National Board of Review goes with “Hugo,” Scorsese – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell Traditionally, the National Board of Reviews prides itself on being one of the first organizations to announce its year-end film awards, celebrating the finest cinematic outputs of the previous 12 months.

This year, in a desperate attempt to be first (with little value to show for it), the New York Film Critics Circle jumped the gun, declaring Michel Hazanavicius’ outstanding “The Artist” as the Best Featrure of 2011, even though the NYFCC hadn’t seen every film released this year. (Stephen Daldry’s “Extremely Loud and Incredibly notoriously refused to bend to the group’s screening demands.)

So this year, the NBR went next, and decided to run in the opposite direction from the NYFCC, rewarding Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” with its Best Film of the Year and Best Director 2011 distinctions.

Click here to read our exclusive interviews with “Hugo” stars Chloe Grace Mortez and Sir Ben Kingsley!

George Clooney (“The Descendants”) and Tilda Swinton (“We Need to Talk About Kevin”) were named Best Actor and Actress respectively. Christopher Plummer continued his awards march for “Beginners,” while Clooney’s “Descendants” co-star, Shailene Woodley, nabbed Best Supporting Actress.

Click here to read our exclusive interview with Tilda Swinton!

This year’s NBR awards will be handed out on Jan. 10 at Cipriani’s 42nd St. in New York City. The full list of the awards given by the National Board of Review are:

Best Film: Hugo

Best Director: Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Best Actor: George Clooney, The Descendants

Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Best Original Screenplay: Will Reiser, 50/50

Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash

Best Animated Feature: Rango

Breakthrough Performance: Felicity Jones, Like Crazy

Breakthrough Performance: Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Debut Director: J.C. Chandor, Margin Call

Best Ensemble: The Help

Spotlight Award: Michael Fassbender (A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre, Shame, X-Men: First Class)

NBR Freedom of Expression: Crime After Crime

NBR Freedom of Expression: Pariah

Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation

Best Documentary: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Special Achievement in Filmmaking: The Harry Potter Franchise – A Distinguished Translation from Book

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