Film Bitch History
Oscar History

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

Powered by Squarespace
Don't Miss This!


Comment Fun

Easter Box Office - What did you see?

"I saw Amazing Grace. Starts at thrilling and just keeps going from there." -Ken S

"Little . Amusing with a charming cast. Although I think I would have liked a movie just about Issa Rae better." - Adri

"I saw High Life. I had to fight to stay awake. What a load of nothing." - Suzanne


Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500... no 461 Patron SaintsIf you read us daily, please be one.  Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience



Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

Christian Petzoldt (Transit)
Richard E Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)
Toni Collette (Hereditary)
Nadine Labaki (Capernaum)
Mamoru Hosoda (Mirai)
Glenn Close (The Wife)
Hirokazu Koreeda (Shoplifters)

What'cha Looking For?
« Linkwarm off the Presses | Main | The Hedges »

NBR Loves "A Star is Born" and "Beale Street" but names "Green Book" Best of the Year

by Nathaniel R

Mahershala and Viggo are all dolled up and ready for awards shows

The National Board of Review announced its winners today for their January 8th gala at Cipriani 42nd Street. While NBR no longer signifies the kick-off to precursor season (with the Gotham and Spirit Awards announcing so early each year) they're still a significant bellwether or rather they're a bell ringing, alerting everyone that you can't hide from awards season; it is upon us! This year Green Book, A Star is Born, and If Beale Street Could Talk were their three obvious favorites, the only films to take multiple prizes.


Stats referenced below are, unless otherwise noted, solely confined to the past 20 years

FILM Green Book
This year NBR chose a film just finishing its first wide weekend at the box office (the NBR likes being 'in the moment' as we've previously discussed). The NBR choice for Best Film goes on to a Best Picture nomination 85% of the time, though it should be noted that that is not all that hard these days with the 'up to 10' Best Picture nomination rules now in play with Oscar. It's rare though for a Best Film winner at NBR to win Oscar's Best Picture. The only times NBR and Oscar have shared a #1 in recent history was a back-to-back situations a full decade ago with No Country For Old Men (2007) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008).

I've been kind of annoyed at how blatantly media sites are twisting the truth about Green Book's reception. Mark Harris has a thoughful essay about the movie and its awards chances up at Vulture but the headline itself (which usually isn't written by the article writer) is quite less than factual, saying in the past tense that it "flopped".. But has it? It's obviously pitched to older audience members who don't necessarily rush to movies in the first week and it had a solid per screen average in its first wide weekend: i.e. not great but not terrible either. It also wasn't expensive to make with a budget of just $23 million. Our suspicion is that it will have legs and become a minor success financially. That's quite different than "flopping". It reminds of the rush to declare The Greatest Showman a flop last Christmas just because it's opening weekend was just $14 million on an $84 million budget (it placed #4th that weekend with a per screen average of just $4,794). The movie went on to gross $174 million in America alone. Opening weekend receipts are often predictive of a movie's success but when they're not it's almost always because of one of these three things or a combination thereof:

1) awards
2) holiday seasons
3) word of mouth primarily involving a non-media obsesssed over audience. 

DIRECTOR Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
Bradley is feeling like a safe bet for a nomination if not a lock, which is not usually the case here. This is a category in which the NBR typically throws a lot of curveballs sometimes selecting men who clearly have no shot at a nomination. The ratio of winning this to receiving an Oscar nomination in recent history is 40%. Honestly we'd respect that (there's no reason for organizations to exist if they're only trying to "predict") IF their occassional oddball choices weren't often also of questionable quality. 

ACTRESS Lady Gaga, A Star is Born
80% of winners here go on to Oscar nominations though it should be noted that their winners in Best Actress who dont go on to Oscar nominations are often very clearly someone who almost made it -- in other words, they tend to stick to the frontrunning contenders here. Either of which could be the case with Lady Gaga since she'll either be a nominee or a major snub, given the months of hoopla.

ACTOR Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
85% of winners here go on to Oscar nominations, though their rare outside-looking-in winners are typically much further left field choices without much hope of Oscar heat, unlike in Best Actress where they seem like surefire nominees until they aren't. Mortensen surely falls under the 85% category. He's a safe bet.

One of many prizes for Regina? We'll have to wait and see.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
50% of their winners go on to Oscar nominations, with just 5% of their winners also winning the Oscar. They've often made interesting choices in this category, two of the more famous examples being the marvelous Lupe Ontiveros in the little seen Chuck & Buck or comic genius Catherine O'Hara (who has strangely been ignored by most awards bodies over her career) as a failed Oscar hopeful in For Your Consideration.

SUPPORTING ACTOR Sam Elliott, A Star is Born
80% of their winners go on to Oscar nominations, with 20% also winning the Oscar. Giving two and half acting awards (heh - you know thats why Bradley wins Best Director so they can have two Best Actors) to A Star is Born is quite a statement though.

