The National Board of Review announced their honorees Nov. 27, bestowing the title of Film of the Year on Universal Pictures’ “Green Book.” The film’s star, Viggo Mortensen, took home the award for best actor for his performance as Tony Vallelonga, a white man hired to drive the African-American pianist Don Shirley through the South in the 1960s. This is not the first accolade for “Green Book”; the film debuted back in September at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was awarded the highly coveted People’s Choice Award.
One of the oldest film organizations in existence, the National Board of Review is also one of the earliest organizations to announce their awards. Their best film winners have been out of step with the subsequent Academy Award for Best Picture over the last 10 years, although NBR’s selections do tend to be harbingers of success throughout awards season.
Best director went to Bradley Cooper for Warner Brothers’ “A Star Is Born,” whose lead, Lady Gaga, took home the best actress prize for her performance, which has been widely lauded by critics. Regina King earned the distinction of best supporting actress for her work in Barry Jenkins’ Annapurna Pictures drama “If Beale Street Could Talk,” which also won for best adapted screenplay. The NBR gave the best supporting actor award to Sam Elliott for“A Star Is Born” and honored it as one of the board’s top movies of the year, in addition to nine others: “If Beale Street Could Talk,” Netflix’s “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” and “Roma,” Disney’s “Black Panther” and “Mary Poppins Returns,” Fox Searchlight Pictures’ “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”, A24’s “Eighth Grade” and “First Reformed,” and Paramount Pictures’ “A Quiet Place.”
NBR president Annie Schulhof said of this year’s selections, “We are proud to honor ‘Green Book’ as our Best Film—it is a warm and heartfelt look at a remarkable friendship, brought to the screen at a moment where its story of love, compassion, and shared humanity deeply resonates. We are also thrilled to award Bradley Cooper as our Best Director—he is an extraordinary talent behind the camera, bringing a fresh and modern perspective, as well as superb craftsmanship and tremendous heart, to the classic story of ‘A Star is Born.’ ”
The organization will fete the award winners at a gala hosted in January at Cipriani’s 42nd Street, hosted by Willie Geist. Check out the full list of winners here and stay tuned with Backstage’s awards coverage.
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