Acclaimed new movie NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN has been given an early lead in the Oscar race after picking up America's coveted National Board Of Review Best Film prize. Top U.S. critics chose the brooding Coen Brothers film as the year's (07) best; the siblings also claimed the Adapted Screenplay prize and the cast claimed Best Ensemble. Ben Affleck has also been honoured for his directorial debut Gone Baby Gone and his brother Casey is the recipient of the Board's Best Supporting Actor award for his part in western The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. Michael Douglas has been named the honouree of the Board's Career Achievement Award. The National Board Of Review honours are traditionally considered the first major indication of who will lead at the Academy Awards. The full list of winners is: Best Film - No Country For Old Men Best Director - Tim Burton for Sweeney Todd Best Actor - George Clooney for Michael Clayton Best Actress - Julie Christie for Away From Her Best Supporting Actor - Casey Affleck for The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. Best Supporting Actress - Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone Best Foreign Film - The Diving Bell And The Butterfly Best Documentary - Body Of War Best Animated Feature - Ratatouille Best Ensemble Cast - No Country For Old Men Breakthrough Performance By An Actor - Emile Hirsch for Into The Wild Breakthrough Performance By An Actress - Ellen Page for Juno Best Directorial Debut - Ben Affleck for Gone Baby Gone Best Original Screenplay - Diablo Cody for Juno + Nancy Oliver for Lars And The Real Girl Best Adapted Screenplay - Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for No Country For Old Men.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.