NEW YORK – Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty continued to gather awards momentum as the National Board of Review named the Osama bin Laden hunt docudrama the best film of the year.
The board is the second notable group to name Zero Dark Thirty best film, following the New York Film Critics Circle. The two early awards suggest the film may be the Academy Awards front-runner, four years after Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker triumphed at the Oscars.
The film took three awards Wednesday from the National Board of Review, which also named Bigelow best director and Jessica Chastain, who stars as a CIA agent, best actress.
The group also gave a boost to the Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell’s comedic drama about a mentally unstable former teacher (Bradley Cooper) attempting to reorder his life. Cooper was named best actor and Russell was given best adapted screenplay. Best original screenplay went to Rian Johnson for his script to the thriller Looper.
Leonardo DiCaprio won best supporting actor for his performance as a wealthy slave owner in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Best supporting actress went to Ann Dowd for her performance as a fast-food manager terrorized by a prank caller in Compliance.
The National Board of Review, a group of film academics, students and professionals founded in 1909, is one of the first groups to announce its picks for the year’s best movies.