train Your Dragon 2- Quick question: why is this best animated feature when it isn’t in the Top 10 films list and The Lego Movie is? Good selection though.