The Hugo-is-beautiful gang (Sasha Stone, Glenn Kenny, et, al.) is rejoicing and texting and whooping it up and taking the day off work to celebrate the National Board of Review having given its Best Film of 2011 award to Martin Scorsese‘s 3D fable. And why not?

Will this award help Hugo at the box-office, where its been doing fair to so-so business? Maybe. Hopefully. I’m not Hugo‘s biggest champion, but I don’t want to see it go under. It’s a decent film in many respects, and a lovely one during its final act.

The NBR handed out two acting awards to The DescendantsGeorge Clooney for Best Actor and Shailene Woodley for Best Supporting Actress. We Need To Talk About Kevin‘s Tilda Swinton won the Best Actress award. The NBR’s Best Supporting Actor trophy went to BeginnersChristopher Plummer.

The NBR announced a list of ten exceptional 2011 films. These included The Artist, The Descendants, The Ides of March, The Tree of Life and War Horse.

Is it okay if I politely describe the NBR as a cabal of clueless asshats for not including Bennett Miller‘s Moneyball? Is it permissible to speculate that the NBR might have included Moneyball if the A’s had won the pennant or the World Series at the end? Or if Brad Pitt had Uggie the wonder-dog as his constant companion?

Asghar Farhadi‘s A Separation was named Best Foreign Language Film, Rango was named Best Animated Feature, and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory was named Best Documentary.