'Old Men' dominates NBR nods


Joel and Ethan Coen's "No Country for Old Men" came out on top at the National Board of Review awards Wednesday. The Miramax/Paramount Vantage co-production picked up best picture, ensemble cast and 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 10 film and top independent film lists, respectively.

Tim Burton won best director for the DreamWorks/Warner Bros. co-production "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 their work on "Gone Baby Gone." The director's brother Casey Affleck, who stars in "Baby," won best supporting actor for "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"

The Iraq War exposé "Body of War" took home best documentary, "Ratatouille" won best animated feature, and "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."

The New York-based group plans to bestow a career achievement award to Michael Douglas.

The group also has earmarked special awards for Hollywood Reporter theater columnist Robert Osborne, who will receive the William K. Everson Film History Award; and Roger Deakins, who will be recognized with a career achievement in cinematography award.

The group's top 10 films, in alphabetical order, are "Jesse James," "Atonement," "The Bourne Ultimatum," "The Bucket List," "Into the Wild," "Juno," "The Kite Runner," "Lars and the Real Girl," "Michael Clayton" and "Sweeney Todd."

Its top five foreign films, in alphabetical order, are "The Band's Visit," "The Counterfeiters," "4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days," "La Vie en Rose" and "Lust, Caution."

Top five docus are "Darfur Now," "In the Shadow of the Moon," "Nanking," "Taxi to the Darkside" and "Toots."

The lineup of top indie films is "Away From Her," "Great World of Sound," "Honeydripper," "In the Valley of Elah," "A Mighty Heart," "The Namesake," "Once," "The Savages," "Starting Out in the Evening" and "Waitress."

The awards will be presented Jan. 15 at Cipriani's 42nd Street in New York.