The National Board of Review (NBR) is often one of the first groups to announce its picks for the best films and performances of the year, but the 2020-21 awards season is a season like no other. At this point in the awards season, the Gotham Awards have already declared “Nomadland” the best film of the year, while the NYFCC went with “First Cow” and LAFCA chose Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe” anthology series. The NBR went with ‘Da 5 Bloods’ for 2021. The organization is made up of a group of film enthusiasts, industry professionals, academics, and filmmakers.
Last year, the National Board of Review honored Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” with its top prize for Best Film. The gangster drama went on to score 10 Academy Award nominations. Nearly every NBR winner for Best Film this decade has earned an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, including “The Post,” “Manchester by the Sea,” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.” NBR’s 2019 winner “Green Book” won the Best Picture Oscar.
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Other 2019 NBR winners included Adam Sandler for Best Actor (“Uncut Gems”), Renee Zellweger for Best Actress (“Judy”), Brad Pitt for Best Supporting Actor (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”), and Kathy Bates for Best Supporting Actress (“Richard Jewell”). Pitt and Zellweger went on to win Oscars in their respective categories.