‘Green Book’ Named 2018’s Top Film by National Board of Review

Other films on the NBR’s Top 10 list include “A Star Is Born,” “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “Black Panther” and “Roma”

Last Updated: November 27, 2018 @ 9:51 PM

Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book” has been named the best film of 2018 by the members of the National Board of Review, which announced its annual awards on Tuesday.

The honor puts the Universal film starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali in good position entering a time of year when numerous critics’ groups will be announcing their picks for the year’s best in the coming weeks, though the NBR itself does not consist of critics.

Films in the NBR’s Top 10 included “A Star Is Born,” “Black Panther,” “Roma,” “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Mary Poppins Returns.”

Also on the list: “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” “Eighth Grade,” “First Reformed,” “A Quiet Place” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Yorgos Lanthimos’ twisted period piece “The Favourite” was conspicuously missing from the list, as were Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” Damien Chazelle’s “First Man,” Steve McQueen’s “Widows” and Adam McKay’s “Vice.” All of those films are considered Oscar candidates, the NBR notwithstanding.

Mortensen won the best-actor award for “Green Book,” while Lady Gaga was named best actress for “A Star Is Born.” Bradley Cooper also took best-director honors for that film.

In the supporting categories, Sam Elliott and Regina King won for “A Star Is Born” and “If Beale Street Could Talk,” respectively, while Paul Schrader and Barry Jenkins took the screenplay prizes for “First Reformed” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.” Thomasin McKenzie won the breakthrough performance award for “Leave No Trace,” while Bo Burnham was named breakthrough director for “Eighth Grade.”

“Cold War” was named best foreign language film, “RBG” best documentary and “Incredibles 2” best animated feature.

Among the independent films singled out by the board were “The Death of Stalin,” “Mid90s,” “Sorry to Bother You,” “You Were Never Really Here” and the Gotham Awards winner, “The Rider.”

Last year, the NBR had six of the nine Oscar Best Picture nominees on its Top 10 list, missing “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “Darkest Hour” and the eventual Oscar winner, “The Shape of Water.”

Since the Academy expanded its Best Picture category in 2009, a little less than two-thirds of the Oscar nominees were first included on the NBR list, with an average of about three films a year being honored by the Academy after being bypassed by the NBR.

In the last decade, the NBR and the Academy have only agreed on the year’s best picture twice, with “No Country for Old Men” in 2007 and “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2008. But only one NBR winner in the last 17 years, 2014’s “A Most Violent Year,” failed to land an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

While the National Board of Review is often mistakenly considered a critics’ organization, the group is made up of, in its own words, “knowledgeable film enthusiasts and professionals, academics, young filmmakers and students” in the New York area. Much of its relatively high profile comes from the fact that it is one of the first groups to pick the year’s best films. (The more prestigious New York Film Critics Circle will make its own picks on Thursday.)

The group was established in 1909 by theater owners protesting the New York mayor’s attempt to block the exhibition of motion pictures in the city. It has been picking the best films since 1930.

Best Film: “Green Book”
Best Director: Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Best Actor: Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”
Best Actress: Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Best Supporting Actor: Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Original Screenplay: Paul Schrader, “First Performed”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Barry Jenkins, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Animated Feature: “Incredibles 2”
Breakthrough Performance: Thomasin McKenzie, “Leave No Trace”
Best Directorial Debut: Bo Burnham, “Eighth Grade”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Cold War”
Best Documentary: “RBG”
Best Ensemble: “Crazy Rich Asians”
William K. Everson Film History Award: “The Other Side of the Wind” and “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead”
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: “22 July”
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: “On Her Shoulders”

Top Films (in alphabetical order)
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
“Black Panther”
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
“Eighth Grade”
“First Reformed”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“A Quiet Place”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”

Top 5 Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order)
“Burning”
“Custody”
“The Guilty”
“Happy as Lazzaro”
“Shoplifters”

Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order)
“Crime + Punishment”
“Free Solo”
“Minding the Gap”
“Three Identical Strangers”
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order)
“The Death of Stalin”
“Lean on Pete”
“Leave No Trace”
“Mid90s”
“The Old Man & the Gun”
“The Rider”
“Searching”
“Sorry to Bother You”
“We the Animals”
“You Were Never Really Here”