Precursor: 91st National Board of Review Awards (2019)

There are a couple of things that can be definitively said about the National Board of Review. They love Clint Eastwood and their winners seldom take home Oscars without a critic award sweep. That first statement bears out in their recognition of Kathy Bates in Supporting Actress, Paul Walter Hauser in Breakthrough Performance, and their citation of the film as one of the year’s best. The film has had very little buzz surrounding it and most of the reviews I’ve seen have suggested the film is little more than blatant right wing propaganda. On the second point, Sandler, Pitt, and Bates likely don’t have a major shot at the Oscar as it is; however, Tarantino had been hoping his film would finally bring him the Oscar for directing he’s always wanted. That might be forestalled without a sweep, as too might the crowning of The Irishman in Best Picture. Either could be rescued by a sweep of critics prizes, but that might be a tall order considering the offerings this year. Renée Zellweger, on the other hand, actually could easily sweep the critic’s prizes, so this won’t exactly be a death knell for her.

Award Tallies

(2) The Irishman, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, Uncut Gems

The Awards

Best Picture

The Irishman

Best Animated Film

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Best Director

Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Best Actor

Adam Sandler – Uncut Gems

Best Actress

Renée Zellweger – Judy

Best Supporting Actor

Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Best Supporting Actress

Kathy Bates – Richard Jewell

Best Original Screenplay

Uncut Gems

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Irishman

Best Cinematography


Best Foreign Film


Best Documentary


Best Ensemble

Knives Out

Best Breakthrough Performance

Paul Walter Hauser – Richard Jewell

Best Directorial Debut

Melina Matsoukas – Queen & Slim

Freedom of Expression

For Sama
Just Mercy

Icon Award

Martin Scorsese
Robert De Niro
Al Pacino

Top Films

  • 1917
  • Dolemite Is My Name
  • Ford v Ferrari
  • The Irishman
  • Jojo Rabbit
  • Knives Out
  • Marriage Story
  • Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
  • Richard Jewell
  • Uncut Gems
  • Waves

Top Independent Films

  • The Farewell
  • Give Me Liberty
  • A Hidden Life
  • Judy
  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  • Midsommar
  • The Nightingale
  • The Peanut Butter Falcon
  • The Souvenir
  • Wild Rose

Top Foreign Films

  • Atlantics
  • Invisible Life
  • Pain and Glory
  • Parasite
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire
  • Transit

Top Documentaries

  • American Factory
  • Apollo 11
  • The Black Godfather
  • Maiden
  • Rolling Thunder Revue
  • Wrestle

National Board of Review Data

Year Founded: December 24, 1908
First Awards: 1929 (91)

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