Da 5 Bloods, Riz Ahmed, Carey Mulligan score wins from National Board of Review
Oscar precursor celebrates Taylor Swift, Spike Lee, Sound of Metal, Promising Young Woman, more.
Amid a crowded week of precursor award announcements, Spike Lee's Vietnam War drama has picked up a significant accolade in the run-up to the Academy Awards, as the National Board of Review named the Netflix feature as the best movie of 2020 on Tuesday.
Lee — a likely contender for the Best Director Oscar — also won the NBR's Best Director prize, with leading contenders Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) and Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) picking up important notices in the acting categories after scoring Indie Spirit nods earlier today.
In the supporting categories, Minari's Youn Yuh-jung earned another precursor accolade for her work in Lee Isaac Chung's A24 drama, with Sound of Metal bagging another acting award for Paul Raci's supporting performance opposite Ahmed.
Elsewhere, Taylor Swift's Netflix documentary Miss Americana earned recognition among the group's nonfiction feature crop. On the screenplay front, Paul Greengrass' News of the World earned its first major notice along the current awards trail, while Disney's Soul — presumed to be in the hunt for a Best Picture nomination from the Academy — scored a spot on the NBR's top 10 and an individual victory in the animated category.
Elsewhere on the NBR's top 10 list are seasonal mainstays like Judas and the Black Messiah, Nomadland, and First Cow, while surprise nominees like The Midnight Sky and The Forty-Year-Old Version showed up in slots widely expected to go to movies like David Fincher's Mank and Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7 — both of which were shut out completely.
Made up of film enthusiasts, academics, and various movie professionals, the NBR was established in 1909 by theater owners who opposed the revoking of exhibition licenses by New York City officials. Recently, it has become an integral stepping stone on the road to the Academy Awards, often giving a key boost of visiblity to contenders vying for Oscar nominations.
In the past, the awards body has served as a prominent springboard for titles breaking into the race, as placement atop the NBR chart ignited industry attention for Her and Mad Max: Fury Road ahead of multiple Oscar nods in 2014 and 2016, respectively.
Over the last 20 years, only two of the NBR's top-film winners have missed out on a Best Picture Oscar nomination: 2000's Quills and 2014's A Most Violent Year. Last year, Martin Scorsese's The Irishman earned the top spot, but lost all 10 of its eventual Oscar categories.
See the full list of National Board of Review winners below.
Best Film: Da 5 Bloods
Best Director: Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods
Best Actor: Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Best Actress: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman
Best Supporting Actor: Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
Best Supporting Actress: Youn Yuh-jung, Minari
Best Adapted Screenplay: Paul Greengrass & Luke Davies, News of the World
Best Original Screenplay: Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
Breakthrough Performance: Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Best Directorial Debut: Channing Godfrey Peoples, Miss Juneteenth
Best Animated Feature: Soul
Best Foreign Language Film: La Llorona
Best Documentary: Time
NBR Icon Award: Chadwick Boseman
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: One Night in Miami...
NBR Spotlight Award: Radha Blank for writing, directing, producing and starring in The Forty-Year-Old Version
Best Ensemble: Da 5 Bloods
Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography: Joshua James Richards, Nomadland
Top Films (in alphabetical order):
The Forty-Year-Old Version
Judas and the Black Messiah
The Midnight Sky
News of the World
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
Top 5 Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order):
The Mole Agent
Night of the Kings
Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order):
All In: The Fight for Democracy
Dick Johnson is Dead
The Truffle Hunters
Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order):
Never Rarely Sometimes Always