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National Board of Review names “Hugo” best film of 2011

National Board of Review names “Hugo” best film of 2011 (photo)

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Basically when it comes to this year’s awards season, if you ain’t about old movies, you ain’t nothing. Earlier in the week, The New York Film Critics Circle named the silent film homage “The Artist” their Best Film of 2011. Today, the National Board of Review chose the silent film homage “Hugo” as their Best Film of 2011. And they say film is dead! Pshaw! Poppycock! And other equally outdated exclamations!

But enough about thinkpiece fodder. Let’s get to the important stuff: the winners. The NBR went for “Hugo” and named Martin Scorsese Best Director. They gave three prizes to Alexander Payne‘s “The Descendants:” Best Actor (George Clooney), Best Supporting Actress (Shailene Woodley) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash). Christopher Plummer won Best Supporting Actor for “Beginners,” in a category that is looking more and more like a two man race between him and “Drive”‘s Albert Brooks (I say let ’em arm wrestle for the prize). Tilda Swinton won Best Actress for “We Need to Talk About Kevin” and Best Foreign Film went to NYFCC winner “A Separation.” The NBR also gave the very busy Michael Fassbender a Spotlight Award, honoring his work in four of the twenty-eight movies (approximate) he appeared in this year. The full list of winners is below.

Part of the National Board of Review’s annual awards are their lists of top movies, which are always handy reference guides to the “important” films of the year (note I did not say the best movies of the year). This year the NBR listed ten top films, five documentaries, five foreign films, and ten indies. I still need to see fourteen of their thirty picks. So if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some work to go do.

The 2011 National Board of Review Awards
Best Film: “Hugo”
Best Director: Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”
Best Actor: George Clooney, “The Descendants”
Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, “We Need to Talk About Kevin”
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
Best Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley, “The Descendants”
Best Original Screenplay: Will Reiser, “50/50”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, “The Descendants”
Best Animated Feature: “Rango”
Breakthrough Performance: Felicity Jones, “Like Crazy”
Breakthrough Performance: Rooney Mara, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
Debut Director: J.C. Chandor, “Margin Call”
Best Ensemble: “The Help”
Spotlight Award: Michael Fassbender (“A Dangerous Method,” “Jane Eyre,” “Shame,” “X-Men: First Class”)
NBR Freedom of Expression: “Crime After Crime”
NBR Freedom of Expression: “Pariah”
Best Foreign Language Film: “A Separation”
Best Documentary: “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”
Special Achievement in Filmmaking: The Harry Potter Franchise – A Distinguished Translation from Book to Film

Top 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”
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse”

Top 5 Foreign Language Films
(in Alphabetical Order)
“13 Assassins”
“Elite Squad: The Enemy Within”
“Footnote”
“Le Havre”
“Point Blank”

Top 5 Documentaries
(in Alphabetical Order)
“Born to be Wild”
“Buck”
“George Harrison: Living in the Material World”
“Project Nim”
“Senna”

Top 10 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”

What do you think of the National Board of Review winners? Tell us in the comments below or write to us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

via GIPHY

It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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