The National Board of Review awards should be announced tomorrow, at which point award season for the 2006 film year officially kicks off. The National Board of Review (NBR) is sort of a stuff unimportant group of people, but by naming the first award winners of the year, they have the power of anchoring people's minds to certain films and performances.
The NBR announces their picks for top 10 films of the year, best foreign language film, top 5 documentaries, top 5 foreign films, and a slew of other awards for acting, directing, and everything else you can imagine.
In the past few years it seems like the NBR's choice for Best Film have skewed towards more "literary" films or films touching on American/British themes. The past winners include films like Good Night and Good Luck, Finding Neverland, Mystic River, The Hours, Moulin Rouge, Quills, American Beauty, Gods and Monsters, L.A. Confidential, Shine, and Sense and Sensibility.
Based on their previous selections, I think the winner of best film will either be The Queen, Little Children, or The Departed.
I think for Best Actress they will be torn between Kate Winslet and Helen Mirren, but Helen Mirren will win out. (Previous winners include Felicity Huffman, Annette Benning, and Diane Keaton, and Julianne Moore).
For Best Actor, they could go with Peter O'Toole for Venus, but I think they will stick with safe buzz and go with Forrest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland (the past three NBR winners have gone on to receive the Oscar, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jamie Foxx, and Sean Penn).
For Best Supporting Actrees, I'm not really sure which way they'll go. Part of me thinks they'll go with Meryl Streep (Prairie Home Companion & Devil Wears Prada) and part of me thinks they'll go Cate Blanchett (Babel & Notes on A Scandal). Although Meryl won twice, once for Sophie's Choice and once for in 1972 for a triple threat (Manhattan, Kramer vs. Kramer, and The Seduction of Joe Tynan). Similarly Blanchett won with a triple threat in the supporting catagory in 2001 for The Man Who Cried, the Shipping News, and Lord of the Rings. So this year, it looks more like a wild card, and I'm actually going to predict that they give the award to Adrianna Barraza for Babel.
For Best Supporting Actor, I want to say Jack Nicholson, but they've tended to go with younger actors like Jake Gyllenhaal and Jaoquin Phoenix. That makes me very prone to suggest that Ben Affleck (Hollywoodland), Adam Beach (Flags of our Fathers), and Michael Sheen (The Queen), are all in the running for this one. But I have a strange feeling the will award Daniel Craig for his role in Infamous.
And is it safe to say An Inconvinient Truth will win Best Documentary?
Related Tags: National Board of Review, NBR, The Queen, Adrianna Barraza, Babel, Daniel Craig, Infamous, Forrest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland, Little Children, The Departed, Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren, Jake Gyllenhaal, Adam Beach, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Ben Affleck, Hollywoodland, Michael Sheen, An Inconvinient Truth, Peter O'Toole, Venus, Film, Critics Award, Award Buzz