Manchester by the Sea was named the best film of the year by the National Board of Review on Tuesday, Nov. 29.

Directed and written by Kenneth LonerganManchester by the Sea tells the story of a janitor, portrayed by Casey Affleck, who is forced to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father dies. Affleck was given the best actor award for his performance while the triumph of the film itself is a comeback for Lonergan after his last film, Margaret, sparked several lawsuits. Manchester by the Sea is expected to be a big winner in this year’s awards season as it draws near.

The National Board of Review encompasses votes from academics, cinephiles and professionals in the film industry. Though their accolades are a barometer of what will perform well among the year’s films, their top pick does not always accurately predict which title will take the award for Best Picture at the Oscars.

Other notable wins include Barry Jenkins for best director on Moonlight, Naomie Harris’s award for best supporting actress in the same film, and Amy Adams was named best actress for Arrival. See the full winner’s list over on Variety.

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