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace



BEST ENSEMBLE Crazy Rich Asians
Though Oscar does not have an ensemble prize, the most famous ensemble prize belongs to SAG (aka the Screen Actors Guild Awards) and though they began their awards with the 1994 film year, for some reason they waited until the 1995 film year to add "ensemble" to their film prizes, so the NBR has actually been giving out ensemble prizes for a longer time. In the past 20 years, the NBR and the Screen Actors Guild have had quite different taste in cast performance. The NBR winner only goes on to a SAG cast nomination 50% of the time and there have only been four shared winners: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003), No Country for Old Men (2007), The Help (2011), and Hidden Figures (2016).

Crazy Rich Asians would be a fun SAG option and we suspect SAG will nominate it their nominations are often a bit less "end of the year" related than other awards bodies, presumably because they vote earlier. There has also been theorizing over the years that some SAG voters vote based on 'how fun would it have been to be part of that cast?' given the comparatively joyful nominations (to other acting prizes which tend to swing always in favor of heavy drama).


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Paul Schrader, First Reformed






NBR FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION 22 July and On Her Shoulders

WILLIAM K EVERSON FILM HISTORY AWARD The Other Side of the Wind and They'll Love Me When I'm Dead




  • 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


another honor for 'WE THE ANIMALS' -- we're so pleased it's doing well

  • 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


  • Crime + Punishment
  • Free Solo
  • Minding The Gap
  • Three Identical Strangers
  • Won't You Be My Neighbor

All of these titles are eligible for Best Documentary at the Oscars





  • Burning (South Korea)
  • Custody (France)
  • The Guilty (Denmark)
  • Happy as Lazzaro (Italy)
  • Shoplifters (Japan)

Do you think Italy is regretting their choice to send Dogman instead of Happy as Lazzaro to the Oscars this year? It keeps popping up on such lists. France of course SHOULD have submitted Custody which is very well loved. What possessed them not to?

What do you think of NBR's choices this year? 


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (57)

Easy mistake, but ASIB got TWO acting awards not three; Cooper is in directing.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMatty

GaGa as Best Actress is interesting.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Not surprised they went for Green Book. Like The Post last year, it's great popular entertainment and will be an enduring film. I am mostly sad for Glenn Close. She really can't catch a break.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJF

We already knew they wouldn't go for Blackkklansmen, but no mentions in the top 10 for First Man, Favourite, and Vice. Interesting...

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered Commentershawshank

Happy for Thomasin McKenzie.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

This is a great result for A Star Is Born as it gives it three top prizes but it keeps the focus on Green Book, the movie generating a lot of backlash right now (remember those predictions that ASIB would be a magnet for backlash? Still not happening).

Glad to see First Reformed continue gathering momentum, and happy that Crazy Rich Asians, Eighth Grade, and Can You Ever Forgive Me? got noticed as well. And I'm thrilled for Gaga and Elliott, too.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

At least they didn't give Best Director to Clint Eastwood for THE MULE (sight unseen) or THE 15;17 TO PARIS.

Though Clint was of course going to direct A STAR IS BORN at one stage, and Bradley has worked closely with him before, so there is still a connection there!

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

The NBR is always good for a laugh. Even the name, National Board (who?) of Review (what?), is generic and non-descript enough to be curiously suspect. But omitting The Favourite, in particular, is interesting. Hmm...

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

No The Favorite. But Mary Poppins Returns made the top 10.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Ugh, Sam Elliott is really going to happen right? I mean I like him but fucking hell he is definitely the worst thing in A Star is Born. So many unnecessary ‘fucks’, cringe at him reversing out of that driveway... maybe the script and direction are to blame. The acting triumph in that movie is Bradley Cooper surely?

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterChoog

I think this is actually quite a nice set of nominees. I know some people are nonplussed with Green Book, but take that away and you've got a toast to Bradley Cooper for making the buzziest film of the year, a boost to Gaga's campaign, the start of a Sam Elliott sweep, REGINA KING!!!!, the amazing screenplays for First Reformed and Beale Street, a nice nod to Crazy Rich Asians, and some Eighth Grade love. What's not to admire!?!

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Was Roma not ellegible for foreign film or how come it is on their top 10 but not on top 5 foreign?

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterChicken

These awards (NBR, NYFCC, LAFCA, NSFC) really don't mean much for the Best Actress race:

Since 2000, Best Actress winners have...

Won 0: McDormand, Stone, Portman, Bullock, Winslet, Kidman.
Won 1: Larson, Moore, Lawrence, Streep, Cotillard, Swank, Theron, Berry.

