National Board of Review Declares ‘Hugo’ the Best Film of 2011

We respectfully disagree, but the Oscar race has a new contender anyway. Here's the complete list of winners.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

Oscar Season just got a little more interesting today, as Martin Scorsese's Hugo suddenly earned itself a slot amongst the top contenders for Best Picture with their wins at the National Board of Review. It's not a great sign, however. Of the last ten years, only two of the NBR's picks for Best Picture earned the top accolades as the Academy Awards: No Country for Old Men and Slumdog Millionaire. The rest of their picks were at least nominated, however, so we guess Hugo could be a shoe-in for one of those pesky slots. Most of their other awards were to be expected, although 50/50 and Margin Call continue to make impressive showings for such small releases, which could bode well come Oscar time.

Here are the complete list of winners for the 2011 National Board of Review awards.

Best Picture: HUGO

Best Director: MARTIN SCORSESE for HUGO

Best Actor: GEORGE CLOONEY for THE DESCENDANTS

Best Actress: TILDA SWINTON for WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN

Best Original Screenplay: WILL REISER for 50/50

Best Adapted Screenplay: ALEXANDER PAYNE and NAT FAXON & JIM RASH for THE DESCENDANTS

Best Animated Feature: RANGO

Best Documentary: PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY

Best Foreign Language Film: A SEPARATION

Best Ensemble: THE HELP

Best Supporting Actor: CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER for BEGINNERS

Best Supporting Actress: SHAILENE WOODLEY for THE DESCENDANTS

Breakthrough Performance: FELICITY JONES for LIKE CRAZY

Breakthrough Performance: ROONEY MARA for THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

Debut Director: J.C. CHANDOR for MARGIN CALL

NBR Freedom of Expression: PARIAH

NBR Freedom of Expression: CRIME AFTER CRIME

Special Achievement in Filmmaking: THE HARRY POTTER FRANCHISE (A Distinguished Translation from Book to Film)

Spotlight Award: MICHAEL FASSBENDER for A DANGEROUS METHOD, JANE EYRE, SHAME and X-MEN: FIRST CLASS

Top Ten Independent Films (in alphabetical order): 50/50, ANOTHER EARTH, BEGINNERS, A BETTER LIFE, CEDAR RAPIDS, MARGIN CALL, SHAME, TAKE SHELTER, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, WIN WIN

Top Five Documentaries (in alphabetical order): BORN TO BE WILD, BUCK, GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN A MATERIAL WORLD, PROJECT NIM, SENNA

Top Five Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order): 12 ASSASSINS, ELITE SQUAD: THE ENEMY WITHIN, FOOTNOTE, LE HAVRE, POINT BLANK

Top Ten Films (in alphabetical order): THE ARTIST, THE DESCENDANTS, DRIVE, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2, THE IDES OF MARCH, J. EDGAR, TREE OF LIFE, WAR HORSE