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Hugo chosen ‘Best Film’ by NBR Awards

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Martin Scorsese’s new blockbuster film, Hugo, has been chosen as “Best Film” by the National Board of Review (NBR).

The NYTimes reports that the 3D, kid-friendly film is off to a running start and beginning to steal the limelight from Michel Hazanavicius’ 1927 romance/drama and Oscar hopeful The Artist (starring Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman) – which had been considered to be a veritable shoe-in for “Best Film” at this year’s Academy Awards.

Hugo (starring Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Montez, Christopher Lee), and The Artist have been locked in a ratings war, with the films earning an 8.6 to 8.4 rating respectively at film resource giant IMDB.

What could give Scorcese’s 1930’s Parisian fantasy an edge over the Hollywood drama is not its content, but rather its PG rating.

While The Artist’s PG-13 rating still makes the film appropriate and accessible to teenagers, the film industry is still in a quandary over last year’s Academy Award winner, The King’s Speech (starring Colin Firth).

Wanting to capitalize on their win with The King's Speech's Academy Award as "Best Film," The Weinstein Co. wanted make a new version with drastic cuts in the film's language – which started controversy over whether or not those cuts would compromise the integrity of the film.

Naturally, the Academy would not want their selection to be tied to a film of lesser quality when being marketed as an Academy Award winner.

With the New York Film Critics Circle announcing The Artist as their choice for “Best Film" earlier this week, the battle for the Oscar’s top movie spot looks to be a very tight race.

Did you know? The National Board of Review, founded in 1909, is traditionally the 1st group to announce its annual winners. However, this year, the New York Film Critics Circle moved its award schedule forward to be 1st to announce their selections.

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