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The MGM/United Artists feature scored two more wins, including best director for Anderson and breakthrough performance for stars Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman.
“In a moment of transition and uncertainty, there is nothing like Licorice Pizza to remind us of the joy, hope and exhilaration that great cinema can inspire,” NBR president Annie Schulhof said in part in a statement.
Three films won two awards each: King Richard (best actor for Will Smith and supporting actress for Aunjanue Ellis), The Tragedy of Macbeth (best adapted screenplay and cinematography) and A Hero (best original screenplay and best foreign-language film).
The best actress award was given to West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler, while best supporting actor went to Belfast’s Ciarán Hinds. Pig’s Michael Sarnoski won best directorial debut, Encanto won best animated feature, Summer of Soul won best documentary, The Harder They Fall won best ensemble, and Flee won the NBR Freedom of Expression Award.
The organization’s honors are voted on by a group of film enthusiasts, professionals, academics, filmmakers and students.
NBR has a mixed record as an Oscars predictor. Last year its top film was Da 5 Bloods, which ended up only landing one Oscar nomination, and in 2019, NBR selected The Irishman, which scored several Oscar nominations but no wins. Previous NBR best film winners include Green Book (2018), The Post (2017), Manchester by the Sea (2016) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).
The honorees will be celebrated at a gala event on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, hosted by Willie Geist.
A complete list of this year’s National Board of Review award winners follows.
Best film: Licorice Pizza
Best director: Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
Best actor: Will Smith, King Richard
Best actress: Rachel Zegler, West Side Story
Best supporting actor: Ciarán Hinds, Belfast
Best supporting actress: Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard
Best original screenplay: Asghar Farhadi, A Hero
Best adapted screenplay: Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth
Breakthrough performance: Alana Haim & Cooper Hoffman, Licorice Pizza
Best directorial debut: Michael Sarnoski, Pig
Best animated feature: Encanto
Best foreign language film: A Hero
Best documentary: Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Best ensemble: The Harder They Fall
Outstanding achievement in cinematography: Bruno Delbonnel, The Tragedy of Macbeth
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Flee
Top Films (in alphabetical order)
Don’t Look Up
The Last Duel
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story
Top 5 Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order)
Lingui, The Sacred Bonds
The Worst Person in the World
Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order)
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain
Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order)
The Card Counter
The Green Knight
The Souvenir Part II
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