‘Manchester By The Sea’ Wins Best Picture from National Board of Review

Kenneth Lonergan’s melancholy and beautiful drama Manchester By The Sea continues to earn accolades this awards season, this time picking up the coveted Best Film award from the National Board of Review.

The awards body presented its picks for the best films and filmmakers of 2016 earlier today, and Manchester By The Sea was the biggest winner overall, earning additional awards for Best Actor (Casey Affleck), Best Original Screenplay (Lonergan) and Breakthrough Performance by a Male Actor (Lucas Hedges). The drama, about a handyman who returns to his hometown to settle the affairs of his recently deceased brother and deals with the personal trauma he’s been avoiding for years, also earned a spot on the National Board of Review’s list of the ten best films of the year.

LAIKA

LAIKA

Also: ‘Moonlight’ and ‘American Honey’ Top the 2016 Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

Also earning multiple awards was Moonlight, the inspiring drama about a young, black, gay child in Florida who grows into adulthood throughout a series of harrowing circumstances. Barry Jenkins earned the Best Director award for Moonlight, and so did the film’s co-star Naomie Harris, who plays the protagonist’s mother, a woman whose drug addiction is leaving emotional scars on her child.

Many of the National Board of Review awards recipients are considered frontrunners in this year’s awards season, but there are a few surprises here. The awards for Martin Scorsese Silence and Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures have been given to films that haven’t screened for critics yet (or at least, which still have embargoes for reviews), and represent the first real buzz the films have received, positive or negative, so far. It is also rather impressive that the LAIKA stop-motion animated fantasy/adventure Kubo and the Two Strings won the award for Best Animated Feature, especially given unusually fierce competition in the category this year, from films like MoanaZootopia and Finding Dory.

The complete list of winners from the National Board of Review are as follows… 

Top Films: ArrivalHacksaw RidgeHail Caesar!Hell or High WaterHidden FiguresLa La LandMoonlightPatriots DaySilenceSully

Best Film: Manchester By The Sea

Best Director: Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

Best Actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea)

Best Actress: Amy Adams (Arrival)

Best Supporting Actor: Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)

Best Supporting Actress: Naomie Harris (Moonlight)

Best Foreign Language Film: The Salesman

Best Animated Feature: Kubo and the Two Strings

Best Documentary: OJ: Made in America

Best Original Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By The Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay: Jay Cocks, Martin Scorsese (Silence)

Best Directorial Debut: Trey Edward Shults (Krisha)

Best Ensemble: Hidden Figures

Breakthrough Performance (Actor): Lucas Hedges (Manchester By The Sea)

Breakthrough Performance (Actress): Royalty Hightower (The Fits)

Spotlight Award: The Career Collaboration of Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg

NBR Freedom of Expression: Kirsten Johnson (Cameraperson)

Top Photo: Amazon Studios

William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series Most CravedRapid Reviews and What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.