NBR goes wild for 'No Country'


NEW YORK -- Joel and Ethan Coen's "No Country for Old Men" came out on top of the National Board of Review Awards on Wednesday as the Miramax Films/Paramount Vantage co-production picked up best picture, best ensemble cast and best adapted screenplay honors.

George Clooney and Julie Christie took home best actor and actress prizes. Clooney's "Michael Clayton" from Warner Bros. and Christie's "Away From Her" from Lionsgate landed on NBR's Top Ten Films and Top Independent Films lists, respectively. Michael Douglas received a career achievement award.

Tim Burton took home the best director prize for the DreamWorks/Warner Bros. musical "Sweeney Todd." Diablo Cody ("Juno") and Nancy Oliver "Lars and the Real Girl" tied for best original screenplay. All three films made the NBR top 10 films list.

Miramax also scored big with a best foreign film win for Julian Schnabel's "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and best directorial debut and best supporting actress wins for Ben Affleck and Amy Ryan, respectively, for "Gone Baby Gone." The director's brother Casey Affleck won best supporting actor for "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford."

The Iraq War expose "Body of War" took home best documentary, "Ratatouille" took home best animated feature, and both "The Great Debaters" and "Persepolis" won the Bvlgari Award for NBR Freedom of Expression.

Recent Gotham Awards nominee Emile Hirsch won breakthrough performance by an actor for "Into the Wild," and Ellen Page won breakthrough performance by an actress for "Juno."

A list of winners follows:

Top Ten Films:
"The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"
"The Bourne Ultimatum"
"The Bucket List"
"Into the Wild"
"The Kite Runner"
"Lars and the Real Girl"
"Michael Clayton"
"Sweeney Todd"

Top Five Foreign Films:
"4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days"
"The Band's Visit"
"The Counterfeiters"
"La Vie En Rose"
"Lust, Caution"

Top Five Documentary Films
"Darfur Now"
"In the Shadow of the Moon"
"Taxi to the Darkside"

Top Independent Films
"Away From Her"
"Great World of Sound"
"In the Valley of Elah"
"A Mighty Heart"
"The Namesake"
"The Savages"
"Starting Out in the Evening"

Career Achievement -- Michael Douglas
William K. Everson Film History Award -- Robert Osborne
Career Achievement in Cinematography -- Roger Deakins