Thursday, December 04, 2008

NBR (Sucking the Corporate Teat Since 1929)

The National Board of Review has chosen and their awards go like so...

Picture: Slumdog Millionaire.
Top Ten: Burn After Reading, Changeling, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Defiance, Frost/Nixon, Gran Torino, Milk, Wall•E and The Wrestler... so I scored 6/10 of my predictions --not bad considering it coulda gone anywhere. But they actually made it an 11 film year since th
eir Best Picture is no longer listed in their top ten. Sneaky way to honor more films and make sure their dinner is well attended, don'cha know.

Director: David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Actress: Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married

Actor: Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino

Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Supporting Actor: Josh Brolin, Milk

But this being the NBR, they found a way to honor just about everybody including non top ten scorers like Doubt, The Visitor and Frozen River which is still doing really well in precursors... whoda thunk?. The only instantly noticeable "snubs" among high profile Oscar ho
pefuls were zip for Revolutionary Road, The Reader and Australia. They had to make room for multiple honors for the Eastwood films, you see.

See the full list of awards here

before nominations were announced... I wrote

I forgot to make National Board of Review predictions [update: my correct predictions are in red below] but they announce today. It's best not to overthink their choices. Just remember: they turn into quivery jello if you say any syllables that sound like "Clint Eastwood" or "Edward Zwick". They also love December movies and they sometimes throw curveballs in the supporting categories. So here's my totally silly and utterly useless guesswork mere hours (minutes?) before we know. Filler!

Revolutionary Road * Director: Ron Howard Frost/Nixon * Actor: Clint Eastwood -Gran Torino (if this traction is going to happen for real and not merely in the minds of pundits, it has as good a chance of any of starting here) Actress: Winslet for both Revolutionary Road and The Reader (they like double dippers) Supp Actor: Heath Ledger -The Dark Knight (I'm predicting him for every group this year --which is boring but it's one bandwagon few will want to miss) * Supp Actress: Vera Farmiga Nothing But the Truth * Foreign Film: Gomorra (Italy) * Documentary Man on Wire * Semi-Random Top Ten Guesses: Changeling, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Defiance, Doubt, Gran Torino, The Reader, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and The Wrestler


Michael Parsons said...

I think a Melissa Leo traction will start here.

Anonymous said...

Looks as good as any. I, too, think they'll go with Winslet, although in the past, they've very often gone with an older actress whenever possible, which could be good for Streep, Scott Thomas, even Melissa Leo.

Anonymous said...

hey nathaniel grat banner...
try pouting as the next theme!

Anonymous said...

i read somewhere that the nbr nominations have been moved to december was due to the fact that voters did not receive the complete list of eligible films.

Anonymous said...


Film: Milk
alt. Revolutionary Road

Director: Christopher Nolan
alt. David Fincher

Original Screenplay: Milk
alt. Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Adapted Screenplay: Revolutionary Road
alt. Slumdog Millionaire

Actor: Mickey Rourke
alt. Clint Eastwood

Actress: Melissa Leo
alt. Kristin Scott Thomas

Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger
alt. Michael Shannon

Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz
alt. Rosemarie DeWitt

The Pretentious Know it All said...

Rosemarie DeWitt, Melissa Leo or even Viola Davis may get breakthrough actress. They like to call actors and actresses on their 11th or 12th films into a 20-year career breakthrough sometimes.

Breakthrough actor will probably be Dev Patel or Michael Shannon if they're feeling the "Slumdog Millionaire" or "Revolutionary Road" love, respectively.

I think supporting actress is where Penelope Cruz makes her first move.
Ditto for Winslet in actress.

Actor, I think will go to Langella and supporting actor to James Franco.

Anonymous said...

ok here i go

pic - r/road
dir - howard
act - langella
ass - winslet
s/act - shannon
s/ass - davis

OleNelson said...

Predicting NBR? You must be some sort of masochist.

