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National Board Of Review Declares SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE Best Film Of 2008!

Beaks here...

I've a feeling you're going to be reading slight variations on that headline over the next few months. Though the politicking has only just begun, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE seems to be the movie of the moment. It's so undeniable, even the flaky National Board of Review had to bestow their top honor upon it - though it looks like they really wanted to go with Clint Eastwood's curmudgeonly ode to tolerance, GRAN TORINO. GRAN TORINO is going to be an interesting player in this year's Oscar race if only because reactions are clearly split along generational lines (oldsters love it, youngsters not so much). Obviously, the NBR fell hard for the film, including it in their top ten, while dishing out Best Actor to Clint and Best Original Screenplay to Nick Schenk. I don't know if this run of good fortune is going to continue through the critics' awards (very doubtful), but I can definitely see the Golden Globes nominating the hell out of this thing. As for the Academy... it's Clint. They'd retroactively nominate THE GAUNTLET if they could. He's a cinch for Actor if nothing else. I'm not going to get too worked up over the rest of the NBR's choices, but it is nice to see geek fave LET THE RIGHT ONE IN shortlisted. Also glad to see SON OF RAMBOW and MISTER FOE getting some love. What do you think?
Awards for 2008: Best Film SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE Top Ten Films (In alphabetical order) BURN AFTER READING CHANGELING THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON THE DARK KNIGHT DEFIANCE FROST/NIXON GRAN TORINO MILK WALL-E THE WRESTLER Best Foreign Language Film MONGOL Top Five Foreign Films THE EDGE OF HEAVEN LET THE RIGHT ONE IN ROMAN DE GARE A SECRET WALTZ WITH BASHIR Best Documentary MAN ON WIRE Top Five Documentaries AMERICAN TEEN THE BETRAYAL (NERAKHOON) DEAR ZACHARY ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD ROMAN POLANSKI: WANTED AND DESIRED Top Independent Films (In alphabetical order) FROZEN RIVER IN BRUGES IN SEARCH OF A MIDNIGHT KISS MR. FOE RACHEL GETTING MARRIED SNOW ANGELS SON OF RAMBOW WENDY AND LUCY VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA THE VISITOR Best Actor CLINT EASTWOOD, Gran Torino Best Actress ANNE HATHAWAY, Rachel Getting Married Best Supporting Actor JOSH BROLIN, Milk Best Supporting Actress PENELOPE CRUZ, Vicky Cristina Barcelona Best Ensemble Cast DOUBT Breakthrough Performance by an Actor DEV PATEL, Slumdog Millionaire Breakthrough Performance by an Actress VIOLA DAVIS, Doubt Best Director DAVID FINCHER, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Best Directorial Debut COURTNEY HUNT, Frozen River Best Adapted Screenplay SIMON BEAUFOY, Slumdog Millionaire and ERIC ROTH, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Spotlight Award MELISSA LEO, Frozen River and RICHARD JENKINS, The Visitor Best Original Screenplay NICK SCHENK, Gran Torino Best Animated Feature WALL-E William K. Everson Award For Film History MOLLY HASKELL and ANDREW SARRIS The BVLGARI Award for NBR Freedom of Expression TRUMBO

The New York Film Critics Circle will be announcing their awards soon. With Armond White serving as the chair, you should make like a Gemini and expect the unexpected.

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