National Board of Review

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Awards: December 12, 2005

Best Film
Good Night, And Good Luck

Best Foreign Language Film
Paradise Now

Best Documentary
March of the Penguins

Best Animated Feature
Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride

Best Director
Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain

Best Actor
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote

Best Actress
Felicity Huffman, TransAmerica

Best Supporting Actor
Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain

Best Supporting Actress
Gong Li, Memoirs of a Geisha

Best Acting By An Ensemble
Mrs. Henderson Presents

Breakthrough Performance Actor
Terrence Howard, Crash, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and Hustle & Flow

Breakthrough Performance Actress
Q’Orianka Kilcher, The New World

Best Directorial Debut
Julian Fellowes, Separate Lies

Best Adapted Screenplay
Stephen Gaghan, Syriana

Best Original Screenplay
Noah Baumbach, The Squid and the Whale

Best Film or Mini-Series Made for Cable TV
Lackawanna Blues

Career Achievement
Jane Fonda

Career Achievement in Film Music Composition
Howard Shore

Outstanding Achievement in Special Effects
King Kong

Billy Wilder Award for Excellence in Direction
David Cronenberg

William K. Everson Award for Film History
George Feltenstein

Producer of the Year Award
Saul Zaentz

BEST TEN FILMS OF 2005
Brokeback Mountain
Capote
Crash
Good Night, And Good Luck
History of Violence
Match Point
Memoirs of a Geisha
Munich
Syriana
Walk the Line

BEST FIVE FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILMS OF 2005
2046
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Downfall
Paradise Now
Walk on Water

BEST FIVE DOCUMENTARIES OF 2005
Ballets Russes
Grizzly Man
Mad Hot Ballroom
March of the Penguins
Murderball

Special Recognition of Films That Reflect Freedom of Expression
Innocent Voices and The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till

Special Mention for Excellence in Filmmaking
The National Board of Review, in keeping with its long tradition of recognizing excellence in filmmaking, is proud to salute the following films crafted by visionary artists, which demonstrate the creativity and determination always vital to the film industry.
Breakfast on Pluto
Cape of Good Hope
The Dying Gaul
Everything Is Illuminated
Hustle & Flow
Junebug
Layer Cake
Lord of War
Nine Lives
The Thing About My Folks
The Upside of Anger

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“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes. It’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on Batman v Superman I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful. People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that. It’s mind-blowing. It’s just insane, it’s hurting the business, it’s getting people to not see a movie. In Middle America it’s, ‘Oh, it’s a low Rotten Tomatoes score so I’m not going to go see it because it must suck.’ But that number is an aggregate and one that nobody can figure out exactly what it means, and it’s not always correct. I’ve seen some great movies with really abysmal Rotten Tomatoes scores. What’s sad is film criticism has disappeared. It’s really sad.”
~ Brett Ratner Has A Sad

“The loss of a local newspaper critic is a real loss. People who know the local audience and know the local cultural scene are very important resources. You can’t just substitute the stuff that comes in from nowhere through syndication or the wire. I think at the same time, some of the newer outlets have really beefed up and improved their coverage and made room for criticism. The real problem is in the more specialized art forms — fine arts, classical music, dance and jazz, say. There is a real slowing of critical voices, partly because those art forms have smaller audiences. Newspapers and magazines can say that doesn’t get enough traffic, so we don’t have room for that. To me, that’s especially worrisome. This is the opposite of what newspapers are supposed to do, which is not to try to figure out what people are already interested in and recite that back to them, but to hopefully guide them to something that they should be interested in, connecting potential audiences with more interesting work.

“Then again, not everyone needs a critic. People have been going to movies for more than 100 years now, and probably the vast majority of those people have not read movie reviews or cared what critics thought. But there has always been an important subset that wants to know more, that wants to think about what they’ve seen and what they’re going to see, and wants someone to think along with. I think critics are important, not just as dispensers of consumer advice — though that’s certainly part of it, too — but as trusted voices and companions for people to argue with in your head when you’re going to movies or afterwards.”
~ A. O. Scott