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National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

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National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

Old 12-01-11, 09:42 PM
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National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

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National Board of Review names Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’ best film; he also wins for best director

By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, December 1, 4:38 PM

NEW YORK — The National Board of Review picked Martin Scorsese’s 3-D “Hugo” as the year’s best film, an unusually kid friendly choice sure to add further intrigue to the Oscar hunt.

The group also picked Scorsese as best director for his whimsical film about an orphan who lives in a 1930s Paris train station. It’s the director’s first film in 3-D but one in which the adventure leads back to the early days of cinema and the wondrous films of French filmmaker George Melies.

It had been another movie nostalgic for the early days of movies — the silent film “The Artist” — that’s thus far been the award season’s early leader. That film didn’t receive any individual awards, but it was named among the group’s top films of the year. The others were “The Descendants,” ‘’Drive,” ‘’The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” ‘’Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” ‘’The Ides of March,” ‘’J. Edgar,” ‘’Tree of Life” and “War Horse.”

Alexander’s Payne’s “The Descendants,” a warmly humorous film about a middle-aged Hawaiian (George Clooney) balancing a new commitment to parenthood, earned the most awards with three. Best actor went to Clooney, best supporting actress to the 20-year-old Shailene Woodley (who plays the eldest daughter) and best adapted screenplay to Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s script, taken from Kaui Hart Hemmings’ novel.

Tilda Swinton was awarded best actress for her performance in Lynne Ramsey’s drama about a school shooting in “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” Best supporting actor went to the 81-year-old Christopher Plummer for his performance as a dying man who awakens to his latent homosexuality in “Beginners.”

The National Board of Review, a group of film historians, students and academics founded in 1909, is one of the first notable groups to announce its picks for the year’s best movies. Although it’s usually the first group out of the gate, the New York Film Critics Circle moved ahead of them this year, selecting “The Artist” on Tuesday as the year’s best film.

The National Board of Review has some pedigree in picking films that have gone on to win best picture at the Oscars. Last year, it selected “The Social Network” as the year’s best film, while the academy chose “The King’s Speech.” Most likely, this year’s picks only reinforce the notion that the field remains refreshingly wide open ahead of the Academy Awards nominations on Jan. 24.

NBR president Annie Schulhof drew a connection between “Hugo,” ‘’The Artist” and the group’s animation pick, Gore Verbinski’s movie-reference-stuffed “Rango.” She called them all celebrations of film history.

“It feels really good,” Schulhof said. “We can learn so much from our cinematic past. Filmmakers today are celebrating and respecting it and bringing it forward to the new generation of filmgoers.”

The group awarded best ensemble to the Civil Rights-era drama “The Help.” Its spotlight award went to Michael Fassbender, the Irish actor who stars in four films this year: “A Dangerous Method,” ‘’Shame,” ‘’Jane Eyre” and “X-Men: First Class.”

The West Memphis 3 documentary “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” was selected best documentary. Best foreign film went to the Iranian drama “A Separation.”

Two actresses were honored for breakthrough performances: Felicity Jones in the young love drama “Like Crazy” and Rooney Mara in the adapted thriller “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” J.C. Chandor was singled out for debut director for his first feature, the financial industry thriller “Margin Call.”

Will Reiser was awarded best original screenplay for his script to the cancer comedy “50/50.” Special achievement in filmmaking was given to the Harry Potter franchise for its “distinguished translation from book to film.”

The NBRs also give an award for “freedom of expression,” which it bestowed on two films: “Pariah,” a drama about a black teenager embracing her lesbianism, and “Crime After Crime,” a documentary about an incarcerated victim of domestic abuse.

A gala for the National Board of Review Awards will be held Jan. 10 at New York’s Cipriani’s, to be hosted by the “Today” show’s Natalie Morales.

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Old 12-02-11, 03:00 AM
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Re: National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

Is this like one of those lifetime achievement awards or something?
Old 12-02-11, 07:49 AM
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Re: National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

Is this a joke or something?
Old 12-02-11, 09:02 AM
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Re: National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

While I am a huge fan of his pre-Dicaprio movies (nothing against the actor, I just feel Scorsese finally decided to put his sensibilities aside and embrace a more mass-market, make everyone happy kind of cinema), I saw this recently and was very underwhelmed. While it was well made and "nostalgic" I think the more beautifully made film about the early days of cinema is "The Artist." Not to be missed. I think critics and everyone just have a bit of Scorsese tunnel vision, the same way they do when Spielberg makes a pseudo-serious "topic" movie and they shower him with awards.
Old 12-02-11, 12:17 PM
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Re: National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

I only really like about half of Scorsese's films (from the last decade I liked Shutter Island and The Departed, was indifferent to the other two,) but I still really enjoyed Hugo.

It's not a favorite or anything - I found some of the kid-oriented aspects of it a bit tedious - but there are enough fantastic moments that I might see it again.
Old 12-02-11, 12:58 PM
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Re: National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

Originally Posted by Arpeggi View Post
Is this a joke or something?
apparently not.
Old 12-02-11, 04:34 PM
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Re: National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

It really does look like a wide open year.
Old 12-03-11, 08:27 PM
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Re: National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

Originally Posted by Arpeggi View Post
Is this a joke or something?
What would make you think it's a joke? Have you seen Hugo?
Old 12-03-11, 08:45 PM
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Re: National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

Originally Posted by Arpeggi View Post
Is this a joke or something?


Doesn't look like it.
Old 12-04-11, 03:50 AM
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Re: National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

Rotten Tomatoes has become incredibly unreliable over the past year or so. The Muppets may be a fun film but a better score than No Country For Old Men?
Old 12-04-11, 09:24 AM
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Re: National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

But that's not taking into account the net change in critics (both in numbers, and in personalities) that has occurred in the 4 years between movies.

The difference is only 2% anyway.

Looking further: No Country got a 95% but with 227 reviews. The Muppets is at 97% with 141 reviews, so it's not exactly a 1:1 comparison.

Last edited by bluetoast; 12-04-11 at 09:36 AM.
Old 12-04-11, 11:10 AM
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Re: National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

Also, Rt gauges bad reviews versus good reviews, not the actual level of praise in each review. Those 95% good reviews may have been far more emphatic and lauding than the good reviews for Muppets or Hugo, but probably not since both those movies had endings.
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Old 12-04-11, 11:18 AM
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Re: National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

Metacritic, which does take scores into account, has The Muppets at 76 and NCFOM at 91. Hugo is at 83.

But even they are flawed too. Superman II has a 99 with 7 reviews counted.
Old 12-04-11, 12:14 PM
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Re: National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

Originally Posted by DonnachaOne View Post
Also, Rt gauges bad reviews versus good reviews, not the actual level of praise in each review. Those 95% good reviews may have been far more emphatic and lauding than the good reviews for Muppets or Hugo, but probably not since both those movies had endings.
(Runs and hides)
Exactly, Rotten Tomatoes is a measure of whether critics thought a movie was good or not and not much else, rather then a comparison of movies directly against each other.

Although personally, I hated No Country and enjoyed the heck out of Muppets.

Last edited by fumanstan; 12-04-11 at 12:47 PM.
Old 12-04-11, 12:46 PM
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Re: National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

Good points. I think I'll be using Metacritic more now.
Old 12-04-11, 06:18 PM
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Re: National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best film

I agree, great movie.

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