The organization picks 'Moonlight' helmer Barry Jenkins as best director; Amy Adams best actress
Credit: Claire Folger

Manchester by the Sea has been named the best film of the year by the National Board of Review.

The organizational body, made up of New York-based academics, film enthusiasts, professionals and filmmakers, announced its annual list of year-end honors on Tuesday, recognizing a crop of actors and movies that could be among the winners — or at the very least the nominees — for the upcoming Oscars.

The winners include Manchester by the Sea for Best Film, with star Casey Affleck nabbing the Best Actor prize, writer/director Kenneth Lonergan winning Best Original Screenplay, and Lucas Hedges earning Breakthrough Performance (Male). All three players should make their way onto many academy members’ Oscar ballots.

Likewise, Moonlight helmer Barry Jenkins, who nabbed a Best Director prize from the NBR, should feel some love when Oscar nominations are announced in January. As should his supporting actress Naomie Harris, whom NBR deemed Best Supporting Actress for her role as lead character Chiron’s mother in the coming-of-age drama.

Amy Adams, who received glowing praise from Cate Blanchett at the Gotham Awards on Monday night, nabbed the Best Actress award for her role in Denis Villeneuve’s cerebral sci-fi film Arrival.

The National Board of Review barely overlaps with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, which determines the Oscars. And most often they go their own way. Last year, the group chose Mad Max: Fury Road as the best film of 2015. The dystopian epic by George Miller did nab six Oscar statuettes and it was nominated for best picture. A year earlier, the NBR’s choice was more anachronistic — the group chose J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year as 2014’s best film, and the Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain-starrer was later snubbed entirely by the Academy.

The NBR’s awards ceremony will take place on Jan. 4, with the Today show’s Willie Geist hosting. See the full list of this year’s honorees below.

Best Film: Manchester by the Sea

Best Director: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Best Actress: Amy Adams, Arrival

Best Supporting Actor: Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Best Supporting Actress: Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Best Original Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay: Jay Cocks and Martin Scorsese, Silence

Best Animated Feature: Kubo and the Two Strings

Breakthrough Performance (Male): Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Breakthrough Performance (Female): Royalty Hightower, The Fits

Best Directorial Debut: Trey Edward Shults, Krisha

Best Foreign Language Film: The Salesman

Best Documentary: O.J.: Made in America

Best Ensemble: Hidden Figures

Spotlight Award: Creative Collaboration of Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg

NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Cameraperson

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Manchester by the Sea
  • Movie
  • 137 minutes