National Board of Review Winners: ‘The Irishman’ Wins Best Film, Sandler and Zellweger Take Top Acting Prizes

Read the Press Release:

New York, NY (December 3, 2019) – The National Board of Review today announced their 2019 honorees, with top awards including The Irishman for Best Film, Quentin Tarantino for Best Director for Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Renée Zellweger for Best Actress for Judy, and Adam Sandler for Best Actor for Uncut Gems. The organization has also unveiled the NBR Icon Award, an honor that celebrates the work of leading cinematic artists who have contributed meaningfully to the history, culture, and excellence of motion pictures.

NBR President Annie Schulhof said, “We are thrilled to award The Irishman as our Best Film – Martin Scorsese’s masterful mob epic is a rich, moving, beautifully textured movie that represents the best in what cinema can be.  We are also excited to be presenting Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino with our inaugural Icon Award – they are the true definition of cinematic icons, each with their own exceptional body of work, and all in top form in The Irishman.”

The 2019 awards continue the NBR’s tradition of recognizing excellence in filmmaking, going back 110 years. This year 285 films were viewed by a select group of film enthusiasts, filmmakers, professionals, academics, and students, many of which were followed by in-depth discussions with directors, actors, producers, and screenwriters. Voting ballots were tabulated by the accounting firm of Lutz & Carr, LLP.

The National Board of Review’s awards celebrate the art of cinema, with categories that include Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Actress, Best Original and Adapted Screenplay, Breakthrough Performance, and Directorial Debut, as well as signature honors such as Freedom of Expression.

The honorees will be feted at the NBR Awards Gala, hosted by Willie Geist, on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at Cipriani 42nd Street. To request credentials to the evening’s red carpet, please fill out the application here by December 27, 2019.

Below is a full list of the 2019 award recipients, announced by the National Board of Review:

  • Best Film:  THE IRISHMAN
  • 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:  Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie, Ronald Bronstein, UNCUT GEMS
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Steven Zaillian, THE IRISHMAN
  • Breakthrough Performance: Paul Walter Hauser, RICHARD JEWELL
  • Best Directorial Debut:  Melina Matsoukas, QUEEN & SLIM
  • Best Animated Feature:  HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD
  • Best Foreign Language Film: PARASITE
  • Best Documentary:  MAIDEN
  • Best Ensemble:  KNIVES OUT
  • Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography: Roger Deakins, 1917
  • NBR Icon Award: Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino
  • NBR Freedom of Expression Award:  FOR SAMA
  • NBR Freedom of Expression Award:  JUST MERCY

Top Films (in alphabetical order)

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

Top 5 Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order)

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

Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order)

  • American Factory
  • Apollo 11
  • The Black Godfather
  • Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
  • Wrestle

Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order)

  • 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

ABOUT THE NATIONAL BOARD OF REVIEW

For 110 years, the National Board of Review has dedicated its efforts to the support of cinema as both art and entertainment. Each year, this select group of film enthusiasts, filmmakers, professionals and academics of varying ages and backgrounds watches over 250 films and participates in illuminating discussions with directors, actors, producers and screenwriters before announcing their selections for the best work of the year.  Since first citing year-end cinematic achievements in 1929, NBR has recognized a vast selection of outstanding studio, independent, foreign-language, animated and documentary films, often propelling recipients such as Peter Farrelly’s Green Book and George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road into the larger awards conversation. NBR also stands out as the only film organization that bestows a film history award in honor of former member and film historian William K. Everson. In addition, one of the organization’s core values is identifying new talent and nurturing young filmmakers by awarding promising talent with ‘Directorial Debut’ and ‘Breakthrough Actor’ awards as well as grants to rising film students and by facilitating community outreach through the support of organizations such as The Ghetto Film School, Reel Works Teen Filmmaking, and Educational Video Center. With its continued efforts to assist up-and-coming artists in completing and presenting their work, NBR honors its commitment to not just identifying the best that current cinema has to offer, but also ensuring the quality of films for future generations to come.