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NBR Goes Cuckoo for "The Post"

by Nathaniel R

The National Board of Review, which regularly has a recency bias in their awardage has gone full tilt boogie into stanning for The Post, with a couple of honors for Phantom Thread, too, which were both most definitely among the very last things to screen. Neither opens until the tail end of the year. They gave The Post their top prize and both lead acting awards for the film's iconic stars Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. That's unusual for NBR. The complete list of winners and commentary after the jump...

Film The Post

This is obviously a feather in the film's cap but it's not a good Oscar predictor. The last time the NBR had the same top film preference as Oscar was Slumdog Millionaire (2008). That said most of their winners go on to Best Picture nominations. In the past twenty years of this prize the only films that haven't moved on to Best Picture nominations were Gods and Monsters (1998), Quills (2000), and A Most Violent Year (2014)... the latter two amongst the last things screened if you want a pattern for how they choose. haha. They REALLY love whatever they've just watched.

Director Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Directorial Debut Jordan Peele, Get Out

Their Best Director award is often unexpected. The winner has, statistically about a 50% chance of being Oscar nominated. Of the last 10 years of this prize it's literally 50/50 split as to who goes on to a nomination -- I wish I could give Gerwig fans better news!

Actor Tom Hanks, The Post
Actress Meryl Streep, The Post
Supporting Actor Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Supporting Actress Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Generally speaking -- very very generally speaking -- the NBR usually includes one longshot choice among their acting winners but not this year when all four are widely expected to be nominated at the Oscars.


Of their last ten winners for Best Actress 4 missed Oscar nominations (usually they were apparent sixth placers though given the surprise!) and 2 won the Oscar.

Of their last ten winners for Best Actor 2 missed Oscar nominations and only 1 went on to win the Oscar.

Of their last ten winners for Supporting Actress 4 missed Oscar nominations and only 1 went on to win the Oscar

Of their last ten winners for Supporting Actor 2 missed Oscar nominations and 2 won the Oscar.

Breakthrough Performance Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Ensemble Get Out

Get Out is a wonderful decision for Ensemble but a smidgeon surprising given how bonkers they went for the all star The Post and the fact that it won another major prize and they usually like to spread the wealth to get all the studios to show up and pay for tables at their event.

Adapted Screenplay The Disaster Artist
Original Screenplay The Phantom Thread
Foreign Film Foxtrot (Israel)
Animated Film Coco
Documentary Jane

Adapted Screenplay isn't super competitive this year so maybe The Disaster Artist has a great shot. The Phantom Thread is up against pretty much every major Best Picture player if it wants a room at Oscar's screenplay table though. 

Spotlight Award Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins for Wonder Woman
Freedom of Expression Award John Ridley for his documentary Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992

Top Films Baby Driver, Call Me by Your Name, The Disaster Artist, Downsizing, Dunkirk, The Florida Project, Get Out, Lady Bird, Logan, and Phantom Thread

Basically they give a "top 11" each year since their top ten doesn't include their #1 film. The only surprise here, given their recency bias and the fact that there's usually at least one "surprise" in their top ten is that Baby Driver and Logan took coveted spots while Best Picture hopefuls like The Shape of Water, Three Billboards, and Mudbound were shut out completely. (I don't recall any previous whispers that NBR is not fond of Netflix but they're totally absent here... even from the doc category, unless I'm forgetting something.

Top Independent Films
Beatriz at Dinner, Brigsby Bear, A Ghost Story, Lady Macbeth, Logan Lucky, Loving Vincent, Menashe, Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, Patti Cake$, and Wind River

In this category they looked back earlier in the year for the most part. Happy result for Wind River which has been trying to rev back up Post-Weinstein

Top Foreign Films
A Fantastic Woman (Chile), Frantz (France), Loveless (Russia), Summer 1993 (Spain), and The Square (Sweden)

With the exception of Frantz, which is not eligible for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscar since France passed it over last season for Elle as their submission, the rest of these and the foreign film winner Foxtrot from Israel, are considered major threats to nominations in that category

Top Documentaries
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Brimstone & Glory, Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars, Faces Places, and Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of Isis

All of these films are on Oscar's long eligibility list for the Documentary Feature prize though previously only Abacus and Faces Places and their documentary winner Jane have made any headway with precursors

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Reader Comments (57)

Ugh. I'm already bored. A sweep for The Post just feels so ... I dunno. Obvious and self-congratulatory.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarc


FYI- The last time Streep was NBR Best Actress was for Sophie’s Choice.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Guess which actress is not winning a second Oscar and which one is getting number 4 ?

