KEY POINTS

  • Spike Lee's war-drama "Da 5 Bloods" was named the best film of 2020 by the National Board of Review
  • Lee became the second Black filmmaker to win best director following Barry Jenkins for 2016's "Moonlight"
  • Riz Ahmed won best actor for "Sound of Metal," while Carey Mulligan won best actress for "Promising Young Woman"

Spike Lee’s epic war-drama “Da 5 Bloods” beat Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland” for best picture from the National Board of Review at this year’s awards announcement.

The winners of this year’s highly-anticipated event were announced on the National Board of Review’s official website and saw Lee picking up the best director award for the action movie. The 63-year-old Hollywood veteran is only the second Black filmmaker to receive the honor after Barry Jenkins, who won for 2016’s “Moonlight.”

“Da 5 Bloods” chronicles the journey of four African-American war veterans who return to Vietnam seeking the remains of their fallen squad leader and the gold fortune he helped them hide. The film is considered to be a frontrunner in the best picture category at this year’s Oscars and currently has a score of 92% on review site Rotten Tomatoes.

Speaking about Lee’s accomplishments over the years, NBR president Annie Schulhof said the Academy Award-winning director is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and holds an “astute perspective on human relationships, focusing at times on that intersection between the personal and the political.”

“‘Da 5 Bloods’ is not only a unique portrait of the experience and lingering trauma of Black Vietnam War veterans, but also a moving story of enduring friendship, a suspenseful jungle treasure hunt, and a powerful reckoning with the American dream,” Schulhof said.

In acting categories, it was Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”) and Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”) who took home the best actor and best actress trophies. On the other hand, Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”) and Youn Yuh-jung (“Minari”) won best supporting actor and actress.

Sidney Flanigan received the breakthrough performance award for her impeccable acting in the movie “Never Rarely Sometimes Always.” The movie received universal acclaim, and critics have hailed the 22-year-old actress as the next big thing in Hollywood. It currently holds a score of 99% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Another notable winner of the night Chadwick Boseman, who received the NBR Icon Award for representing “the best of what an actor could be no matter what the role.”

The organization also named its top 10 movies of 2020, which included “The Midnight Sky,” “Nomadland,” “Soul,” “Minari,” “First Cow” and more.

Here’s the full list of winners:

Best Film - “Da 5 Bloods”
Best Director - Spike Lee, “Da 5 Bloods”
Best Actor - Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
Best Actress - Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman ”
Best Supporting Actor
- Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
Best Supporting Actress - Youn Yuh-jung, “Minari”
Best Adapted Screenplay - Paul Greengrass and Luke Davies, “News of the World”
Best Original Screenplay - Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
Breakthrough Performance - Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Best Directorial Debut - Channing Godfrey Peoples, “Miss Juneteenth”
Best Animated Feature - “Soul”
Best Foreign Language Film - “La Llorona”
Best Documentary - “Time”
NBR Icon Award - Chadwick Boseman
NBR Freedom of Expression Award - “One Night in Miami”
NBR Spotlight Award - Radha Blank for writing, directing, producing and starring in “The Forty-Year-Old Version”
Best Ensemble - “Da 5 Bloods”
Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography - Joshua James Richards, “Nomadland”

Top Films (in alphabetical order):

“First Cow”
“The Forty-Year-Old Version”
“Judas and the Black Messiah”
"The Midnight Sky”
“Minari”
"News of the World”
“Nomadland”
“Promising Young Woman”
“Soul”
“Sound of Metal”

Top 5 Foreign-Language Films (in alphabetical order):

“Apples”
“Collective”
“Dear Comrades”
“The Mole Agent”
“Night of the Kings”

Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order):

“All In: The Fight for Democracy”
“Boys State”
“Dick Johnson Is Dead”
“Miss Americana”
“The Truffle Hunters”

Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order):

“The Climb”
“Driveways”
“Farewell Amor”
“Miss Juneteenth”
“The Nest”
“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
“The Outpost”
“Relic”
“Saint Frances”
“Wolfwalkers”

Da 5 Bloods
A scene from Spike Lee's movie "Da 5 Bloods" Netflix/Da 5 Bloods
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