All hail Uncut GemsAdam Sandler for having won the Best Actor trophy from the National Board of Review…Godz-approved. I’ve gone on record as an ardent non-fan of Uncut Gems, but Sandler’s crazy pinball performance as an uncontrollably insane gambling junkie is much better than the film — it becomes its own realm and testament.

Keep in mind that nine weeks ago Yahoo’s Kevin Polowy and I were the only two Gold Derby guys to include Sandler on our Best Actor lists. Currently there are five Sandler supporters — myself, Polowy, Blackfilm‘s Wilson Morales, Collider‘s Perri Nemiroff and USA Today‘s Andrea Mandell — out of 31 GD spitballers.

Otherwise Hollywood Elsewhere has no major arguments with the National Board of Review’s 2020 awards.

I’ve certainly no qualms about Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman winning the Best Film award, or Once Upon A Time in America‘s Quentin Tarantino winning for Best Director — a basic split-the-vote approach. I understand and support the idea of Renée Zellweger winning the Best Actress trophy for Judy.

I’m of two minds about OUATIH‘s Brad Pitt winning for Best Supporting Actor — he totally deserves it but I also loved Al Pacino‘s Jimmy Hoffa in The Irishman.

And I agree with giving the Best Supporting Actress award to Richard Jewell‘s Kathy Bates, although I thought Marriage Story‘s Laura Dern had this one in the bag.

I strongly disagree with the NBR’s Best Original Screenplay award going to Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie and Ronald Bronstein for Uncut Gems. Calling the Gems screenplay superior to those for Marriage Story, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood or Pain and Glory is, to me, an insane call. Steve Zallian‘s Irishman screenplay (“It is what it is”) winning for Best Adapted Screenplay is completely deserved.

Other NBR awards:

Breakthrough Performance: Paul Walter Hauser, Richard Jewell / HE verdict: Sure, but Hauser has been around.
Best Directorial Debut: Melina Matsoukas, Queen & Slim / HE verdict: Emphatically.
Best Animated Feature: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World / HE verdict: I hate animation….hate it!
Best Foreign Language Film:
Parasite / HE verdict: Slam dunk.
Best Documentary: Maiden / HE verdict: Meh.
Best Ensemble: Knives Out / HE verdict: Didn’t care for the cut of Ana de Armas‘ pants.
Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography: Roger Deakins, 1917 / HE verdict: Certainly.
NBR Icon Award: Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino.