NEW YORK (AP) — Steven Spielberg's newspaper drama "The Post" was named the year's best film by the National Board of Review, which also lavished its top acting honors on the film's stars, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.
The group announced its picks Tuesday on Twitter. Though the organization spread its awards around, it reserved three of its top slots for Spielberg's upcoming period film about The Washington Post's publishing of the Pentagon Papers. Streep plays Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham and Hanks plays editor Ben Bradlee in the film, one of the year's last-arriving awards contenders.
The National Board of Review, a collection of film enthusiasts and academics founded in 1909, is better known for packing its annual awards dinner (to be hosted by Willie Geist on January 9) with big names than for predicting Oscars. Its last three winners were "Manchester By the Sea," ''Mad Max: Fury Road" and "A Most Violent Year," none of which went on to win best picture.
But momentum is a cherished quantity in Hollywood's awards season, and the trio of awards give "The Post" — considered a timely tribute to a free press — a resounding early win.
The day after taking home three awards at Monday's Gotham Awards, Jordan Peele's horror sensation "Get Out" took an award for best ensemble, as well as best directorial debut.
Greta Gerwig's "Lady Bird" landed two awards: best director and best supporting actress for Laurie Metcalf. The coming-of-age tale, starring Saoirse Ronan, is increasingly looking like a major contender, boasting the most widely reviewed 100 percent fresh Rotten Tomatoes score in the website's history. Ronan also won best actress at Monday's Gotham Awards.
After taking the top prize at the Gothams, Luca Guadagnino's "Call Me By Your Name" came away from the NBR announcement with a single honor: Timothee Chalamet for breakthrough performance.
Best supporting actor went to Willem Dafoe ("The Florida Project"), Paul Thomas Anderson landed best original screenplay for his "Phantom Thread," and "The Disaster Artist" scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber won for adapted screenplay.
Other awards included the board's Spotlight Award to Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot for "Wonder Woman" and two winners for its Freedom of Expression Award: Angelina Jolie's Cambodia drama "First They Killed My Father" and John Ridley's documentary "Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992."
Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP