How is the National Board of Review Like Spinal Tap?
Return with us now, to those thrilling days of yesteryear...
The National Board of Review, the first of the never-ending awardists, gave its top prizes to Steven Spielberg's The Post—the film about the Pentagon Papers and the moment when The Washington Post became our other national newspaper—awarding it: 1) Best Film, 2) Best Actress (Meryl Streep) and Best Actor (Tom Hanks).
Which means? Just that. If you're looking for an Oscar predictor, look elsewhere. In the last five years, NBR's best film has been: “Manchester By the Sea,” “Mad Max: Fury Road” (gag), “A Most Violent Year,” “Her” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” none of which won the Oscar. In that time, they match with the Academy once on actor (Casey Affleck, last year), and twice on actress (Brie Larson, “The Room” and Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”). One year, they gave the acting award to Matt Damon for “The Martian.” They're a kooky bunch.
And never more so than in their Top 10 Movies. Or their “Top 10 Movies Other Than The One We've Just Chosen.” How is NBR like Spinal Tap? They go to 11.
Here is their Top 10 Except for No. 1. With a few mild suggestions:
- Baby Driver The Big Sick
- Call Me by Your Name
- The Disaster Artist
- Dunkirk Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
- The Florida Project
- Get Out
- Lady Bird
- Logan The Shape of Water, maybe?
- Phantom Thread
NBR's entire list of 2017 award winners can be found here.
ADDENDUM: OK, I did a little more digging. This century, NBR and the Academy have agreed on best picture only twice: “No Country for Old Men” in 2007 and “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2008. Among NBR's forgotten best films: “Quills” in 2000, “Finding Neverland” in 2004, “Good Night, and Good Luck” in 2005, “Up in the Air” in 2009 and “Hugo” in 2011.