Won 2: Witherspoon, Roberts.
Won 3: Blanchett.
Won 4: Mirren.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

So happy for Regina King, hope this is the start of a great award season for her. Such an underappreciated actress.

On the other hand, A Star Is Born is already feeling ovepraised in my book.The acting awards for Gaga and Sam are so out of place.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterV.

Loving the notices for CRAZY RICH ASIANS (was actually hoping for a shock inclusion in NBR's top 11 but alas)... and SEARCHING.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

"Won 0: McDormand, Stone, Portman, Bullock, Winslet, Kidman."

Interesting... but every one of these actresses was in a BP nominee, and all other than Winslet and Kidman was in a major box office hit. Winslet and Kidman were, of course, perceived as incredibly overdue for BA Oscars and coming off career heat.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I think after losing this time, Glenn Close should withdraw any nominations she gets in the future. She's obviously never going to be young enough or in a big enough hit to win so why bother.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

RE Sam Eliott,I don't know what is was about his scenes though he was solid in them,there wasn't too much to his character,he just seemed to be randomly dropped in,the wronged brother,I didn't cringe at the driveway scene but I did keep waiting for the scene that Nat included on his Oscar Charts were Sam seems to be weeping over something but I never saw it in the film.

I sometimes think there is an aversion to small roles winning we've got so used to Leads winning in Supporting that's what we accept but it's never right.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

I think Close might just be our generations Deborah Kerr.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

I'm so pleased for Paul Schrader. And Viggo - this is, I think, the first major critics award he's ever won!

I don't know if Italy will be regretting sending Dogman instead of Happy as Lazzaro. I haven't seen the latter yet, but Dogman is terrific and I hope it gets recognition in awards season.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Is Amy Adams going to go 0 for 6 if the Regina King steamroller takes off (not that I'd complain)?!

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterParanoid Android

Terrible fucking winners ....I despair ... 3 for a star is born urghhhhhh

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGizmo

have not seen the film but it is always a good thing seeing Viggo’s name show up at these things. Tremendous actor

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterhuh

"Green Book"will probably get lots of Oscar love too

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

But no Glenn Close sweep this year.... really shocked at no love for The Favorite!

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

All the awards voting bodies/audiences that have ignored/are ignoring "First Man" should feel quite embarrassed. Chazelle's directorial achievement on that one is nothing short of astonishing. Cooper over him is some kind of cruel joke.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

I agree with Jonathan about "First Man" - Chazelle really knows how to use the wide screen and the film is an amazing technical adchievement

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

This is the end of that weird moment where we all thought The Mule was going to be a thing right? I may be mistaken, but doesn’t Eastwood just need to put something out for it to end up in their top 11?

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Future Nathaniel and future gays will be very dissapointed that we arent the no1 Gaga supporters. It seems I am the only one here that wants her to enter the Liza, Cher list, not the Judy, Garbo one.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterF

Lady GaGa is the best film actress of the entire year? LOL!

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSRB

First Man was an admirably directed, acted and scripted bore of a film. Clearly a lot of skill and talent went into making it but it being forgotten is hardly surprising, given the film itself.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterhuh

I really thought Lady Gaga was the weakest thing about ASIB. She's not bad, but not Best Actress worthy. Oh well.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

I’ve just emerged from my second showing of THE FAVOURITE. Although I would vastly prefer to see Glenn Close (FINALLY) win an Academy Award for what I believe is devastating andbrilliant work in THE WIFE, I like to think I could at least emotionally handle an Olivia Colman win. However, if Lady Gaga wins Best Actress, I think I’ll have to conscientiously object to all future telecasts...

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRyan Crowe


Good point about the ladies who won zero. All it takes is one, really. And if you get none, it helps to be in a BP contender or too-overdue-to-ignore.

Swinton, Hawkins (2008), Hawkins (2017), Staunton, Huppert, Cotillard (2014), Riva, Christie, Moreau, Moore, Linney—they all outperformed 14 of the last 18 Best Actress winners in terms of major critics prizes.

I guess the upshot is that Mirren's year was very weird in a lot of ways, even though people tend to treat it like the "norm" when there's a frontrunner.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

Wait? Did Mary Poppins open anywhere yet? Who's seen it? I adore the cast, but those trailers and the amount of advertising (a la A Wrinkle in Time) are KILLING ME. Plus, Rob Marshall.

I love the Best Ensemble category in any awards body, and super happy about Crazy Rich Asians for this one. I wish it, along with Best Casting (which is kind of the same, I guess) could be added to the Oscars, as I can think of 10 films this year and last where the Ensemble is better than individual performances.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Pam- word from early screenings is that MPR is pretty fantastic!

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

@Jamie Fingers crossed, then. I love me a good (or even bad) musical.