That said, your suggestions make some sense (which, of course, means they will most likely be completely wrong). RR, Eastwood, and Winslet seem like good guesses.


olenelson --well, it's just a tossed off list. ;)

i don't really care about predicgtions that much outside of Oscar. but i am curious what they'll choose and i'm hoping for some curveballs like the Catherine O'Hara for your consideration thing or the Campbell Scott in rodger dodger thing

Ryan said...

My final NBR Predictions:

PICTURE: Revolutionary Road
(Alt: Doubt)

DIRECTION: The Dark Knight – Chris Nolan
(Alt: Milk – Gus Van Sant)

ACTRESS: Kate Winslet –The Reader, Revolutionary Road
(Alt: Meryl Streep – Doubt)

ACTOR: Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler
(Alt. Clint Eastwood – Gran Torino)

SUPP. ACTRESS: Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
(Alt. Viola Davis – Doubt)

SUPP. ACTOR: Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
(Alt. Michael Shannon – Revolutionary Road)

(Alt. The Reader)

(Alt. The Visitor)

(Alt. Waltz with Bashir)

(Alt. Gomorra)

(Alt. Synecdoche New York)

(Alt. Michael Shannon)

(Alt. Anne Hathaway)

TOP 10: Curious Case of Benjamin Button/ Dark Knight/ Defiance/ Doubt/ Frost/Nixon/ Gran Torino/ Milk/ The Reader/ Revolutionary Road/ Slumdog Millionaire (Alt. The Wrestler)

Anonymous said...

BP: SMillionaire, Director: D.Fincher, acting: Eastwood, Hathaway, Brolin and Cruz.

E Dot said...

It's up.

E Dot said...

I think Melissa Leo has become a bonafied contender.

Scott Thomas

As much as I want Hawkins in the top five, do you really think she stands a chance amongst all these dramatic actresses?

Anonymous said...

Did they really have to award Changeling AND Gran Torino (in picture AND writing) AND Eastwood for acting in Gran Torino?


Unless he is miles, I mean miles, better in the trailer, I don't see how anyone could nominate that hammy performance.

Anonymous said...

*than in the trailer...

The Pretentious Know it All said...

I think it's safe to say that Hathaway's a lock for a nod. Last time NBR picked a best actress winner that didn't go on to be a nominee, it was Mia Farrow in "Alice." And Mia Farrow not getting nominated for Alice was pretty ridiculous. Yay for Hathaway.

Anonymous said...

Lord they picked Clint in lead actor. He's gonna John Wayne himself all the way to that Oscar win in best actor. It starts now. :/

Ryan said...

“Dark Knight”/”Milk”/ “Wrestler” (Top 10), Hathaway

“Slumdog Millionaire” (Picture), Josh Brolin

Eastwood orgy, Winslet and Ledger snubbed

But then again this is the group that gave FINDING NEVERLAND Best Picture of 2004.

Anonymous said...

Paramount Vantage must not suck up enough to this group. First they completely snub There Will Be Blood, now nothing for Revolutionary Road.

Ryan said...

Sigh. This is why only the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) can be trusted.

Anonymous said...

yay for Hathaway! she is a lock now I think so the best actress race looks like this

and the fifth slot is foggy as of now
Leo,Hawkins and Scott Thomas are the strongest contenders for it so far, we have to wait for more awards and see.


Jeff --at the risk of people torching my house... I really don't see Cate Blanchett in that much better a position than her competitors.

I think we got

SCOTT-THOMAS -i've love you...

and then a total free for all for 5th slot between Cate, Melissa, Sally & Angelina

but it's early still. NYFCC, LAFCA and the GLOBES could really cement that fifth spot for somebody...


again, don't torch my house, i mean this only in the sense of other than great reviews (which she always gets) Blanchett isn't ahead of anyone else right now...

she may well be nominated but I'm still puzzled as to why Awards Daily and In Contention went so hogwild about her prospects at a win.

but here's something nice for her fans who hate: she looks absolutely sensational in the film. yum yum. i mean she's always pretty but damn!

with nbr you never can really tell if their awards mean anything (i don't think they do unless they help traction... but that requires other precursors to pick up on some of the same honors) but it's still good for ANNE HATHAWAY to get this early notice. She and Melissa Leo do have the hurdle of playing really abrasive characters... and that's usually a hurdle in Best Actress

Anonymous said...

