'Manchester by the Sea' Named Best Film by National Board of Review

Hilary Lewis
The Hollywood Reporter

The National Board of Review on Tuesday revealed its 2016 awards, naming Amazon Studios' Manchester by the Sea as best film. The Kenneth Lonergan-directed drama also received three other accolades, including for star Casey Affleck (best actor), Lonergan's original screenplay and Lucas Hedges (breakthrough performance, male).

Fellow Oscar frontrunner Moonlight won two awards, with helmer Barry Jenkins named best director and Naomie Harris tapped as best supporting actress.

Both Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight were multiple nominees at Monday night's Gotham Independent Film Awards in New York, with Moonlight taking home four awards, including a special ensemble prize. Affleck also won the best actor equivalent at the Gotham Awards. O.J.: Made in America was named best documentary by the National Board of Review, just hours after the nearly eight-hour project received the Gotham Award in the same category.

The National Board of Review picked Amy Adams as best actress for her work in Arrival, with Hell or High Water's Jeff Bridges receiving best supporting actor honors. Kubo and the Two Strings was named best animated feature. Frequent collaborators Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg, who worked together on two films this year - Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day - received a "Spotlight" award for their creative collaboration.

Read more: Gotham Awards: 'Moonlight' Gets a Shot of Momentum — or Does It? (Analysis)

"Manchester by the Sea is a masterful film which explores love, loss, and redemption in a deeply moving and completely original way," said NBR president Annie Schulhof. "We are thrilled to award it our best film, as well as to honor Barry Jenkins' singular directorial vision for Moonlight."

A number of Oscar frontrunners were left off of NBR's list of awards winners, including La La Land, Lion, Fences, Sully and Jackie. La La Land and Sully, however, were named to NBR's list of top films.

The selections also mark the first major awards for late hopefuls Hidden Figures (best ensemble) and Silence (best adapted screenplay).

The NBR honors will be presented during a Jan. 4 gala at New York's Cipriani 42nd Street hosted - as the event was last year - by NBC News' Willie Geist.

The NBR awards are voted on by a group of film enthusiasts, professionals, academics, young filmmakers and students.

Last year, NBR selected Mad Max: Fury Road as its best film. The post-apocalyptic blockbuster starring Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy won a number of critical accolades and awards and was nominated for several Academy Awards.

Read more: How Matt Damon's Almost-Directorial Debut 'Manchester by the Sea' Became Another Helmer's Comeback

In 2014, NBR tapped A Most Violent Year as its best film, but the J.C. Chandor-directed drama about New York in 1981 was completely snubbed by the Oscars. The year before, NBR chose Spike Jonze's Her as its best film. Her won only one Oscar, for best original screenplay. Previous NBR best film winners include Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Hugo (2011), The Social Network (2010) and Up in the Air (2009).

A complete list of this year's winners follows.

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 Original Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Best Adapted Screenplay: Jay Cocks and Martin Scorsese, Silence
Best Animated Feature: Kubo and the Two Strings
Breakthrough Performance (Male): Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Breakthrough Performance (Female): Royalty Hightower, The Fits
Best Directorial Debut: Trey Edward Shults, Krisha
Best Foreign Language Film: The Salesman
Best Documentary: O.J.: Made in America
Best Ensemble: Hidden Figures
Spotlight Award: Creative Collaboration of Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Cameraperson

Top Films
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hail, Caesar!
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Moonlight
Patriots Day
Silence
Sully

Top 5 Foreign Language Films
Elle
The Handmaiden
Julieta
Land of Mine
Neruda

Top 5 Documentaries
De Palma
The Eagle Huntress
Gleason
Life, Animated
Miss Sharon Jones!
 
Top 10 Independent Films
20th Century Women
Captain Fantastic
Creative Control
Eye in the Sky
The Fits
Green Room
Hello, My Name Is Doris
Krisha
Morris From America
Sing Street