November 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Someone mentioned (maybe in another thread) that only last year, we got a lot of Dafoe and Metcalf and then nothing once the Golden Globes happened. The NBR and Gotham are precursor awards and I like it that they chose whomever they feel regardless who will eventually win in the Academy. Did the winners in NBR and Gotham match who I thought should win? No. But still glad that other films and performances were lauded and not just one person, or just one film dominating all others.

I am still on Team Close and I'll see through the end if she'll buck the trend and wins that elusive Oscar next year. If not, I am sure she'll continue working: on stage and film and TV and hopefully recordings too.

November 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterOwl

I'm over the moon for Gaga's win. She's defied all expectations and she's the best thing about the wondrous ASIB.

November 28, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

The Gotham loss had a sting to it. The National Board of Review has no genuine industry sway. So technically she dodged a bullet while Gaga has a target on her back.

Amy Adams should win this year instead of them waiting for a lead actress vehicle to give her an overdue prize. Four of your five nominations is supporting. You winning there isn't a step down from anything.

The Regina King is overdue for Oscar recognition is bullshit. Poetic Justice and How Stella Got Her Groove Back are the only film projects she participated in prior to Beale Street that should have warranted these notices. But those projects were produced when nonwhite productions could be easier cast aside for lacking prestige.

November 28, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful


I agree - Gaga was good, not great. I knew NBR would throw this award to her. She guarantees a WTF appearance at their dinner in NYC. And don't forget all the huffing and puffing by nearly everyone predicting her Oscar for best song who were so shocked that she lost to a Bond song. Still hoping Close gets her well deserved Oscar, and for fine work that can't be written off. As a "lifetime achievement" award. Like Geraldine Page in 85, Close should take this on merit not sentimentality.

November 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

Two Emily Blunt films in their top 10, but once again she'll miss out on an Oscar nod I fear

November 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRami

@3rtful you may think your the fountain of knowledge but King was closet to a maybe Oscar nomination for Jerry Maguire where she was very good but even Renee couldn't manage it.

GaGa is solid for an inexperienced actress you don't laugh at her or cringe,the all the concert scenes are electric but when she is required to emote her voice is flat,there's no depth in her eyes,her tone is off sometimes,she doesn't know what to do with her hands,sometimes it looks like she's been asked to improvise and can't.

Her character's outlook and attitude changes from scene to scene,one minute she's tough fighting in a bar the next she's doing what she is told about her hair.

The best scene she has is the "OK" scene at the rehab centre and although adequate in the scene finds no different ways of saying ok which could tell us more about Ally.

November 28, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

The bashing of A star is born has started. So predictible.

November 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterF

Thrilled for Gaga. ASiB is my favorite film of the year. Yet I fear Gaga could join the Swinton/Adams/Thompson club of recent NBR Best Actress winners who just miss out on an Oscar nomination at the end. That field is so competitive. The only lock is Colman.

November 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

In what universe was Gaga better than Close or Collette?

No love for The Favourite reeks of contrarianism

The Sam Elliot thing just baffles me.

November 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEoghan McQ

i must have seen a different movie than everyone else did when i walked into A STAR IS BORN. it bears no resemblance to the film i see people rave about, or a film that wins three (!!!) nbr awards. i wonder if i'm resistant to movies others like, or if i'm reading some sort of backlash into my reaction? i love artists who work across media, so i should be happy for LG in this movie, but i really didn't feel the love here.

November 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCharles O

Do people think Regina King is overdue for Oscar recognition? I thought she was considered a great character actress who finally got a film role worthy of her talents, somewhat similar to Metcalf last year. That said, I do agree that people are a bit ridiculous in saying that Adams should win in lead. So many deserving actresses never win at all.

November 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I like Lady Gaga, and think that her musical talent is the best thing about A Star is Born.

A Star is Born is a reactionary movie, a “white male tragedy” movie.
If a man gives a woman a helping hand in an industry, he’ll suffer for it, because men and women can’t both be successful at the same time.

If a white man is not at the top of the power structure, it’s a (sob) tragedy. And that seems to be the movie’s appeal.

And it really irritates me that Bradley Cooper is insisting the movie is a drama, not a musical. As if Cooper’s outworn trope of a dramatic role is the important thing, and Lady Gaga’s musicality is secondary. I kept waiting for him to have the last word in the movie, and the last close up.

November 28, 2018 | Unregistered Commenteradri

"Do people think Regina King is overdue for Oscar recognition? I thought she was considered a great character actress who finally got a film role worthy of her talents, somewhat similar to Metcalf last year."

I don't think King is overdue, excellent an actress as she is - she has't gotten nearly enough major film work over the years to qualify as such. But that's the problem right there - why hasn't she gotten more work? I think we all know the answer to that.

November 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRob

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>