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‘Howards End’ NBR’s best film

Merchant Ivory’s “Howards End” was chosen best film of 1992 in the National Board of Review’s annual D.W. Griffith Awards.

“Howards’ ” star Emma Thompson won her second straight award this year for best actress, adding a Griffith honor to her L.A. Film Critics Assn. nod earlier this week.

James Ivory also took home best director kudos for “Howards End” from the board, founded in 1909 and the industry’s oldest awards group. As a further possible harbinger to the Oscar nominations in February, Jack Lemmon was named best actor for his performance in the New Line release “Glengarry Glen Ross.”

Lemmon bested Al Pacino, Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington and Robert Downey Jr. (in order) in the Griffiths balloting, but Thompson was a runaway favorite in the voting for her perf in the Sony Pictures Classics release.

Jack Nicholson was not cited for “Hoffa” but won best supporting actor kudos as the martinet in Columbia’s “A Few Good Men.” Echoing her LAFCA win, Judy Davis added another trophy to her crowded mantelpiece as best supporting actress for Woody Allen’s TriStar pic “Husbands and Wives.”

Sony Pictures Classics scored another best pic victory, with Regis Wargnier’s “Indochine” named best foreign-language film. Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky’s “Brother’s Keeper” was voted best documentary, released by Creative Thinking Intl.

National Board of Review voted special awards to “Donner Pass” as best TV movie; Ted Turner for his efforts in film preservation and reviving classic films; Robin Williams for his voice characterization of the Genie in Disney’s animated feature “Aladdin”; Beatrice Welles for her work in bringing back her father Orson’s film “Othello,” re-released by Castle Hill Prods.; and most auspicious debut award to thesp Jaye Davidson in Neil Jordan’s Miramax release “The Crying Game.” Shirley Temple will receive a career achievement award at the Griffith ceremonies to be held Feb. 22 at New York’s Equitable Center Auditorium.

Full top 10 of the NBR had SPC’s “Howards End” followed (in order) by: “The Crying Game”; “Glengarry Glen Ross”; “A Few Good Men”; Fine Line’s “The Player”; WB’s “Unforgiven”; IRS Releasing’s “One False Move”; Goldwyn’s “Peter’s Friends”; Paramount’s “Bob Roberts” and WB’s “Malcolm X.”

For foreign-language film, SPC’s “Indochine” beat out (in order): Orion Classics’ “Raise the Red Lantern”; October Films’ “Tous les Matins du Monde”; Miramax’s Oscar-winner “Mediterraneo”; and Alfonso Arau’s Mexican film “Water for Chocolate,” which Miramax will release next year.

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