'Killers of the Flower Moon' Wins its Second Major Prize of the Season at the NBR Awards | Awards Insights
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‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Wins its Second Major Prize of the Season at the NBR Awards

‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Wins its Second Major Prize of the Season at the NBR Awards

Martin Scorsese’s ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ won Best Film from the National Board of Review. Scorsese, lead actress Lily Gladstone, and cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto won in their categories respectively as well. This year’s other top Best Picture contenders, Oppenheimer and Poor Things were among the NBR’s Top 10 Films, the latter winning Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor as well. Usually, at least one of NBR’s four acting winners go on to win the Oscar in their respective category and this year both Gladstone and Da’Vine Joy Randolph of The Holdovers are both strong contenders to translate their NBR wins in to Oscar glory. The Holdovers also won both Best Actor for lead Paul Giamatti and Best Original Screenplay.

In terms of misses, Cord Jefferson’s American Fiction and Blitz Bazawule’s The Color Purple were both noticeable exclusions. These are both films that will likely be chosen as some of the AFI’s Top Films and if they don’t that could mean trouble for their Oscar chances.

NBR is our first semi-strong predictor of the Best Picture nominee slate, here is its track record in the past 10 years:

2012 — 7/9

2013 — 5/9

2014 — 4/8

2015 — 5/8

2016 — 7/9

2017 — 6/9 (The Shape of Water was not picked by the NBR)

2018 — 4/8

2019 — 6/9 (Parasite won Best Foreign Language Film)

2020 — 5/8

2021 – 7/10

2022 – 6/10 (All Quiet on the Western Front was nominated for Best International Film)

Also, in the last 10 years every eventual Best Picture winner except for The Shape of Water in 2017 and CODA in 2021 (though that was chosen as one of NBR’s Top 10 Independent Films) was a member of the NBR’s Top 10 Films, which makes it seem very likely that the eventual Best Picture winner from this year will one of the 10 films chosen by the NBR.

Here are the National Board of Review’s 2023 honorees:

Best Film:  Killers of the Flower Moon
Best Director: Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon
Best Actor: Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers
Best Actress: Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon
Best Supporting Actor: Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things
Best Supporting Actress: Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers
NBR Icon Award: Bradley Cooper
Best Original Screenplay: David Hemingson, The Holdovers
Best Adapted Screenplay: Tony McNamara, Poor Things
Breakthrough Performance: Teyana Taylor, A Thousand and One
Best Directorial Debut: Celine Song, Past Lives
Best Animated Feature: Spider-ManAcross the Spider-Verse
Best International Film: Anatomy of a Fall
Best Documentary: Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie
Best Ensemble: The Iron Claw
Outstanding Achievement in Stunt Artistry: Director Chad Stahelski and stunt coordinators Stephen Dunlevy & Scott Rogers, John Wick: Chapter 4
Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography: Rodrigo Prieto, Barbie and Killers of the Flower Moon

Top Films (in alphabetical order):
The Boy and the Heron
The Holdovers
The Iron Claw
Past Lives
Poor Things

Top 5 International Films (in alphabetical order):
La Chimera
Fallen Leaves
The Teachers’ Lounge
The Zone of Interest

Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order):
20 Days in Mariupol
32 Sounds
The Eternal Memory
The Pigeon Tunnel
A Still Small Voice

Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order):
All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt
All of Us Strangers
Earth Mama
Flora and Son
The Persian Version
Showing Up
Theater Camp
A Thousand and One

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Based on NBR’s track record, we can assume that it’s pretty likely that at least 6 of the 1 films picked by NBR will go on to become Best Picture nominees. In my mind, this is the list of NBR’s top eleven films in order of their likelihood to get a BP nomination: Oppenheimer, Killers of the Flower Moon, Poor Things, Barbie, The Holdovers, Past Lives, Maestro, The Iron Claw, The Boy and the Heron, Ferrari. International Film winner Anatomy of a Fall and Top 5 International Film pick The Zone of Interest were both NBR inclusions and likely Best Picture nominees.