Did they HAVE TO give another one to Clint Eastwood? I wanted him to be awful in this role.

Anonymous said...

i hope the nbr is not a good precursor or i would vomit. i do not want to see clint eastwood winning another oscar. he has a lot of oscars already.

i hope though that the best actress nominees would be:
1. hathaway
2. winslet
3. thomas
4. leo
5. hawkins
no angelina jolie please!

oh nat, the remark about cate is so childish. you provoke and then you complain.

Anonymous said...

'pretty' Nathaniel? 'pretty'? I think the correct word is BEAUTIFUL.


anon --how is that childish? I was being completely sincere. SHE LOOKS EPICALLY BEAUTIFUL IN BENJAMIN BUTTON.

and if you're a frequent reader you'll know that I appreciate it when actresses go full tilt boogie into glamour mode. That's not a diss on Cate. That's a compliment. It's so rare these days that they let actresses do that, especially in awards fare. I haven't found her this stunning since, oh, The Man Who Cried or certain moments in The Good German.

Anonymous said...

'Did they HAVE TO give another one to Clint Eastwood? I wanted him to be awful in this role.'

Thats the problem, watching the trailer shows that he really is awful in the film. But to quote Nathaniel, the reason he's getting buzz + winning awards is because his name is spelt c-l-i-n-t e-a-s-t-w-o-o-d!


Anonymous said...

These awards are terrible for the most part, but I love the Cruz mention. I'm rooting for her to take the Oscar and, along with the ISA nomination, this is great start to her campaign. Forget about Winslet, Harvey!

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, I know you were n't being childish, I just personally feel that the word pretty is associated with someone young(below 30), and that beauty is more related to more mature people.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to see Winslet, Leo, Hawkins, Hathaway, and Thomas slugging it out. I have the highest respect for Streep, but I hope they give others a chance, unless of course, she really delivered an outstanding performance. Blanchett, on the other hand, may sit it out this year. You can't fault her though if some critics are praising her to high heavens.

And yes, Nathaniel, I have to say that the snide remarks towards Cate's fans is uncalled for. Give it a break.

Anonymous said...

by childish, i meant you saying "at the risk of people burning my house".


mdamm --sorry.

I shall try not to mention her name for as long as possible. which, given that Benjamin is almost open, is going to be very difficult...

Anonymous said...

How are Nathaniel's comments on Blanchett in these comments childish or uncalled for? Literally the only thing he did was give his honest opinion of the Best Actress race, which includes Blanchett. I'm a huge Blanchett fan, and he knows that, but you guys are really the ones being childish and uncalled for here.

Anyway: Nathaniel, what is your take on the Best Supporting Actress WIN at this point? I mean, the nominations even could go any which way (Cruz and Davis seem like locks, but other than that, it's completely wildcard at this point). Who do you see pulling through for the win? Having seen both performances, can Cruz trump Davis for the Oscar win? Or is it someone else? I really have no clue, but I am completely obsessed with Cruz in VCB (and Volver, for that matter), so I'm really pulling for her.

Anonymous said...

Well, Nathaniel, I do think that Cate's fans are not as rabid as you think they are. It is all in your mind. They defend her too much though, so it is not your fault. Just be gentle with your words.

And curiously, how is Streep in "Doubt"? I love her, but somehow I feel if she gets nominated, it is because she is the Streep.

I love your site, by the way. I just started reading a week ago.

Anonymous said...


Congratulations. You did it quite well. Pls put Jolie in the Top 5. The is in Clint`s train. She will be nominated this time.

Anonymous said...


" she is in Clint`s train"

Anonymous said...

Cate fans are being childish? For what exactly? Do you expect them to keep silent when offensive nonsense is being written about her on here? No, that's a completely unrealistic expectation to have.

E Dot said...

I enjoy how how Nathaniel voices his opinion. How boring would it be if he had to cater to every fan on here?

Girl, you keep doing what you doing.