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterUmk

They gave a couple of awards to Beasts of No Nation in 2015, so I don't think NBR has any anti-Netlfix bias. They always go their own way.

I am just thrilled for Gerwig and happy to see A Ghost Story and Logan Lucky cited, too.

Is Tom Hanks really widely expected to be nominated at the Oscars? That is great if true (he certainly deserves it after missing out for Bridge of Spies and Captain Phillips), but my perception was that his chances were borderline once again.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

It has already been noted but The Post has the momentum due to it's favorable screenings, year-end release, timely subject matter and stars. I think it will win best picture and all four of the acting winners cited by NBR (Hanks, Streep, Metcalf, Dafoe) will also win.

The odd choice was Gerwig as best director. I am happy for her but thought it would go to Nolan or Spielberg. I could see her winning best screenplay but not director.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

Darkest Hour was completely snubbed too, if I’m not mistaken. Even though that movie seems catnip for Oscar voters, part of me feels like we’re overestimating it outside of Gary Oldman and screenplay. They already have their WWII fix with Dunkirk this year anyways.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

is The Shape of Water all hype? I haven't seen it anywhere in year-end precursors

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDAVID

I'm surprised that they didn't go for Gary Oldman. It seemed like it's down their alley. I also hope that Timothee Chalamet doesn't get relegated to Breakthrough Performance prizes. He's deserving of leading actor prizes.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

RE Hanks,he hasn't won in over 20 yrs,he hasn't been nominated in 17 years,many snubs,beloved the world over,last classic film star,best picture heat,NBR win,could he win a 3rd,Oldman is not steamrolling yet.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Tom Ford -- i believe that that has literally never happened. all four plus best picture repeating. In fact i dont even think it's come close to happening. The NBR is not a particularly predictive prize. it just gives films boosts is all.

david -- well. we're early still. if it missed with Globes or BFCA it's in trouble.

November 28, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

The last best picture winner to be completely shut out here was a beautiful mind, that doesn't bode well for three billboards, darkest hour or TSOW.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAtmen

NBR may favor late-breaking films, but the amount of major awards poured onto The Post is quite atypical for them. That, plus the fact that it celebrates journalism and is therefore likely to have a boost on journalists' top ten lists at the end of the year, makes me think that this is our new frontrunner.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

I previously thought Nathaniel that these would be the Oscar winners but we'll see what happens. It also shows that A24 has done a great job marketing Lady Bird and The Disaster Artist. The films omitted by NBR are not resonating as great films.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

If Gary is not steamrolling, DDLalready has 3, Tom already has 2, then Timothee has a good shot at winning a 1st. And James Franco has a good shot at getting nominated. Best actor is really interesting right now.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJack

This list is predictably unpredictable. NBR is not an Oscar bellwether so I hold out hope for 3 Billboards and The Shape of Water.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I'd love to think Florence Pugh has an outside shot at a Best Actress nomination for Lady Macbeth...but realistically, that's never going to happen. Glad the film at least got a mention here, though.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJosh R

How did Florida Project get promoted from Indie to the Commercial Top 10? I'm not complaining - I wish it would have won, Just wondering

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterken s

It's early but I think Streep's odds of winning are good.

1. She hasn't been nominated for her performance in a Best Picture contender since Out of Africa. That's 31 years and 14 nominations later—including times she might've won if there'd been more heat behind her project.

2. This movie isn't going to get less "topical" heading into its release.

3. She's going to get tons of attention on the stump for her politics and platform to speak about women in Hollywood. It seems natural that the voters would gravitate toward moments for moral leadership. The campaign writes itself, especially combined with the subject matter.

4. She's a big threat for a SAG win, no matter what happens at the Globes (who also love her). Release, box office and stature go a long way with SAG voters.

