Lady Gaga, Green Book, more get Oscars boost as National Board of Review winners announced
Peter Farrelly’s Green Book has written another golden chapter in its Oscars playbook.
The National Board of Review (slightly) narrowed the Best Picture race Tuesday at the top of a busy early-awards season week that also includes the Gotham Awards and New York Film Critics Circle’s Oscar-positioning ceremony, announcing its annual list of year-end winners by naming the Viggo Mortensen/Mahershala Ali-starring dramedy the best film of 2018.
Mortensen also took the group’s best actor prize for Green Book, which previously won the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival People’s Choice Award — an award that has gone to nine eventual Best Picture winners or nominees across the last decade.
Bradley Cooper and his A Star is Born team, however, earned the most love from the National Board of Review, bagging four overall trophies — including one for Cooper’s direction, one for Lady Gaga‘s lead performance, and another for Sam Elliott’s supporting turn.
Still, the 2018 race has yet to produce a clear-cut frontrunner for Best Picture, though at this early stage the race appears to be between three solid contenders: box office juggernaut A Star is Born, prestige critical favorite Roma (which also appears on the National Board of Review’s top 10), and steadfast crowd-pleaser Green Book.
Other standouts from the National Board of Review’s 2018 winners list are supporting actress champion Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) as well as screenplay victors Paul Schrader (First Reformed) and King’s Beale Street writer Barry Jenkins.
Now comprised of film enthusiasts, academics, and other film-focused professionals, the National Board of Review was first established in 1909 by a group of theater owners opposing New York City’s revoking of exhibition licenses. The preferences of its eclectic voting ranks often reflect a broader consensus than the perspective of industry insiders voting within groups like the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy, though their picks generally line up with Oscar’s eventual roster of nominees.
Only two National Board of Review winners have missed out on a Best Picture Oscar nomination over the last 18 years: 2000’s Quills and 2014’s A Most Violent Year. The National Board of Review has also catalyzed the rise of key players in the Oscar conversation in recent years, as NBR chart-toppers Her and Mad Max: Fury Road received significant bumps on the precursor circuit ahead of multiple Oscar nods in 2014 and 2016, respectively.
Last year, however, registered a significant off period for NBR-Oscar crossover, as two Academy favorites — Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and eventual Best Picture winner The Shape of Water — were left off of the organization’s top 10 entirely, and eventual Best Actor champion Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)
Check out the full list of 2018 National Board of Review winners below.
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 (in alphabetical order)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
If Beale Street Could Talk
Mary Poppins Returns
A Quiet Place
A Star is Born
Top 5 Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order)
Happy as Lazzaro
Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order)
Crime + Punishment
Minding the Gap
Three Identical Strangers
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order)
The Death of Stalin
Lean on Pete
Leave No Trace
The Old Man & the Gun
Sorry to Bother You
We the Animals
You Were Never Really Here