NEW YORK, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures named "Moulin Rouge" Wednesday as the best film of 2001.
The rest of the Board's Top 10 list included "In The Bedroom," "Ocean's Eleven," "Memento," "Monster's Ball," "Black Hawk Down," "The Man Who Wasn't There," "A.I. Artificial Intelligence," "The Pledge" and "Mulholland Drive."
"Moulin Rouge," starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, combined contemporary music and MTV-style production values to produce director Baz Lurhmann's ultra-modern vision of Paris at the dawn of the 20th century. The movie was recently given a limited re-release as part of a campaign to drum up support for it during the movie awards season.
The selection of Steven Spielberg's "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" may prove mildly controversial, considering the treatment the movie received from critics when it was released this summer. Movie fans were also cool to the project, spending $78.6 million on tickets, despite a major promotional effort by the distributor, Warner Bros.
The NBR's pick for the Top 5 foreign films of the year are "Amores Perros," "Behind The Sun," "Dark Blue World," "No Man's Land" and "Amelie."
The group named Billy Bob Thornton best actor for his performance in "Monster's Ball," "The Man Who Wasn't There" and "Bandits." Thornton's co-star in "Monster's Ball," Halle Berry, was named best actress. "Monster's Ball" is the story of a racist prison warden who falls for the black widow of a man he has executed.
Todd Field won for best director for "In the Bedroom." He and his co-writer on the project, Rob Festinger, won for best screenplay. The movie has been generating serious talk about Oscar prospects for its star, Sissy Spacek, as a woman trying to cope with her son's murder.
Peter Jackson, the director of the upcoming "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," received an award for special achievement in filmmaking. The movie -- scheduled to arrive in theaters later this month -- also won for best production design.
"Shrek" won for best-animated feature.
"Endurance" was voted best documentary.
Watts was singled out for her performance in "Mulholland Drive" as Betty Elms/Diane Selwyn, a jitterbug contest winner who goes to Hollywood looking for fame as an actress, but fails tragically.
Christensen is being recognized for his performance in "Life as a House," as the son of a man (Kevin Kline) who is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Christensen is likely to become a major star next spring, when he arrives in theaters as Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones."
Spielberg will receive the Billy Wilder Award for Excellence in Filmmaking. Scorsese will receive the William K. Everson Award for Film History for "Il Mio Viaggo in Italia." Voight will receive the NBR's Career Achievement Award.
John Cameron Mitchell will receive the directorial debut award for "Hedwig & The Angry Inch." An acting ensemble award was voted for the cast of "Last Orders."
The Board also named three films as recipients of this year's Freedom of Expression Award -- "Baran," "Jung (War) in the Land of the Mujhaheddin" and "Kandahar." In a statement, the Board said the films were being recognized because they "reflect and provoke concern for those who still live in worlds where prejudices and intolerance still exist."
The Board also singled out several films and filmmakers for special mention for excellence in filmmaking.
The list includes: "The Anniversary Party," "The Deep End," "Diamond Men," "Ghost World," "Happy Accidents," "Iris," "Lantana," "L.I.E.," "Piñero" and "Sexy Beast."
The NBR will present the awards on Jan. 7 in ceremonies at Tavern on the Green in New York.
The Board was founded in 1909, originally calling itself the National Board of Censorship of Motion Pictures. It changed its name to the National Board of Review in 1915.