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All the Buzz on Film Festival Awards, Celebrity Tributes and the Film Awards Season.

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NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN Wins National Board of Review Award


Wednesday, December 5--------And we're off.....the awards season has kicked off in high gear this past week, with the announcement of the Gotham Awards in New York, the nominations for the Film Independent Spirit Awards and now the National Board of Review, the first of the end-of-the-year critics groups to bestow prizes. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, Joel and Ethan Coen's nouveau Western, was named Best Film of the Year. The film also won a Best Adapted Screenplay prize for the Coens, as well as an award for Best Ensemble Cast, which includes Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem and Kelly MacDonald.

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN was chosen one of this year's Top Ten Films, along with THE ASSASINATION OF JESSE JAMES, ATONEMENT, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, THE BUCKET LIST, INTO THE WILD, JUNO, THE KITE RUNNER, MICHAEL CLAYTON, SWEENEY TODD and, surprise winner, LARS AND THE REAL GIRL. It is a sure bet that many of these same titles will be major award winners this year, as well as contenders for the Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA prizes.

Tim Burton was awarded best director honors for his adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical SWEENEY TODD. Acting accolades went to George Clooney for his role as a lawyer who faces his own conscience in MICHAEL CLAYTON, and Julie Christie as a woman retreating into Alzheimer's disease in AWAY FROM HERCasey Affleck, previously known as Ben's younger brother, has broken through with a Best Supporting Actor prize for THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES, with Amy Ryan winning the Best Supporting Actress nod for Ben Affleck's directorial debut GONE BABY GONE. Emile Hirsch was acknowledged for his work as the young man on a spiritual journey in the Alaskan wilderness in Sean Penn's adaptation of the best seller INTO THE WILD. Young actress Ellen Page was singled out for a Best Breakthrough Performance honor for her work as the wise-cracking pregnanant teenager in JUNO.

National Board of Review Award Winners 

Best Film: "No Country or Old Man"
Best Director: Tim Burton, "Sweeney Todd"
Best Actor: George Clooney, "Michael Clayton"
Best Actress: Julie Christie, "Away From Her"
Best Supporting Actor: Casey Affleck, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone"
Best Foreign Film: "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
Best Documentary: "Body of War"
Best Animated Feature: "Ratatouille"
Best Ensemble Cast: "No Country for Old Men"
Breakthrough Performance by an Actor: Emile Hirsch, "Into The Wild
Breakthrough Performance by an Actress: Ellen Page, "Juno"
Best Directorial Debut: Ben Affleck, "Gone Baby Gone"
Best Original Screenplay (tie): Diablo Cody, "Juno" and Nancy Oliver, "Lars and the Real Girl"
Best Adapted Screenplay: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "No Country For Old Men"

Top Ten Films (In alphabetical order):
"The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"
"The Bourne Ultimatum"
"The Bucket List"
"Into The Wild"
"The Kite Runner"
"Lars and the Real Girl"
"Michael Clayton"
"Sweeney Todd"

Top Five Foreign Films (In alphabetical order):
"4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days"
"The Band's Visit"
"The Counterfeiters"
"La Vie en Rose"
"Lust, Caution"

Top Five Documentary Films (In alphabetical order):
"Darfur Now"
"In The Shadown of the Moon"
"Taxi To The Darkside"

Top Independent Films (In alphabetical order):
"Away From Her"
"Great World of Sound"
"In The Valley of Elah"
"A Mighty Heart"
"The Namesake"
"The Savages"
"Starting Out in the Evening"

Sandy Mandelberger, Awards Watch Editor


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