‘Manchester By the Sea’ Named Best Film of 2016 By National Board of Review
Kenneth Lonergans’ Manchester By the Sea was a film that debuted with the words “awards season” attached to it. Back in January when the drama premiered at Sundance, many audiences members’ first thought (mine included) was that we’d already found our 2017 Oscar frontrunner. That may not entirely be true anymore, since the fall movie season has introduced some worthy contenders in the forms of La La Land, Silence, and Moonlight. Yet still, Lonergan’s film is already sweeping up awards.
The National Board of Review announced their winners on Tuesday and Manchester dominated the list with four wins. The drama was named Best Film, awarded Best Actor for Casey Affleck, Best Male Breakthrough Performance for Lucas Hedges, and Best Original Screenplay. The next big winner was Moonlight, which was honored with Best Director and Best Supporting Actress for Naomi Harris. Some other notable highlights were wins for Trey Edward Shults’ phenomenal first feature Krisha, Best Ensemble for the upcoming Hidden Figures, and Royal Hightower for her breakout role in The Fits.
The group, which is made up of roughly 120 film critics, enthusiasts, academics, filmmakers and students, has been voting on the best films of the year since 1929. The NRB winners, arriving so early in awards season before the Critics Choice, Golden Globes, and New York Film Critics Circle picks, give us an idea of what’s to come for awards season, but they also aren’t the best guage of who will win at the Oscars come February.
Last year the group named Mad Max: Fury Road as the Best Film, and in 2014 they awarded A Most Violent Year with the honor, which failed to get an Oscar Best Picture nomination. The NBR and the Academy have only agreed twice on the top film of the year, 2007’s No Country for Old Men and 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire. It’s safe to say Manchester has a secure spot for a Best Picture nomination, but it’s still too early to call who will win it.
See the full list, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, below:
Best Film: Manchester by the Sea
Best Director: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Best Actress: Amy Adams, Arrival
Best Supporting Actor: Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Best Supporting Actress: Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Best Original Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Best Adapted Screenplay: Jay Cocks and Martin Scorsese, Silence
Best Animated Feature: Kubo and the Two Strings
Breakthrough Performance (Male): Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Breakthrough Performance (Female): Royalty Hightower, The Fits
Best Directorial Debut: Trey Edward Shults, Krisha
Best Foreign Language Film: The Salesman
Best Documentary: O.J.: Made in America
Best Ensemble: Hidden Figures
Spotlight Award: Creative Collaboration of Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Cameraperson
The group also named the Top 10 films of the year, which to much surprise didn’t include Pablo Larrain’s Jackie or Denzel Washington’s Fences, which are sure to get nominations the Oscar acting categories. The NBR’s Top Independent Films list had some refreshing inclusions though, from Captain Fantastic to Green Room to Sing Street. See the full list at Variety. Stay tuned for more awards season coverage from ScreenCrush and be sure to subscribe to our new 2017 movie awards season podcast, “And the Podcast Goes To…” on iTunes.