NEW YORK (AP) -- The National Board of Review picked Martin Scorsese’s 3-D ``Hugo‘’ as the year‘s best film, an unusually kid friendly choice sure to add further intrigue to the Oscar hunt.
The group also picked Scorsese as best director for his whimsical film about an orphan who lives in a 1930s Paris train station. It’s the director‘s first film in 3-D but one in which the adventure leads back to the early days of cinema and the wondrous films of French filmmaker George Melies.
It had been another movie nostalgic for the early days of movies _ the silent film ``The Artist’‘ _ that’s thus far been the award season‘s early leader. That film didn’t receive any individual awards, but it was named among the group‘s top films of the year. The others were ``The Descendants,’‘ ``Drive,’‘ ``The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,’‘ ``Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,’‘ ``The Ides of March,’‘ ``J. Edgar,’‘ ``Tree of Life’‘ and ``War Horse.’‘
Alexander’s Payne‘s ``The Descendants,’‘ a warmly humorous film about a middle-aged Hawaiian (George Clooney) balancing a new commitment to parenthood, earned the most awards with three. Best actor went to Clooney, best supporting actress to the 20-year-old Shailene Woodley (who plays the eldest daughter) and best adapted screenplay to Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s script, taken from Kaui Hart Hemmings‘ novel.
Tilda Swinton was awarded best actress for her performance in Lynne Ramsey’s drama about a school shooting in ``We Need to Talk About Kevin.‘’ Best supporting actor went to the 81-year-old Christopher Plummer for his performance as a dying man who awakens to his latent homosexuality in ``Beginners.‘’
The National Board of Review, a group of film historians, students and academics founded in 1909, is one of the first notable groups to announce its picks for the year‘s best movies. Although it’s usually the first group out of the gate, the New York Film Critics Circle moved ahead of them this year, selecting ``The Artist‘’ on Tuesday as the year‘s best film.