On Thursday, two awards bodies announced their picks for the best of the year. The National Board of Review, an organization that has been in existence for over 100 years, crowns a Best Film and cites ten other nominees, among other honors. The Satellite Awards, handed out by the International Press Academy and formerly termed the Golden Satellite Awards, nominates just about ten people or films in each category. NBR can be significant as an Oscar precursor, while the Satellite Awards merely provide a preview of what contenders might be in the running for the Oscar race. Each announcement is full of interesting inclusions and omissions, and here are the ten most notable facts about each one.
National Board of Review (full list here)
1. Hugo takes the Best Picture award and the Best Director prize for Martin Scorsese. That’s a huge boost for this unusual film from the Oscar-winning director.
2. Tilda Swinton gets a substantial bump with her Best Actress win for her performance in We Need to Talk About Kevin.
3. The Harry Potter franchise wins a “Distinguished Translation from Book to Film” award, a fitting honor that’s probably more deserved than its inclusion on the Top Ten Films list.
4. Two great forgotten movies from the first half of the year, Cedar Rapids and Win Win, make the list of Top 10 Independent Films.
5. Michael Fassbender nets a Spotlight Award for working hard this year, appearing in A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre, Shame, and X-Men: First Class.
6. Shailene Woodley surprises for Best Supporting Actress for The Descendants, beating out all the ladies of The Help and Jessica Chastain in everything.
7. 50/50 scores big with a Best Original Screenplay win and a mention on the Top 10 Independent Films list.
8. Margin Call, which won the Best First Film award from NYFCC and earned three nominations at the Spirit Awards, continues to have a healthy showing with a mention for Best Debut Director and a place on the Top 10 Independent Films list.
9. The Help misses out on a Top 10 Films bid, but wins a much-deserved award for Best Ensemble.
10. Clint Eastwood earns the incredible distinction of having his ninth consecutive film cited as one of the best of the year.
Satellite Awards (complete nominations here)
1. The elimination of separate comedy and drama categories for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actress means a dearth of comedies recognized with several intriguing exceptions.
2. This year’s most peculiar inclusion: Colin Farrell for his supporting role in Horrible Bosses. The film received no other mentions.
3. The NBR winner for Best Animated Feature, Rango, is snubbed in favor of Kung Fu Panda 2, The Muppets, Puss in Boots, Rio, and The Adventures of Tin Tin. Also missing are the sequels to Cars and Happy Feet.
4. Independent releases Shame and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy join an otherwise expected list for Best Picture.
5. Jessica Chastain is a Best Supporting Actress nominee, but not for Take Shelter or The Help, which received other major nominations, but for The Tree of Life, which managed a bid for Best Original Screenplay and several technical nods.
6. Rachel McAdams, puzzlingly, is the only performer nominated for Midnight in Paris, which also netted Woody Allen a Best Original Screenplay nomination.
7. Warrior earned three mentions, one for lead actor Tom Hardy, one for supporting actor Nick Nolte, and one for Best Film Editing.
8. The supporting actress nominated for The Descendants was not NBR winner Shailene Woodley, but instead Judy Greer.
9. The Guard surprises with four well-deserved nominations, for lead actor Brendan Gleeson, direction, original screenplay, and film editing.
10. Despite four nominations, include Best Picture, lead actor Jean Dujardin and NYFCC Best Director winner Michel Hazanavicius are nowhere to be found.