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2007 National Board Of Review Awards


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National Board of Review Names 'No Country' Best Film

by Pamela McClintock


'No Country for Old Men'

NEW YORK CITY, New York -- The Coen brothers' "No Country for Old Men," from Miramax and Paramount Vantage, was named Best Picture of the Year by the National Board of Review, while Tim Burton drew the Director nod for DreamWorks-Warner Bros. musical, "Sweeney Todd."

"No Country for Old Men" also picked up the awards for Adapted Screenplay and Ensemble Cast, which includes Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin and Kelly Macdonald. With three nominations, the picture won the most of any film.

There's always a certain amount of mystery surrounding the NBR, a group of film educators and other professionals with no official Hollywood ties, but the organization's yearly announcement is considered an early bellwether of potential award winners, and its Top 10 list, which it releases in alphabetical order, is among the first that roll out in December.

George Clooney picked up NBR's Actor nod for his performance in Warner Bros.' "Michael Clayton," while Julie Christie won the Actress prize for Lionsgate's "Away from Her." Casey Affleck received the Supporting Actor prize for Warner's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," while Amy Ryan won Supporting Actress for "Gone Baby Gone."

NBR lauded Disney-Pixar's "Ratatouille" for Animated Feature, while French film, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" took Foreign Film. Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro's Iraqi war documentary, "Body of War," drew the Documentary nod. Ben Affleck won for his Directorial debut with "Gone Baby Gone." Both 'Gone' and 'Diving Bell' are distributed by Miramax.

In previous years, the NBR included the winning film in its list of the Top 10 Films of the Year. This round, the organization changed its rules to keep the year's Best Film separate, creating what amounts to a Top 11 List.

Warner took three of the spots on the list: Andrew Dominik's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," Rob Reiner's "The Bucket List" and Tony Gilroy's "Clayton." Vantage took two with Sean Penn's "Into the Wild" and Marc Forster's "The Kite Runner."

'Sweeney,' which DreamWorks-Paramount is distributing domestically, also made the list, as did Focus Features' "Atonement," Universal's "The Bourne Ultimatum," Fox Searchlight's "Juno" and MGM-Sidney Kimmel's "Lars and the Real Girl."

"We screened 328 films, and the diversity of these narratives is reflected in our 2007 ten best films," NBR president Annie Schulhof said. "No Country for Old Men" is a "brilliant convergence of extraordinary directing, a masterful screenplay and incredible ensemble performances."

Miramax is distributing the picture domestically. A number of the films landing on the top 10 roster haven't yet opened in the U.S., so distributors will try to use the NBR mention to up the profile of their pictures. Joe Wright's "Atonement" opens Friday, "Kite Runner" opens December 14, "Sweeney" unspools December 21, and "Bucket List" bows Christmas Day.

"Juno," which opened Wednesday, will look for an immediate boost. Ellen Page won NBR's prize for Breakthrough Performance by an Actress for her role in the picture, while Emile Hirsch took Breakthrough Performance by an Actor for "Into the Wild."

"Juno" scribe Diablo Cody and "Lars and the Real Girl" scribe Nancy Oliver tied for the Original Screenplay prize; Joel and Ethan Coen drew Adapted Screenplay kudos for "No Country," based on the tome by Cormac McCarthy.

Among the pics on NBR

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National Board of Review Awards

Tommy Lee Jones stars in 'No Country for Old Men'

Best Film
"No Country For Old Men"

Top Eleven Films
11. "No Country For Old Men"
(Listed In Alphabetical Order)
12. "The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford"
13. "Atonement"
14. "The Bourne Ultimatum"
15. "The Bucket List"
16. "Into The Wild"
17. "Juno"
18. "The Kite Runner"
19. "Lars And The Real Girl"
10. "Michael Clayton"
11. "Sweeney Todd"

Best Foreign Language Film
"The Diving Bell And The Butterfly"

Top Foreign Films
1. "The Diving Bell And The Butterfly"
(Listed In Alphabetical Order)
2. "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days"
3. "The Band's Visit"
4. "The Counterfeiters"
5. "La Vie en rose"
6. "Lust, Caution"

Best Documentary
"Body Of War"

Top Documentary Films
1. "Body Of War"
(Listed In Alphabetical Order)
2. "Darfur Now"
3. "In the Shadow of the Moon"
4. "Nanking"
5. "Taxi to the Darkside"
6. "Toots"

Top Independent Films
(Listed In Alphabetical Order)
11. "Away from Her"
12. "Great World of Sound"
13. "Honeydripper"
14. "In the Valley of Elah"
15. "A Mighty Heart"
16. "The Namesake"
17. "Once"
18. "The Savages"
19. "Starting Out in the Evening"
10. "Waitress"

Best Actor
George Clooney
"Michael Clayton"

Best Actress
Julie Christie
"Away From Her"

Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck
"The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Ryan
"Gone Baby Gone"

Best Acting By An Ensemble
"No Country For Old Men"
Javier Bardem
Tommy Lee Jones
Josh Brolin
Kelly Macdonald

Breakthrough Performance by an Actor
Emile Hirsch
"Into The Wild"

Breakthrough Performance by an Actress
Ellen Page

Best Director
Tim Burton
"Sweeney Todd"

Best Directorial Debut
Ben Affleck
"Gone Baby Gone"

Best Adapted Screenplay
Joel and Ethan Coen
"No Country For Old Men"

Best Original Screenplay
Diablo Cody

Nancy Oliver
"Lars and the Real Girl"

Best Animated Feature
Disney-Pixar's "Ratatouille"

Career Achievement Award
Michael Douglas

Career Achievement in Cinematography
Roger Deakins

William K. Everson Award for Film History
Robert Osborne

The Bulgari Award for NBR Freedom of Expression
"The Great Debaters" and "Persepolis"
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