Wednesday, December 06, 2006

NBR Winners: Iwo Jima, Mirren, Whitaker

So, Letters from Iwo Jima deserves a spot at the critics table this year with it's National Board of Review honor as Best Film.

This film has been under the radar a little bit with it's unknown release date, but now that it is officially a 2006 film, it looks like a film to watch out for.

I accuratly guessed Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker as the winners for Best Actress and Actor.

But the supporting actor win of Djimond Hounsou for the Blood Diamond is a pleasant shock, and Catherine O'Hare's performance in "For Your Consideration" got noticed.

Martin Scorcese won best director for The Departed, Volver won best foreign film, An Inconvinient Truth won best documentary, and Cars won best animated film. (the complete list can be found here).

Some interesting films made the National Board of Review top 10. In addition to Letters from Iwo Jima, the other films were Babel, Blood Diamond, The Departed, The Devil Wears Prada, Flags of Our Fathers, The History Boys, Little Miss Sunshine, Notes on a Scandal, and the Painted Veil.

I was suprised that The Queen did not make this list, nor did Little Children, The Good Shepherd, or The Good German.

Probably more than anything, this cements in my mind that Letters from Iwo Jima has great award potential, that the Departed will get a nomination for Best Picture, and the acting races are still completly up in the air, except for a few key lead performances that are almost for-sure nominations.

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JW said...

You got it. I think the only real thing this tells us is that Letters is actually a for real contender now. I feel less silly for predicting it now, that's for sure. :)

I'm already reading all over the place that this is somehow indicative of a weakness with "Dreamgirls" but I don't think that is the case at all. Infact I don't even think it is indicative of any weakness in "The Queen" either. While the NBR usually gets 4/5 or 5/5 its not always the case that they do (1999-2001).

A few of the choices are downright.. well, odd (The History Boys? Blood Diamond? The Devil Wears Prada?) but that's how it goes I suppose.

I am glad they left out "World Trade Center" from the top ten. If only they had left out "Flags" as well. I still think that in the end its going to be a one-or-the-other scenario and "Letters" is going to win out, of the two (think first place vote to Letters, second to Flags, when first place votes are important).

What I really would like to know is if the mention of "Notes on a Scandal" and "The Painted Veil" are an indicator of more things to come or they are just random one-shot things like some of the other choies are.

I'm surprised "Little Children" didn't get a mention as well. If the critics groups don't like it, nothing is going to, I'm afraid. It's amazing how badly the studio has mangled it.

Anonymous said...

I like NBR -- the whole idea of awarding 10 films instead of 1 seems to make so much more sense, in a Dustin Hoffman / Sean Penn / I hate the Academy kind of way.

But I agree with you, jw -- some strange choices on their list. I've been disappointed to read that many have been disappointed with THE GOOD GERMAN. I would definitely have knocked FLAGS off the list for how good GERMAN seemed to be.

I'm still a little hacked off that FLAGS and LETTERS weren't released on the same day (the original plan), but glad they came to their senses about at least releasing them in the same year. Will look forward to your comments once you see LETTERS, RC.

Thanks again for this awards posting! For some reason, I always lose track of when these things come out.