National Board of Review Names “Manchester By The Sea” Best Film, Barry Jenkins Best Director

After winning big at last night’s Gotham Awards, Moonlight picked up two more wins with the National Board of Review for director Barry Jenkins and Naomie Harris’ supporting performance.

The big winner here was Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester By The Sea, which won big in the Best Film, Actor, Original Screenplay and Breakthrough Performance (Male) categories. Other winners include Jeff Bridges from Hell or High Water in Supporting Actor (which remains an extremely wide-open race) and Amy Adams for her outstanding performance in Arrival. With the Actress race so extremely competitive, any sort of precursor award helps those contenders who are on the bubble for those fourth and fifth slots (Adams, Ruth Negga, Isabelle Huppert, Taraji P. Henson and Meryl Streep).

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Hidden Figures, which opens in limited release Christmas Day, grabbed the Best Ensemble Award, Kubo and the Two Strings won in Animated Feature and the largely unseen Silence won an Adapted Screenplay award.

The NBR is known for their sometimes out of left field choices; they’re famous for choosing to vote for what they like rather than consensus favorites. And while many of the films/performances they choose to honor do go on to at the very least be nominated for the Oscars, they don’t have the accuracy in being “predictive” that other non-industry groups like the Broadcast Film Critics do. So take these wins with a grain of salt as we start reading the tea leaves and hearing from more groups this weekend.

Read the full list of winners below.

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“Arrival” Is Timely, Fascinating and a Showcase For Amy Adams’ talents

It’s been hard to muster any kind of enthusiasm, or any kind of feeling besides grief, hopelessness and rage since Tuesday night. No matter what song I put on, what channel I flipped to or what episode of Portlandia I streamed on Netflix, I just wanted to melt into a puddle. I could not stop thinking about the next four years, and they mean for black, latinx and LGBTQ Americans. So when I sat down for my screening of Arrival last night, I was looking to just escape my mind for a minute; I wanted to turn off the thoughts so that I could come back fully reenergized to figure out how I was going to tackle fighting the racism, bigotry and intolerance that is now America’s President-elect.

Arrival is the escapist entertainment I was seeking. Even if it was for two hours, director Denis Villeneuve’s excellent sci-fi character study manages to transport and astound in every frame.

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