The National Board of Review has just selected Kathryn Bigelow’s thriller “Zero Dark Thirty,” about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, as the best film of the year. They have also given Bigelow the best directing honors and named Jessica Chastain, who plays a tough CIA operative who obsessively leads the hunt, as best actress. This is now the film to beat for the Oscar!
There were some genuine surprises from the NBOR, including Best Supporting Award to the seasoned and wonderful character actress Ann Dow. She was in a critically well-received but little seen film, “Compliance.” This is a huge upset, meaning she has bested favored actresses like Sally Field in “Lincoln,” Jennifer Ehle in “Zero Dark Thirty,” Anne Hathaway in “Les Misérables” and Amy Adams in “The Master.”
Leonardo DiCaprio is a popular choice for best supporting actor for Quentin Tarantino”s “Djano Unchained.” He plays an over-the-top villain – and really is there any other kind in a Tarantino movie? – with disgusting brown teeth, a wicked temper, and a plantation full of slaves. You couldn’t hate this guy more and it’s rare and fascinating to see DiCaprio play a bad guy.