US panel names Slumdog Millionaire as 2008's best movie
In the first major US movie awards of the year, the National Board of Review has named the Mumbai-based drama Slumdog Millionaire as best picture of the year, dpa reported.
The movie, about an Indian pauper who wins a fortune on a TV show, also took the award for breakthrough performance by an actor - for its star Dev Patel. Writers Simon Beaufoy and Eric Roth took the best adapted screenplay award.
Clint Eastwood was cited as best actor for his role as a grouchy widower in the yet-to-be released Gran Torino, while Anne Hathaway won the best actress nod for indie drama Rachel Getting Married. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt, was singled out for its direction by David Fincher.
In the supporting actor categories, the board honored John Brolin for his role as the assassin Dan White in Milk, and Penelope Cruz in Woody Allen's romantic comedy Victoria Cristina Barcelona. Best animated feature was Wall-E. Kazakhstan's Mongo was the NBR's choice for best foreign-language film, while Man on Wire earned best documentary honors.
The awards are a good bellwether for the Oscars. Last year's best picture winner, No Country for Old Men, went on to receive the Academy Award for best feature film, while two years ago Forest Whitaker, Helen Mirren and director Martin Scorsese all won awards at both events.