Tomorrow, the National Board of Review announces its top ten.  Although the New York Film Critics stole their thunder, and many of my colleagues write them off as being irrelevant, it’s hard not to notice their track record.  They’ve been awarding films headed for Best Picture for many a decade.  It’s extremely rare to win the NBR and not at least be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. The same can’t be said for either the NYFCC or LAFCA.  Like them or not, they are one of the most powerful predictors of the Oscars.

Last year, when the Social Network swept the awards, it became the first time one film won as many NBR awards but didn’t go on to win the Best Picture Oscar.  Let’s not rehash it.

They seem to love Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg.  This is why I think War Horse will win the National Board of Review tomorrow and Steven Spielberg Best Director, launching it into the race, if it wasn’t in the race already.  The only other film I think might win would be The Artist.  The Descendants has a chance too. Anything else winning would be a surprise.

My No Guts, No Glory pick for Best Picture at the NBR is Moneyball, which has virtually no shot.

For BEST ACTOR I think it will be either Brad Pitt for Moneyball or George Clooney for The Descendants.  BEST ACTRESS I think is either going to be Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady or Michelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn.  SUPPORTING ACTRESS I think will be Jessica Chastain again, and Supporting Actor I will guess Albert Brooks again.

If you’d like to enter our contest predicting the NBR you may do so HERE. If you already entered in the previous contest, you don’t have to do it twice.  CLICK HERE

My top ten predictions and the films that have been nominated for the National Board of Review after the cut.

The top ten I think will get  named:

Moneyball
The Artist or War Horse (depending on which one wins)
Harry Potter
The Descendants
Midnight in Paris
The Help
Bridesmaids
Hugo
J Edgar
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I had to dump Shame and We Need to Talk About Kevin for Midnight in Paris (which I forgot) and The Artist/War Horse. I also had to dump Ides of March for Hugo!  Argh.

And the NBR winners over the decades:

2010 The Social Network
2009 UP IN THE AIR
2008 SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
2007 NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
2006 Letters from Iwo Jima
2005 Good Night, And Good Luck
2004 Finding Neverland
2003 Mystic River, Clint Eastwood, presented by Laura Linney
2002 The Hours, presented to Scott Rudin by Julianne Moore
2001 Moulin Rouge, presented to Baz Luhrmann, by Stanley Donen
2000 Quills, presented to Peter Kaufman, Julia Chassman and Philip Kaufman by Geoffrey Rush
1999 American Beauty, presented to Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinx by David Denby
1998 Gods and Monsters, presented to Bill Condon by Clive Barker
1997 L.A. Confidential, presented to Curtis Hanson by David Denby
1996 Shine, presented to Scott Hicks and Jane Scott by Isaac Stern
1995 Sense & Sensibility, presented to Lindsay Doran by Alan Pakula
1994 Pulp Fiction, presented to Laurence Bender by Jennifer Beals Forrest Gump, presented to Wendy Finerman by Inez Glucksman
1993 Schindler´s List
1992 Howards End
1991 The Silence of the Lambs
1990 Dances With Wolves
1989 Driving Miss Daisy
1987 Empire of the Sun
1986 A Room with a View
1985 The Color Purple
1984 A Passage to India
1983 Betrayal
1982 Gandhi
1981 Chariots of Fire
1980 Ordinary People
1979 Manhattan
1978 Days of Heaven
1977 The Turning Point
1976 All the President´s Men
1975 Nashville
1974 The Conversation
1973 The Sting
1972 Cabaret
1971 Macbeth
1970 Patton
1969 They Shoot Horses, Don´t They?
1968 The Shoes of the Fisherman
1967 Far From the Madding Crowd
1966 A Man for All Seasons
1965 The Eleanor Roosevelt Story
1964 Becket
1963 Tom Jones
1962 The Longest Day
1961 Question 7
1960 Sons and Lovers
1959 The Nun´s Story
1958 The Old Man and the Sea
1957 The Bridge on the River Kwai
1956 Around the World in 80 Days
1955 Marty
1954 On the Waterfront
1953 Julius Caesar
1952 The Quiet Man
1951 A Place in the Sun
1950 Sunset Boulevard
1949 The Bicycle Thief
1948 Paisan
1947 Monsieur Verdoux
1946 Henry V
1945 The True Glory
1944 None But the Lonely Heart
1943 The Ox-Bow Incident
1942 In Which We Serve
1941 Citizen Kane
1940 The Grapes of Wrath
1939 Confessions of a Nazi Spy
1938 The Citadel
1937 Night Must Fall
1936 Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
1935 The Informer
1934 It Happened One Night