5. It's stopped feeling tragic when a movie like Jackie or Carol can't muster the support they need to make a Best Actress race competitive. McDormand and Ronan's campaigns could hit the same wall where they're locks for nominations, but not threats to win.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

Jack -- agreed but i'm not sure the Academy has changed enough in the past couple of years to get an obvious steamroller like Gary Oldman not steamrolling in the end. I'm actually kind of dreading the nominations this year because they might be terrible and they might be great in that category. it's weird.

Evan -- you might be right. I wish I liked it more. It's fine/good but it's obviously getting a TON of credit merely for being timely

Mark -- i think Tom has been doing amazing work lately (better then in his Oscar heyday if you ask me but i have to say i never thought "this is a winning role!" while watching the Post. It's kind of a small leading ole (big enough to be lead, no fraud, but if he had campaigned as supporting i doubt anyone would have complained. very much an ensemble picture that hinges on Streep's decision making and Hanks boisterousness but like Spotlight it's about a whole team effort.

November 28, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I have a bit of an allergic reaction to “The Disaster Artist” and “I, Tonya” every time their trailers show up. They kinda feel like SNL Digital shorts. It makes me afraid that Margot Robbie will win this year.. She just fits the narrative of what Oscars like to reward in Best Actress.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCris

Nathaniel- I read a post that said the NBR has rewarded best actress and best actor from the same film only twice and both times the actress went on to win the oscar. I think one of the movies was Monster’s Ball.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

The other was Country Girl in 1954

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I sincerely hope Greta gets an Oscar nomination for Best Director. What a refreshing change it would be for a director, more so a woman, to be singled out by the Academy for a light-hearted movie instead of some 'serious kind of drama'.

And it would be lovely to see Hanks nominated again after missing out on a few worthy performances (Captain Phillips and Bridge of Spies) in recent times.

As for Streep, I think she will be a threat come Oscar nom day if The Post manages to chalk up a modest box office return plus good reviews and maybe a handful of critics medals for herself like NYTimes, etc. Her only competition, in my mind, are Ronan & Hawkins. I really don't appreciate McDormand's performance because I feel it's a rehash of her past roles (no offence to her fans here).

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJans

The last time that the winner of NRB and Oscar matched on the winner for best actress was in 2006 when Dame Helen Mirren killed the opposition.
I recall Nathaniel at the time saying she was the biggest shoo in for the win since Titanic for best picture ten years before. And should have won for her mesmerising performance in Gosford Park over dreary Jennifer Connelly too.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMatt UK

I’m a little surprised the NBR didn’t leave a spot on their Top Ten list for STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrevity

It's interesting. I don't think The Post would foresee a backlash the way La La Land did, just because everyone will feel good about voting for it. The thought of it sweeping bores me, but I guess every year can't be Moonlight.

If The Post becomes the frontrunner, does that mean Spielberg does, too? Ugh -- at this point I'll be content with a James Franco nod. That'll get me through the rest of the season.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarc

Brevity -- that is the Critics Choice bag to drool on unreleased movies ;)

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Matt -- Helen wasn't the last one but yeah i did say that. Julianne Moore (Still Alice) and Brie Larson (Room) are the only two who won both the NBR and the Oscar in the past ten years. but it's interesting that some of the other winners were expected to be nominated or at least definitely in the hunt for the 5th slot: Amy Adams (Arrival), Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr Banks)

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Yay Meryl!!!

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

Love the love for Streep… sight unseen.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered Commentergrrr

I believe it was seen... but like they saw it last night.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I'm surprise by the lack o luv for Shape o Water n Three Billboards

At this junction, Hawkins might get a nom, but i doubt she will win. McDormand WILL get a nom but her chance o a 2nd win will b a tough fight.

Thr's a great possibility tt Streep might On Golden Pond us this time, finally winnin the elusive 4th.

IMO, the best actress race is now a 3-way battle btw Streep, Ronan n McDormand, with Hawkins n Robbie filling up the last 2 slots

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

The Shape of Water opens this week, It has to make some noise at the boxoffice otherwise Sally chance will reduce drastically.

