Why Winning the NBR Might Hurt The Social Network’s Oscar Chances

David Fincher’s highly acclaimed flick The Social Network just took the top prize (and just about everything else it could) from the National Board of Review awards announcement. Just another stepping stone on the way to Oscar, right?

Maybe not.

Although it’s difficult to do anything but speculate on the complex nature of what a NBR win might do in the eyes of the Academy voters, if we can use the past to predict the future, The Social Network might have just won an albatross around its neck.

The National Board of Review almost never picks the same winner as the Oscar voters.

In the past 10 years, the NBR has matched AMPAS only twice.

  • In 2000, NBR chose Quills, the Academy chose Gladiator.
  • In 2001, NBR chose Moulin Rouge!, the Academy chose A Beautiful Mind.
  • In 2002, NBR chose The Hours, the Academy chose Chicago.
  • In 2003, NBR chose Mystic River, the Academy chose Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.
  • In 2004, NBR chose Finding Neverland, the Academy chose Million Dollar Baby.
  • In 2005, NBR chose Good Night, and Good Luck, the Academy chose Crash.
  • In 2006, NBR chose Letters From Iwo Jima, the Academy chose The Departed.
  • In 2007, they both chose No Country For Old Men.
  • In 2008, they both chose Slumdog Millionaire.
  • In 2009, NBR chose Up In the Air, the Academy chose The Hurt Locker.

Granted, there was a two-year streak in recent years, so the two voting bodies might find their cycles in sync yet again this year, but the historical average here is definitely not in The Social Network‘s favor.

The two were more in sync in the 90s when they chose the same winner 50% of the time (if you count the NBR tie between Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction).

Who knows what it all means, but at least if you’re the gambling type, you might want to ask your bookie for a better spread on the Facebook Movie winning Oscar gold.

The rest of the NBR winners follow:

Best Film
The Social Network

Best Foreign Language Film
Of Gods and Men

Top Five Foreign Films
(in alphabetical order) I Am Love, Incendies, Life, Above All, Soul Kitchen, White Material

Best Documentary
Waiting for “Superman”

Top Five Documentaries
(in alphabetical order) A Film Unfinished, Inside Job, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Restrepo, The Tillman Story,

Top Independent Films
(in alphabetical order) Animal Kingdom, Buried, Fish Tank, The Ghost Writer, Greenberg, Let Me In, Monsters, Please Give, Somewhere, Youth in Revolt

Best Actor
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network

Best Actress
Lesley Manville, Another Year

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, The Fighter

Best Supporting Actress
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Best Ensemble Cast
The Town

Breakthrough Performance
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone

Best Director
David Fincher, The Social Network

Debut Directors
Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, Restrepo

Best Adapted Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

Spotlight Award
Sylvain Chomet and Jacques Tati, The Illusionist

Best Original Screenplay
Chris Sparling, Buried

Best Animated Feature
Toy Story 3

Special Filmmaking Achievement
Sofia Coppola for writing, directing, and producing Somewhere

Production Design Award
Dante Ferretti, Shutter Island

William K. Everson Award For Film History
Leonard Maltin

Freedom of Expression
Fair Game, Conviction, Howl

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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