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Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain in a still from "A Most Violent Year"
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A Most Violent Year PosterThe National Board of Review announced their picks for best actors and films, and anyone looking for clarity as to what films or actors are locks for Oscars is out of luck.

“A Most Violent Year” was named the best film of the year by the NBOR.

“A Most Violent Year is an exhilarating crime drama with a compelling story, outstanding performances, and an elegant cinematic style,” said Annie Schulhof, NBR President. “J.C. Chandor has given us a new and provocative perspective on the American Dream.”

The august group – who are not Academy voters – consists of “knowledgeable film enthusiasts and professionals, academics, young filmmakers and students.” They “viewed over 272 films this year including studio, independent, foreign-language, animated and documentary selections,” according to their website.

The group manages to nab the biggest, A-list stars for their yearly soiree, to which only a handful of press are invited. The event is not televised so that stars like Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Meryl Streep, can give hilariously funny and raunchy speeches to a roomful of other A-listers without feeling the inhibition of being on TV. It’s a great party, but you need stamina; the gala and speeches usually go on for four or five hours.

The organization particularly loves George Clooney and Clint Eastwood, and it seems one or the other is nominated for best actor or film every year, not that we’re complaining.

Hosted by Lara Spencer, this year’s gala will take place on January 6, 2015 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

Below is the list of the NBOR winners:

Best Film:  A Most Violent Year

Best Director:  Clint Eastwood – American Sniper

Best Actor (TIE):  Oscar Isaac – A Most Violent Year; Michael Keaton – Birdman

Best Actress: Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Best Supporting Actor:  Edward Norton – Birdman

Best Supporting Actress:  Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year

Best Original Screenplay:  Phil Lord & Christopher Miller – The Lego Movie

Best Adapted Screenplay:  Paul Thomas Anderson – Inherent Vice

Best Animated Feature:  How to Train Your Dragon 2

Breakthrough Performance:  Jack O’Connell – Starred Up & Unbroken

Best Directorial Debut:  Gillian Robespierre – Obvious Child

Best Foreign Language Film:  Wild Tales

Best Documentary:  Life Itself

William K. Everson Film History Award:  Scott Eyman

Best Ensemble:  Fury

Spotlight Award:  Chris Rock for writing, directing, and starring in – Top Five

NBR Freedom of Expression Award:  Rosewater
.

NBR Freedom of Expression Award:  Selma

Top Films
: American Sniper
. Birdman
. Boyhood
. Fury. 
Gone Girl
. The Imitation Game. 
Inherent Vice. 
The Lego Movie
.Nightcrawler
, Unbroken

Top 5 Foreign Language Films
: Force Majeure
Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem
, Leviathan
, Two Days, One Night, 
We Are the Best!

Top 5 Documentaries: 
Art and Craft
, Jodorowsky’s Dune
, Keep On Keepin’, On
The Kill Team, 
Last Days in Vietnam

Top 10 Independent Films
: Blue Ruin, 
Locke
, A Most Wanted Man
, Mr. Turner
, Obvious Child
, The Skeleton Twins
, Snowpiercer, 
Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
, Starred Up, 
Still Alice

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