OF THE MOVIES that people have seen this year, "Silver Linings Playbook" seemed an odds-on favorite for a best-picture Oscar.
It may, however, now be an underdog to a movie that no one (but critics) has seen this year - "Zero Dark Thirty," Kathryn Bigelow's drama about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
That film, which opens in limited markets on Dec. 19 and in Philadelphia soon thereafter, was named Wednesday as the best film of the year by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures. Last week it was named best film by the New York Film Critics Circle.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Bigelow was named best director and star Jessica Chastain was named best actress. Best actor went to former Daily News intern Bradley Cooper for his "Silver Linings" portrayal of a man struggling with bipolar disorder. Leonardo DiCaprio won supporting actor as a plantation owner in "Django Unchained," and Ann Dowd was named best supporting actress for playing a fast-food-restaurant manager in "Compliance."
The National Board of Review, founded in 1909, describes itself as a "select group of knowledgeable film enthusiasts and professionals, academics, young filmmakers and students."
As a predictor of the Oscars, the NBR isn't so good. It and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences haven't agreed on the same best film since 2008's "Slumdog Millionaire." Last year, NBR selected "Hugo" as 2011's top movie, and the academy chose "The Artist." In 2010, the Oscar went to "The King's Speech," but NBR gave its biggest honor to "The Social Network."
Other winners announced Wednesday:
Best original screenplay: Rian Johnson, "Looper."
Best adapted screenplay: David O. Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook."
Best animated feature: "Wreck-It Ralph."
Special achievement in filmmaking: Ben Affleck, "Argo."
Breakthrough actor: Tom Holland, "The Impossible."
Breakthrough actress: Quvenzhane Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild."
Best foreign-language film: "Amour."
Best documentary: "Searching for Sugar Man."
* In other movie news, Diane Keaton accepted the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award on Wednesday at the Hollywood Reporter's 21st annual Women in Entertainment breakfast, honoring the most powerful women in Hollywood.
Keaton opened by warning that her speech wasn't funny, then proceeded to crack up the crowd inside the ballroom of the Beverly Hills Hotel.
The Oscar winner said her speech "had to be way better than Meryl Streep's speech or Jane Fonda or Helen Mirren" - all previous Lansing Award winners. Keaton's talk paid tribute to her late mother, whom she called "my first and most inspired leader."
Wednesday's breakfast coincides with the publication of the Hollywood Reporter's Power 100 ranking of entertainment's most influential women.
* Is there anything that's not better with bacon - other than your arteries?
The Turbacon sandwich at Jake's Sandwich Board (122 S. 12th St.) will be featured on an upcoming episode of Destination America's "United States of Bacon" and filming at the sandwich shop will be Thursday (today) from about noon until 2 p.m.
So, if you love bacon and may want to express your love on camera, you could end up on the show. Plus, if you order the Turbacon at lunch, you'll have your choice of a free fries or fountain soda.
The Turbacon sandwich - it's Thanksgiving on a roll - consists of house-roasted whole turkey, cranberry-apple spread, smoky grilled bacon, savory brown gravy and crispy potato pancakes.
* Julie Andrews says her four-
octave voice is not coming back.
The Oscar- and Tony-winning actress said in a recent interview that a botched operation to remove noncancerous throat nodules in 1997 has permanently limited her range and her ability to hold notes.
"The operation that I had left me without a voice and without a certain piece of my vocal chords," said Andrews, who starred in such quintessential stage and film musicals as "My Fair Lady," "Mary Poppins" and "The Sound of Music," perhaps the most beloved musical of all time.
The actress says she can still speak "pretty well" and can still hit a few bass notes: "So if you wanted a rendition of 'Old Man River' you might get it, but I'm not singing as much these days."
* New mom Reese Wither-
spoon is being honored by March of Dimes for being a
model celebrity parent.
Reese, a mother of three, will
receive the organization's Grace Kelly Award at its Celebration of Babies event Friday at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The award recognizes celebrity parents committed to healthy pregnancies and families.
* Oprah Winfrey announced
Wednesday that she has chosen Ayana Mathis' debut novel, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, for her book club.
To capitalize on Winfrey's choice, publisher Alfred A. Knopf moved up the book's publication from early next year to this week.
Twelve Tribes is the story of a teenager's journey from Mississippi to Philadelphia in the 1920s and the large family she ends up raising.
"The opening pages of Ayana's debut took my breath away," Winfrey said in a statement. "I can't remember when I read anything that moved me in quite this way, besides the work of
Fortunately for Mathis' book sales, Oprah began breathing again by page 2.
- Daily News wire services
contributed to this report.