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Adam Sandler in “Uncut Gems.” Locals like Adam Sandler are honored by the prestigious National Board of Review.

You know the award season is getting underway when the National Board of Review starts handing out the goods. And the winners could be an indication of things to come.

Director Martin Scorsese’s mob drama “The Irishman” was named as the year’s best picture. 

The epic also features mob superstars like Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci among others. It has been called a “tour de force,” a “masterpiece” and a “triumph.” It has received rave reviews and could give Netflix its first chance to snag a best picture honor. 

Quentin Tarantino is also in the running. The “Pulp Fiction” creator was named best director for his latest offering “Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood.”

Renee Zellweger got best actress for her critically acclaimed role in “Judy.” The biopic tells the story of the late, talented but troubled Judy Garland and her likeness to the legendary star at times seems uncanny. 

Malibu’s Adam Sandler picked up a lead actor prize for “Uncut Gems,” where he portrays a diamond merchant in a gonzo crime drama. The film’s Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie and Ronald Bronstein picked up some National Review love for best original screenplay.

Racy Brad Pitt was given his due as best supporting actor in “Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood.” The supporting actress honors went to film veteran Kathy Bates in “Richard Jewell.”

Steven Zallian took home the best adapted screenplay prize for “The Irishman.”

Just after receiving six Gotham Awards, Netflix made another strong showing with the National Board. “Marriage Story” and “Dolemite is my Name,” were recognized along with documentaries “American Factory” “The Black Godfather” and “Rolling Thunder Review: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese.”

Speaking of Scorsese, he also won the NBR Icon Award together with longtime pals Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. The honorees will be toasted at the NBR gala which will take place not in Los Angeles, the land of celluloid dreams, but at the posh Cipriani on 42nd Street in New York. The festive event will be hosted by broadcaster Willie Geist.

The Golden Globes (with Malibu’s Dylan and Paris Brosnan playing the roles of ambassadors) is up next. The Independent Spirit Awards are always something fun and different which lets you discover a few films that go against the mainstream. 

Voting for the Oscar nominations will open Jan 2.  The Academy Award telecast is set for Feb. 9.

So, the question is... Will this be the year that old studios like Paramount and Fox take a dip or newcomers and new tech outlets like Netflix emerge victorious? Roll out the red carpet and see for yourself! 

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