‘Manchester by the Sea’ named best film by National Board of Review


The National Board of Review released its annual year-end honors Tuesday, naming “Manchester by the Sea” as best film. The 107-year-old, New York-based group also recognized the film by naming Casey Affleck as lead actor and giving its original screenplay award to Kenneth Lonergan and naming Lucas Hedges for the male breakthrough performance.

Following the wins for “Moonlight” on Monday night at the Gotham Awards and the numerous critics groups that will be announcing their prizes in the coming days, this year’s awards season is finally taking shape via the actual bestowing of awards.

Barry Jenkins won the NBR’s directing award for “Moonlight,” with Naomie Harris recognized from the film for supporting actress. Amy Adams took lead actress honors for “Arrival,” while supporting actor went to Jeff Bridges for “Hell or High Water.” Adapted screenplay went to Jay Cocks and Martin Scorsese for “Silence.”


The female breakthrough performance award went to Royalty Hightower for “The Fits.” Directorial debut went to Trey Edward Shults for “Krisha.” Animated film went to “Kubo and the Two Strings.” The foreign-language award went to Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman.” Best documentary went to “O.J.: Made in America.” Ensemble was awarded to “Hidden Figures,” with a cast that includes Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Mahershala Ali, Kevin Costner and Kirsten Dunst.

A Spotlight award was given to the creative collaboration between Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg. The Freedom of Expression award was given to the film “Cameraperson.”

The NBR also announced a list of 10 top films for the year, with “Arrival,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hail, Caesar!,” “Hell or High Water,” “Hidden Figures,” “La La Land,” “Moonlight,” “Patriots Day,” “Silence” and “Sully.”

The top five foreign-language films were France’s “Elle,” South Korea’s “The Handmaiden,” Spain’s “Julieta,” Denmark’s “Land of Mine,” and Chile’s “Neruda.”

The top five documentaries were “De Palma,” “The Eagle Huntress,” “Gleason,” “Life, Animated,” and “Miss Sharon Jones!”

The top 10 independent films were “20th Century Women,” “Captain Fantastic,” “Creative Control,” “Eye in the Sky,” “The Fits,” “Green Room,” “Hello, My Name Is Doris,” “Krisha,” “Morris From America,” and “Sing Street.”

The National Board of Review describe itself as a “select group of film enthusiasts, filmmakers, professionals, academics and students.” The awards gala will be Jan. 4, 2017 in New York City.

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