Peter Farrelly's true-story dramedy Green Book is named the best film of 2018 by the National Board of Review. The film, which chronicles Italian-American bouncer Tony "Lip" Vallelonga's time on the road with African-American pianist Dr. Don Shirley during the latter's deep South concert tour, emerged as an unlikely awards contender earlier this year. Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, Green Book took home the coveted People's Choice Award, all but guaranteeing it'll be in line for a Best Picture nomination at this year's Oscars. Since then, it's been projected as one of the favorites.
Green Book has drawn criticism in some circles for its conventional portrayal of its core themes and subject matter, but the general consensus is that it's an entertaining, feel-good ride for the holidays. In particular, the performances by Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali received widespread praise, thrusting both actors right into the Academy Award discussion. Green Book's prospects got a nice boost today, as one of the first shoes of awards season fell.
Related: Read Screen Rant's Green Book Review
Today, the National Board of Review named their winners for the best in film. In addition to winning the top prize, Green Book also earned Best Actor for Mortensen's portrayal as Tony Lip. You can see NBR's full list for the top films in the space below:
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
If Beale Street Could Talk
Mary Poppins Returns
A Quiet Place
A Star is Born
Besides Green Book, the biggest victor was definitely Bradley Cooper's remake of A Star is Born. The first-time helmsman received NBR's Best Director award, and Lady Gaga and Sam Elliott won acting trophies in their respective categories (Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor). Barry Jenkins' adaptation of If Beale Street Could Talk also had a nice haul, securing Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress (for Regina King). Paul Schrader's drama First Reformed gained some momentum in the race as well, with the writer/director winning Best Original Screenplay. First Reformed star Ethan Hawke won Best Actor at the Gotham Awards recently, so that film is very much in contention for more notices as other organizations weigh in.
While it's exciting for cinephiles to pour over this list of winners, it's best not to put too much weight behind these selections when prognosticating the Oscars. Historically speaking, the National Board of Review doesn't always line up with the Academy Awards. One only has to look to last year's NBR selections as evidence, where five of the top 10 best films didn't earn a Best Picture nomination, and The Shape of Water (the eventual Oscar winner) and top challenger Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri were among the snubs. That means those fretting about First Man, BlacKkKlansman, Vice, or The Favourite being toast shouldn't hit the panic button yet. There's still a long way to go before Oscar Sunday, and every awards body has their own tastes.
Source: National Board of Review