Anonymous said...

There was nothing offensive about her written here, is the point, LOL.

Anonymous said...

no. as the one who sent the message saying nat is being childish with his cate remarks, i should make myself clear.

first i said nat is childish for saying "at the risk of people torching my house." i thought it is a statement that would iritate fans again and he is tired of the endless bickering about cate. you know how it is, when you say something like that, people tend to defend themselves and i do not blame them for that. so i thought it was childish of nat to bring it up.

second another reader commented that cate's fans are childish. no way did i say that.

i hope things are cleared up.

Anonymous said...

Since when is being called pretty offensive???? Your actually proving Nathaniel's theory about her fans right. He's never said anything outright disrespectful about Blanchett.

Rich Aunt Pennybags said...

Sorry to jump in the fray here. I didn't think that Nat's words were childish at all. I thought he was obviously being sarcastic, which yes sometimes doesn't go well in print, but I don't see why he should get jumped on again. He obviously likes Cate Blanchett, but he's sick of seeing her everywhere. I've certainly been there.

Although he's probably never been sick of Nicole Kidman, I was there after the infamous divorce, she was everywhere and being signed on to every movie it seemed. I just couldn't stand hearing the same whiny interview about how her wonderful marriage just went poof without any warning, how she didn't think she could do ______ justice, so she would almost call up the director and tell him/her to get another actress because there's no way that she could do the movie justice, and of course the biggest lie of all that she was going to cut back on the amount of movies that she made because of her family while busily signing up for what seemed like every movie that was going to be made during that time. I got over it especially after she entered her slump, but man she drove me crazy with her whining and insecurity in her interviews. I'm sure that being in that industry has to take its toll, but man I didn't want to see all that low self esteem come out that way. Of course, I still roll my eyes since she still tells the same lie about taking time off and not taking time off, (something that I think has something to do with her insecurities), but at least she seems in a better place now.

Anyhow, I've always had overexposure temporarily kill my love for Blanchett, Zellweger, and even Winslet lately because of the possible category fraud and killing my winning the actress contest. :) It passes after they take a break, but even if I really love someone, I still have to scream "enough" if it seems like they're everywhere especially when they do that whole obvious Oscar baiting thing.

Of course, if I admitted that I can get sick of Kidman, Blanchett, and Winslet at certain places especially Awards Daily, I would be flamed, so that's another reason to love your site.

Anonymous said...

This is getting out of hand and it is so funny. Obviously, not everyone is reading all the posts. No one said Nat was offensive for calling Cate pretty. The childish comment has been explained and it was a misunderstanding. Now chill. Cate doesn't even know she is causing all these ridiculous commotions.

Anonymous said...

call it LOST IN TRANSLATION. so hilarious.

Anonymous said...

everyone blabbering without actually reading the posts. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, this discussion should be about the NBR announcement and the winners, instead its turned into part 2 of the heated debate about FANS of Cate Blanchett - its getting a bit out of hand!! :(

I think the Anonymous option of posting comments is might be partly to blame, as other people are getting confused as to who's saying what, when someone else entirely different may have said something, thus causing all this CRAZY stuff.


Anonymous said...


Why do you hate America? I mean Cate Blanchett?

She is a lock for a nomination because the movie she is in will be nominated for best picture.

Good performance+Best Picture nominee movie=Best Actress nominaton

Add to that the fact that Academy loves her, she has it in the bag.

Certainly more so than Leo or whatshername-Sally-whatever. They are not in a movie with a dozen nominations.

Anonymous said...

The funny thing about this all is that it is Cate Blanchett that is given the negative vibes and she is not even aware we exist.

First, we advise her to rest from acting so that she would not be considered in contention for an Academy Award year after year. A sane person would now that acting is her profession and it is not her fault that some critics praise her to high heavens. Surely Blanchett does not force these people to rave about her. Blame the critics, not Blanchett. It is unfair that she is the object of vilification in this site when she is just doing her job. Maybe we should write a petition to producers, asking only to cast her in idiotic movies. That way we would stop hearing about her as a possible Oscar contender, but she would still be earning a living.

