National Board of Review Awards

The National Board of Review has announced its 2007 awards — the first of many such poll results to come. The Best Actress for Julie Christie (“Away From Her”) is no big surprise: but she doesn’t do press and probably won’t show up at the Oscars so the idea of her winning an Academy Award still seems dubious to me. George Clooney as Best Actor for “Michael Clayton”: it’s a defensible choice, but I don’t think it’s his year to win another Oscar. Casey Affleck (pictured) as Supporting Actor (“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”): again, an okay choice, mostly because it starts to cast doubt on Javier Bardem as the Oscar frontrunner in this category. Similarly casting stones at an Oscar-blog frontrunner (Cate Blanchett) was the NBR’s choice of Amy Ryan (“Gone Baby Gone”) as Best Supporting Actress. A positively perverse choice was the Best Director winner, Tim Burton for “Sweeney Todd.” If he wins the Oscar (the Coen Brothers don’t need to sweat quite yet), or if “Sweeney Todd” wins Best Picture, then I’m moving to Canada! The NBR named “No Country for Old Men” the year’s Best Picture, and Best Ensemble Cast and Best Adapted Screenplay, so the picture remains the Oscar frontrunner. Here’s the complete list of winners. My biggest thrill: that “The Diving Bell and The Butterfly” won for Best Foreign Movie.

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