December 01, 2011 12:15pm PT by Gregg Kilday
'Hugo' Named Best Film of the Year by the National Board of Review
The National Board of Review has named Martin Scorsese's Hugo as the best film of the year. The group, comprised of scholars, filmmakers and students, also gave Scorsese its best director prize for its 3D homage to the early days of film, produced by GK Films and released by Paramount.
“Hugo is such a personal film by Martin Scorsese,” said Annie Schulhof, NBR president. “It is a tribute to the early years of cinema that uses today's cutting edge technology to bring the audience into a completely unique and magical world. It is visually stunning and emotionally engaging.”
The NBR handed its top acting prizes to George Clooney for The Descendants and Tilda Swinton for We Need to Talk About Kevin. Both performers play parents dealing with challenges in their lives, although Descendants steers between humorous and dramatic moments while Kevin is much more starkly dramatic.
Descendants also claimed the best screenplay adaptation award for Alexander Payne (who also directed), Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, as well as best supporting actress for Shailene Woodley, who plays Clooney's elder daughter.
Christopher Plummer was hailed as best supporting actor for his performance as a father who comes out late in life in Beginners.
Best original screenplay honors went to Will Reiser for the cancer comedy 50/50.
David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, which screened for the group Monday, secured one trophy: a breakthrough performance award for Rooney Mara, who plays the title character. A second breakthrough perfromance award went to Felicity Jones, who stars in the geography-challenge romance Like Crazy.
The complete list of winners Includes:
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, The Descendants
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 to Film
The NBR also issued several best-of-year lists, with the movies listed in alphabetical order. They are:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Ides of March
Tree of Life
Top 5 Foreign Language Films
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within
Top 5 Documentaries
Born to be Wild
George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Top 10 Independent Films
A Better Life
We Need To Talk About Kevin