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  • by Jeff Beck

National Board of Review Names Manchester by the Sea the Best Film of 2016

Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck in "Manchester by the Sea"

The National Board of Review has officially kicked off awards season by naming Kenneth Lonergan's outstanding drama "Manchester by the Sea" as the best film of 2016. The film also won Best Actor (Casey Affleck), Best Original Screenplay (Lonergan), and Best Male Breakthrough Performance (Lucas Hedges).

Looking through the rest of the winners, there aren't any particularly big surprises to be found. Amy Adams has scored a win for Best Actress for her work in the critically-acclaimed sci-fi flick "Arrival," while Jeff Bridges ("Hell or High Water") and Naomie Harris ("Moonlight") took the supporting categories. It's also interesting to see that Martin Scorsese's "Silence" has taken Best Adapted Screenplay, having only just begun screening very recently.

As for their top ten of the year, all of the winners were films that were thought to be top competitors, including Damien Chazelle's excellent "La La Land," Denis Villeneuve's "Arrival," Barry Jenkins' "Moonlight," and Mel Gibson's "Hacksaw Ridge."

It's worth noting that the winner of the NBR's Best Film award tends not to go on to win the Best Picture Oscar, with the two having matched only three times in the last 20 years, but who knows, perhaps this will be one of those rare times. After all, "Manchester by the Sea" is a great, well-written film with a outstanding ensemble, so it certainly has a shot. However, as the buzz currently stands, it'll have one hell of a time getting past "La La Land."

This is just the start though. With several groups left to go, it will be fascinating as always to see which films start to tally up wins. Coming up in just a couple of days, New York will announce their winners, followed by LA and DC just a few days later. Until then, please see the full list of today's winners below:

Best Film: Manchester by the Sea Best Director: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea Best Actress: Amy Adams, Arrival Best Supporting Actor: Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water Best Supporting Actress: Naomie Harris, Moonlight Best Original Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea Best Adapted Screenplay: Jay Cocks and Martin Scorsese, Silence Best Animated Feature: Kubo and the Two Strings Breakthrough Performance (Male): Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea Breakthrough Performance (Female): Royalty Hightower, The Fits Best Directorial Debut: Trey Edward Shults, Krisha Best Foreign Language Film: The Salesman Best Documentary: O.J.: Made in America Best Ensemble: Hidden Figures Spotlight Award: Creative Collaboration of Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Cameraperson

Top Films Arrival Hacksaw Ridge Hail, Caesar! Hell or High Water Hidden Figures La La Land Moonlight Patriots Day Silence Sully

Top 5 Foreign Language Films Elle The Handmaiden Julieta Land of Mine Neruda

Top 5 Documentaries De Palma The Eagle Huntress Gleason Life, Animated Miss Sharon Jones!

Top 10 Independent Films 20th Century Women Captain Fantastic Creative Control Eye in the Sky The Fits Green Room Hello, My Name is Doris Krisha Morris from America Sing Street

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