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

The Hollywood Reporter
Casey Affleck in 'Manchester By the Sea' (Photo: Pearl Street Films)
Casey Affleck in ‘Manchester By the Sea’ (Photo: Pearl Street Films)

By 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 film 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 named Best Supporting Actress.

Related: Gotham Awards: ‘Moonlight’ Gets a Shot of Momentum — Or Does It?

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.

‘Manchester By the Sea’: Watch an exclusive clip:

The National Board of Review named Amy Adams as Best Actress for her work in Arrival, with Hell or High Water‘s Jeff Bridges receiving a Best Supporting Actor accolade. 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, have received a “Spotlight” award for their creative collaboration.

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

‘Manchester By the Sea’ Cast on the Emotional Toll of Making the Movie:

Related: How Matt Damon’s Almost-Directorial Debut Became Another Helmer’s Comeback

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 arriving hopefuls Hidden Figures (Best Ensemble) and Silence (Best Adapted Screenplay).

The NBR honors will be presented during a Jan. 4 gala at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York, 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.

Related: Ridley Scott to Get Lifetime Achievement Award from DGA

Last year, NBR selected Mad Max: Fury Road as 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 Oscars.

In 2014, NBR selected 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 selected 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
Hacksaw Ridge
Hail, Caesar!
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Patriots Day

Top 5 Foreign Language Films
The Handmaiden
Land of Mine

Top 5 Documentaries
De Palma
The Eagle Huntress
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
Morris from America
Sing Street