erik lundegaard

Oscar Watch: NBR Picks "Slumdog"

Yesterday, the National Board of Review, the first body to present film awards for the still ongoing season (a season that’s barely begun for the rest of us), announced its awards for 2008. They are:
Best film: “Slumdog Millionaire”
Best director: David Fincher for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Best actor: Clint Eastwood for “Gran Torino”
Best actress: Anne Hathaway for “Rachel Getting Married”
Best adapted screenplay: Eric Roth for “Benjamin”; Simon Beaufoy for “Slumdog”
Best original screenplay: Nick Schenk for “Gran Torino”
Best supporting actor: Josh Brolin for “Milk”
Best supporting actress: Penelope Cruz for “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
Best documentary: “Man on Wire”
Best animated film: “WALL-E”

Quick thoughts. Glad to see “Man on Wire” win. Cruz killed in “Vicky.” Brolin was great but wasn’t his role in “Milk” a bit small? Maybe not. Happy for my friend Deb whose friend Nick won for best screenplay and who wrote the screenplay that is garnering a legend like Eastwood acting accolades so late in his career. That's impressive. Have yet to see “Slumdog.” This weekend, I hope.

Most articles mention that NBR’s pick last year, “No Country for Old Men,” went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture. So a good indicator, right? Well, let’s pretend life goes back a little further:

2007: “No Country for Old Men”
2006: “Letters from Iwo Jima”
2005: “Good Night, and Good Luck”
2004: “Finding Neverland”
2003: “Mystic River”
2002: “The Hours”
2001: “Moulin Rouge”
2000: “Quills”

Last year was the anomaly. Only once this decade has the Board’s pick gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture. In fact, in general, NBR is one of the awards bodies I agree with the least. Their picks are rarely surprising — the way that The National Society of Film Critics can surprise (“Babe”; “Out of Sight”) — and often feel safe and soft. Critics’ favorites that don’t have much staying power.

Oh, and among their top 10 movies for the year? This one. WTF?

Posted at 08:08 AM on Fri. Dec 05, 2008 in category Movies - The Oscars, Movies  
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