Holding the first major award event of the Oscar season, National Board of Review picked up notable film titles and names as the honorees at its 77th Annual National Board of Review Awards on Wednesday, December 6.
For Best Film 2006, the organization cast its choice on "Letters from Iwo Jima", the second half of Clint Eastwood's two-part look at World War II, placing it on the top spot of its Top Ten Film list which includes "Babel," "Blood Diamond," "The Departed", and "Little Miss Sunshine."
"'Letters from Iwo Jima' is probably Mr. Eastwood's masterpiece and perhaps one of the greatest films of our time," NBR President Annie Schulhof remarked in a statement. "His achievement is all the more extraordinary when one views the film as a companion piece to 'Flags of Our Fathers."'
In other film categories, Pedro Almodovar's "Volver" was named Best Foreign Film with "An Inconvenient Truth" getting labeled Best Documentary and "Cars" the Best Animated Feature. In the meantime, Deepa Mehta's "Water" and Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center" both were bestowed the Bvlgari Award for NBR Freedom of Expression.
For acting honors, Best Actor title went to Forest Whitaker for his role in "The Last King of Scotland" while Helen Mirren was deemed the Best Actress for her stunning portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in "The Queen." Meanwhile, the awards for supporting performances were given to Djimon Hounsou and Catherine O'Hara; the former for his acting in "Blood Diamond" and the latter for "For Your Consideration."
Other notable names becoming the award recipients were, among others, Ryan Gosling who was considered the Best Breakthrough Performance - Male through his role in "Half Nelson" and Martin Scorsese as the Best Director for his work in "The Departed." Complete list of winners can be seen at the board's official site of http://www.nbrmp.org/awards/.