'Green Book' Named Best Film by National Board of Review

Making of Green Book - EMBED 7-  Publicity 2018
Courtesy of Universal Pictures/Participant/Dreamworks

Mortensen (left) and Ali on a pit stop.

This year's honors will be presented during a January gala at New York's Cipriani 42nd Street, hosted, as they were last year, by NBC News' Willie Geist.

The National Board of Review on Tuesday revealed its 2018 award winners, naming Green Book as its pick for best film.

In addition to Green Book receiving the top honor, Viggo Mortensen, the star of the Universal release, was named best actor.

The NBR plaudits mark the first major awards and nominations for the Peter Farrelly-directed pic, which was inspired by the true friendship that developed between Italian-American driver Tony Vallelonga (Mortensen) and African-American musician Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) on a road trip through the deep South during the 1960s. The film, which bowed Nov. 16, has received stellar reviews and won the audience award at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. 

Bradley Cooper's box-office and critical-smash remake of A Star Is Born, from Warner Bros., received three awards from the NBR; Cooper was named best director, with star Lady Gaga tapped as best actress and co-star Sam Elliott named best supporting actor.

Barry Jenkins' Moonlight follow-up If Beale Street Could Talk, which Annapurna is set to release in theaters starting Dec. 14, won two awards: best supporting actress for Regina King and best adapted screenplay for Jenkins.

Other major winners include Paul Schrader's First Reformed script (best original screenplay), Incredibles 2 (best animated feature), Leave No Trace's Thomasin McKenzie (breakthrough performance), Bo Burnham's Eighth Grade (best directorial debut), RBG (best documentary), Crazy Rich Asians (best ensemble) and Cold War (best foreign-language film).

Additionally, Orson Welles' recently completed final film, The Other Side of the Wind, and companion documentary They'll Love Me When I'm Dead were jointly recognized with the William K. Everson Film History Award.

The NBR's Freedom of Expression awards went to 22 July and On Her Shoulders.

The organization's honors are voted on by a group of film enthusiasts, professionals, academics, filmmakers and students.

"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," NBR president Annie Schulhof said in a statement. "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."

Last year, NBR selected The Post as its best film. The previous year it picked Manchester by the Sea, and in 2015 the top honor went to Mad Max: Fury Road. While The Post, Manchester and Mad Max all earned Academy Award nominations, NBR has a mixed track record in terms of predicting Oscar contenders.

In 2014, the organization selected A Most Violent Year as its best film, but the J.C. Chandor-directed drama about New York in 1981 was completely snubbed by the Oscars. The year before, NBR chose Spike Jonze's Her as its best film. That movie won only one Oscar, for best original screenplay. Previous NBR best film winners include Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Hugo (2011), The Social Network (2010) and Up in the Air (2009).

The latest winners will be recognized during a Jan. 8 gala at New York's Cipriani 42nd Street, hosted, as they were last year, by NBC News' Willie Geist.

The full list of this year's NBR winners follows.

Best film: Green Book
Best director: Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Best actor: Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
Best actress: Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Best supporting actor: Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
Best supporting actress: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Best original screenplay: Paul Schrader, First Reformed
Best adapted screenplay: Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
Best animated feature: Incredibles 2
Breakthrough performance: Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace
Best directorial debut: Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade
Best foreign-language film: Cold War
Best documentary: RBG
Best ensemble: Crazy Rich Asians
William K. Everson Film History Award: The Other Side of the Wind and They'll Love Me When I'm Dead
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: 22 July
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: On Her Shoulders

Top films (in alphabetical order)

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Black Panther
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Eighth Grade
First Reformed
If Beale Street Could Talk
Mary Poppins Returns
A Quiet Place
A Star Is Born

Top 5 foreign-language films (in alphabetical order)

The Guilty
Happy as Lazzaro

Top 5 documentaries (in alphabetical order)

Crime + Punishment
Free Solo
Minding the Gap
Three Identical Strangers
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Top 10 independent films (in alphabetical order)

The Death of Stalin
Lean on Pete
Leave No Trace
The Old Man & the Gun
The Rider
Sorry to Bother You
We the Animals
You Were Never Really Here