Though the National Board of Review, a long-running organization comprised of film enthusiasts and academics, has no overlap or correlation to other awards bodies, the win adds to the awards-season tailwinds for “Top Gun: Maverick” as not just a $1.5 billion worldwide smash but a legitimate Academy Awards contender. On Thursday, the Producers Guild Awards also announced that “Top Gun” star Tom Cruise will receive its David O. Selznick Achievement Award.
The National Board of Review, which announced its picks Thursday, additionally awarded best cinematography to Claudio Miranda for the “Top Gun” sequel.
Steven Spielberg was awarded best director for his autobiographical family portrait, “The Fabelmans.” Gabriel LaBelle, who plays a fictionalized stand-in for young Spielberg, also won for breakthrough performance.
“The Banshees of Inisherin” came away with the most wins from the board. Both of its stars, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, took acting honors for their performances as Irish friends who have an abrupt falling out. Writer-director Martin McDonagh won best original screenplay.
Michelle Yeoh took best actress for her lauded performance in Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Best supporting actress went to Janelle Monáe for Rian Johnson’s “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.”
Danielle Deadwyler, who plays Mamie Till-Mobley in Chinonye Chukwu’s historical drama “Till,” also won for breakthrough performance. The Scottish filmmaker Charlotte Wells, whose first feature “Aftersun” has been one of the year’s most critically acclaimed films, won best directorial debut.
Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking” took the best ensemble award. The cast of the film, about a dialogue between a group of Mennonite women who have been sexually assaulted by the men of their village, includes Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Judith Ivey, Ben Whishaw.
Other awards included “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On” for best animated feature; Lukas Dhont’s tender coming-of-age tale “Close” for best international feature; and “Sr.,” Robert Downey Jr.’s tribute to his filmmaking father, for best documentary.
The NBR Awards will be handed out in an untelevised gala on Jan. 8. Last year, the group awarded Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Licorice Pizza” best film.
By Jake Coyle