National Board of Review Awards Honor ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ ‘Silver Linings Playbook,’ ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild,’ and More

Zero Dark Thirty

Consider awards season fully, totally, and irrevocably on as of this very moment. The National Board of Review has just announced their winners for the 2012 movie-going season, and their list is packed with a lot of names we should just get used to hearing attached to accolades – names like Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Looper, and many more. Missing from the list? Anything related to Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master, Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi, and Joe Wright‘s Anna Karenina. Also shocking? Bradley Cooper‘s Best Actor win (for SLP) over Daniel Day-Lewis‘s work in Lincoln.

Last year’s big winner was Martin Scorsese‘s Hugo, with that film picking up both Best Film and Best Director, much like Bigelow and her Zero Dark Thirty have for this crop of awards. But ZBD already has a leg up on Hugo here, with Jessica Chastain earning Best Actress honors for her work in the film, while Hugo went without any acting accolades.

While the winners list is dominated by ZBD, SLP, and Beasts, there are definitely some wonderful surprises tucked away within the picks – winners like Ann Dowd for Best Supporting Actress for Compliance, the Spotlight Award to John Goodman (for his work in Argo, Flight, Paranorman, and Trouble With the Curve), the inclusion of The Perks of Being a Wallflower in the Top Films list, and a Top Independent Film listing rounded out with some superior picks (like Compliance, End of Watch, Hello I Must Be Going, Moonrise Kingdom, and Sleepwalk With Me). Check out the full list of winners after the break.

Best Film: Zero Dark Thirty
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Best Actor: Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Best Supporting Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
Best Supporting Actress: Ann Dowd, Compliance
Best Original Screenplay: Rian Johnson, Looper
Best Adapted Screenplay: David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Best Animated Feature: Wreck-It Ralph
Special Achievement in Filmmaking: Ben Affleck, Argo
Breakthrough Actor: Tom Holland, The Impossible
Breakthrough Actress: Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Best Directorial Debut: Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Best Foreign Film: Amour
Best Documentary: Searching for Sugar Man
William K. Everson Film History Award: 50 Years of Bond Films
Best Ensemble: Les Miserables
Spotlight Award: John Goodman (Argo, Flight, Paranorman, Trouble With the Curve)
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Central Park Five
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Promised Land

Top Films (in alphabetical order):

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
The Perks of Being A Wallflower
Promised Land
Silver Linings Playbook

Top 5 Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order):

The Intouchables
The Kid With a Bike
War Witch

Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order):

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
The Gatekeepers
The Invisible War
Only the Young

Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order):

End of Watch
Hello I Must Be Going
Little Birds
Moonrise Kingdom
On the Road
Sleepwalk With Me

The NBR awards are voted on by “a select group of knowledgeable film enthusiasts, filmmakers, academics, and students. Frequently, in-depth discussions with filmmakers, directors, actors, producers, or screenwriters follow screenings. At year’s end, members receive a list of all films screened, along with final ballots, which are tabulated by a certified public accounting firm in order to determine annual honorees.”

Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for,,, Vulture,,, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

Read More from Kate Erbland
Get Film School Rejects in your email. All the cool kids are doing it:
Previous Article
Next Article
Reject Nation
Leave a comment
Comment Policy: No hate speech allowed. If you must argue, please debate intelligently. Comments containing selected keywords or outbound links will be put into moderation to help prevent spam. Film School Rejects reserves the right to delete comments and ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules. We also reserve the right to modify any curse words in your comments and make you look like an idiot. Thank You!