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Legendary director Martin Scorsese added another chapter to his legacy today, winning the National Board of Review's Best Director and Best Film awards for his family friendly 3-D ode to cinema, "Hugo." It's the third Best Director award Scorsese has received from the National Board of Review following previous wins for "The Departed" and "The Age of Innocence."
In the acting categories, George Clooney won Best Actor for "The Descendants," with Tilda Swinton winning Best Actress for "We Need to Talk About Kevin. Meanwhile, 82-year-old Christopher Plummer won best Supporting Actor for "Beginners," bolstering his chances of finally earning his first Oscar, while at the other end of the spectrum, 20-year-old Shailene Woodley won best Supporting Actress for her work as Clooney's daughter in "The Descendants."
In one of the more surprising results from this year's awards, "Rango" broke the Pixar stranglehold on Best Animated Feature, indicating that this award season may be unusually open following tepid critical and box office support for "Cars 2." And in another odd quirk, the French film "The Artist," which earlier this week won top honors from the New York Film Critics Circle, was listed as one of the Top Films of the year by the National Board of Review but was not among their five finalists for Best Foreign Language Film, presumably due to the technicality that, as a silent film, there's no language actually being spoken.
In other categories, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's" Rooney Mara shared the Breakthrough Performance award with "Like Crazy's" Felicity Jones, while Michael Fassbender earned the special Spotlight Award for a body of work that included acclaimed turns in "Shame," "A Dangerous Method," "Jane Eyre" and "X-Men: First Class."
Founded way the hell back in 1909, The National Board of Review has been giving out awards for film excellence since 1929. Here's a complete list of this year's honorees courtesy of Deadline:
Best Film: "Hugo"
Best Director: Martin Scorsese, "Hugo"
Best Actor: George Clooney, "The Descendants"
Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, "We Need to Talk About Kevin"
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"
Best Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants"
Best Original Screenplay: Will Reiser, "50/50"
Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, "The Descendants"
Best Animated Feature: "Rango"
Breakthrough Performance: Felicity Jones, "Like Crazy"
Breakthrough Performance: Rooney Mara, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
Debut Director: J.C. Chandor, "Margin Call"
Best Ensemble: "The Help"
Spotlight Award: Michael Fassbender ("A Dangerous Method," "Jane Eyre," "Shame," "X-Men: First Class")
NBR Freedom of Expression: "Crime After Crime"
NBR Freedom of Expression: "Pariah"
Best Foreign Language Film: "A Separation"
Best Documentary: "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory"
Special Achievement in Filmmaking: The "Harry Potter" Franchise – A Distinguished Translation from Book to Film