As for Meryl win, I kinda see more clearly why Glenn Close wisely moved herself and The Wife to next year cause this is starting to be a Meryl year more and more. The Post has just arrived at the perfect timing and it really benefits everyone involved. Most of all, Meryl.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJack

Good lord, people are already down and depressed that The Post won something even though no one here has seen it (besides Nathaniel).

Trust me, it won't sweep the critics prizes. Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird, and Get Out will figure in heavily, I would imagine. I'm sure The Shape of Water will take a couple too. The season is just starting, there's no reason to be discouraged.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Who said anyone is depressed?

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterFrances McDormand

Ronan is winning the Oscar. Love for Lady Bird is big and widespread.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

But do the various critics groups even factor in much anymore? Maybe they help shape nominations, but many people win different critics awards that don’t have any impact on the Oscar nominations. Some other film would have to really gain momentum between now and January, but they all have been already seen. NBR made a big statement by giving The Post three big awards.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

Frances - LOL, You're not cause you just don't care it's your nature but I think Kate and other girls really are.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjack

Is Laurie Metcalf our next Triple Crowner? Stay tuned. ;)

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

I think a lot of people are overestimating Streep's chances of winning a fourth Oscar this year. That would be a really big deal and she's got a lot of career left. I don't see it happening now and in a year full of memorable performances.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy


I see your point, and competition/fatigue could hurt her in 2017. But I also suspect future Oscars will come much more easily than the elusive third Oscar did. She won't wait another 30 years, and I don't think her fourth Oscar will be her last. At this point she's eclipsed Hepburn in terms of admiration (as an actor, not as a star) and so multiple future wins don't feel like a leap.

It's also worth nothing that Hepburn's first sentimental late-career wins came during a period of political turmoil, in both Hollywood and America.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

I think Streep won this Oscar last year, at the Globes.

She couldn't win for FFJ, but she made the right move of going for a political movie just after antagonizing Trump. If they clash again in some way, she wins for sure.

All she has to do now is to make Trump say something bad about her.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

@ jamie

I meant that I had not seen it.

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered Commentergrrr

Hooray for PATTI CAKE$ getting a mention here. Let's keep it rolling with these Top Indies List, Breakthrough Performances and the eventual Best Original Song nom & performance!

November 28, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge P.

Grr- gotcha!

I sort of have to agree that Meryl’s Golden Globes speech that started 2017 is still very much part of her narrative at the end of the year with The Post. She said what needed to be said and then months after the speech found a project with Spielberg and Hanks that brought those concerns (freedom of the press and feminism) to the forefront. She “took her broken heart and made it into art”- I think it is astonishing that this project happened so fast.
I am in the minority on this website with the opinion that Streep would have been nominated for FFJ even without the killer speech last year that many claim bumped her into a nomination( despite Globe, SAG, and BAFTA nominations beforehand)
I believe the Post love is still connected to how the year started with that speech- and now she is in a movie with an excellent director, giving a subtle performance in a possible BP nominee-
Is that not what all of the Streep- fatigue folks wanted her to do?

November 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

What are everyone's thoughts on Three Billboards? I was pretty underwhelmed...

November 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

In a year in which it's become painfully apparent just how much shit women have had to put up with in the film industry (and all other industries), it might make a lot of people feel good to reward Gerwig with a not-undeserved Oscar as best director. That would make better copy than "Nolan finally wins" or "Spielberg gets his third," or whatever. "Lady Bird" really could be this year's "Moonlight", the little film about people who haven't gotten a fair shake, finally getting their due on Oscar night. But what do I know?

November 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDan H

I was not crazy about Billboards. Uneven in tone and seemed to revel in violence. If it’s true that The Post is Spielberg’s best movie since Munich then I am not surprised it won today.

November 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJono

Spielberg needs a cinematographer upgrade. Bridge of Spies would have been a much bigger Oscar movie if it just looked pretty.

November 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

I really hope this helps Gerwig start securing that deserved Oscar nomination, female directors are so rarely nominated that I will remain skeptical until nomination morning that it will happen and we still have a long way to go.

November 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRami

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