'Hugo' Named Best Film by National Board of Review

The National Board of Review has picked Martin Scorsese's fantastical "Hugo" as the best film of 2011.

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The group, comprised of scholars, filmmakers and students, also gave Scorsese its Best Director prize for "Hugo's" 3D homage to the early days of film.

"Hugo is such a personal film by Martin Scorsese," said Annie Schulhof, NBR president. "It is a tribute to the early years of cinema that uses today's cutting edge technology to bring the audience into a completely unique and magical world. It is visually stunning and emotionally engaging."

The NBR handed its top acting prizes to George Clooney for "The Descendants" and Tilda Swinton for "We Need to Talk About Kevin." Supporting awards went to Christopher Plummer for "Beginners" and Shailene Woodley for "The Descendants."

David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," which screened for the group Monday, secured one trophy: a breakthrough performance award for Rooney Mara, who plays the title character. A second breakthrough performance award went to Felicity Jones, who stars in the geography-challenge romance "Like Crazy."

The complete list of winners includes:

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")
Best Foreign Language Film: "A Separation"
Best Documentary: Paradise Lost 3: "Purgatory"

The NBR awards will be presented January 10 in New York City.

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