3 December 2003 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Drawing first blood in the year-end award frenzy, the National Board of Review gave its best picture honors to Clint Eastwood's Mystic River, and awarded River star Sean Penn with the Best Actor award for his performances in both that film and 21 Grams. While those awards were not entirely unexpected (River has been one of the most acclaimed movies of the year), the group had a few surprises up its sleeve, citing Diane Keaton as Best Actress for the upcoming comedy Something's Gotta Give and an out-of-the-blue Alec Baldwin for Best Supporting Actor for Sundance hit The Cooler. Indie fave Patricia Clarkson took Best Supporting Actress for her work in Pieces of April and The Station Agent, while Edward Zwick nabbed Best Director for The Last Samurai, which finished second behind Mystic River in the group's top ten list. French-Canadian flick The Barbarian Invasions won Best Foreign Film. Breakthrough performance honors went to Paul Giamatti (American Splendor) and Charlize Theron (Monster) and an ensemble award was given to the cast of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

The year's top ten films as named by the National Board of Review: Mystic River, The Last Samurai, The Station Agent, 21 Grams, House of Sand and Fog, Lost in Translation, Cold Mountain, In America, Seabiscuit, and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. --Prepared by IMDb staff


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