I’ve always been a fan of the National Board of Review. (In fact, at some point, possibly even today, though I wouldn’t count on it, I’m probably going to talk about NBR and how I’ve always liked their choices throughout history. Mostly in the Best Picture section. I don’t really care about the acting categories at all.)
In case you didn’t know, the National Board of Review started in New York in 1909 to basically champion films (since they were relatively new at the time, and they wanted to recognize them as an art form and not as escapist entertainment, as the public saw them at the time). And in 1930, they became the first critics group to list their ten favorite films of the year. Their awards are determined by sending out ballots to their members (who are film enthusiasts, academics, filmmakers and students, who all live in the New York area) and having them tabulated by accountants.
They’re usually very good at picking high quality films. I find myself able to agree with them most of the time. In most years, I usually disagree with only one or two of their choices, and the rest I can understand from a taste standpoint. (Or the fact that they always vote for certain people’s films.) So when they announce their winners, I’m paying attention. (more…)