Second, people who read this website should read all the posts before writing a comment. I have gone through all the posts and there was no mention that nat ridiculed Blanchett. Think before you react. Anon explained that the childish comment was directed to a comment made by nat that may fuel another word war.

Let us give it a break. If Blanchett is once again a frontrunner at the Oscars, maybe we should pause and think that it is not her doing?

Ryan said...

RE: Best Supp. Actor: Josh Brolin, “Milk”.

I’m REALLY not liking this. Not one b-i-t.

Brolin was fine and all, but these awards belong to Mr. Ledger.

Brian Darr said...

Why would the NBR give an award to the one guy who is most certain not to attend their stargawking function, though?

NicksFlickPicks said...

The NBR gave an award to Roman Polanski? (I'm just kidding.)

I will be happy to be wrong, but that trailer for Gran Torino is so compleeeeetely ridiculous that it's really, really hard to understand what the hell is going on. We could be headed for a Scent of a Woman moment here, except that Clint has many Oscars already (just not acting ones), and he actually looks even worse here than Al was in Scent. All three audiences with whom I have seen the GT trailer have actively laughed at it.

Hayden said...

To be perfectly honest, I think Angelina Jolie is nearly toast.

She's never gonna get in over Streep or Winslet. Hathaway's looking more and more like a safe bet, too. Between the sudden support for Frozen River, Sally Hawkins' likely Globe win and Blanchett's surge of buzz, the only contender I think she has a better chance than is Kristin Scott Thomas, who could easily pull ahead as critics' awards are announced.

Her film has gotten crappy reception in the US. Gran Turino is already starting to overshadow Changeling. And, on top of everything, she couldn't even get a nomination for A Mighty Heart last year.

It's too soon to call, but I can't imagine Jolie getting in anymore.

Anonymous said...

HI Fred-Hathaway!!!

Anonymous said...

Angelina's film made money though, and it's a Clint film. That's going to take her further than last year with "A Mighty Heart." I doubt that the critics will be behind her, but there's no reason to think that she wouldn't get Globes and SAG nods leading up to an Oscar nod. She's still in this race.

Anonymous said...


Bernardo said...

Defiance? Didn't it get awful reviews while Rev Road and The Reader are getting good ones?

RC said...

i'm surprised doubt didn't make it here & the gran tarino love begins.

Anonymous said...

Bernardo, NBR loooooooooves Zwick. Blood Diamond made their list, as well as The Last Samurai (which placed THIRD, I believe!), and he even won Best Director for The Last Samurai.


RC but they gave DOUBT two prizes anyway so they covered themselves there.

Anonymous said...

I love Cate.She is an amazing actress.But,i don't thnk nat's words are childish.Don't let them bother you.Keep going.I am from Taiwan and I love to read your blog.Anyway,cheers for hathaway.

The Pretentious Know it All said...

I'm most surprised, honestly, by the supporting actor win for Josh Brolin. Am I the only one who thinks that of all the supporting performances in "Milk," his impresses the least? Just saying...

Janice said...

I'm sure Fincher deserves some awards love but - Best Director of 2008? When the film hasn't even opened yet? *sigh* I know Nathaniel has opined on this elsewhere, but even I'm getting irritated by the transparency of it.

Antonio Cuesta said...

Cate Blanchett is no locked for a nomination, even if she is good in the movie and the movie is a best picture nominee, because Leonardo Di Caprio, for example, got snubbed for "Titanic", and Johnny Depp got snubbed for "Chocolat", and Robin Wright Penn and Sally Field were snubbed for "Forrest Gump"...

I think the only acting nomination for "Benjamin Button" will be Taraji's. Pitt comes second, and Blanchett comes third.

That's my opinion.

1. Meryl Streep
2. Kate Winslet
3. Anne Hathaway
4. Melissa Leo
5. Angelina Jolie
6. Kristin Scott-Thomas
7. Sally Hawkins
8. Cate Blanchett
9. Nicole Kidman
10. Kate Beckinsale