The National Board of Review has announced the first winners of the North American 2007 awards season, naming Joel and Ethan Coen's No Country For Old Men best film of the year.

The Coen Brothers' unflinching adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's crime thriller also takes the best adapted screenplay prize, while the key cast of Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, John Brolin, Woody Harrelson and Kelly Macdonald is named best ensemble.

Julien Schnabel's true-life drama The Diving Bell And The Butterfly is the NBR's best foreign film, Tim Burton is named best director for his adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's stage musical Sweeney Todd and George Clooney and Julie Christie take acting honours for the thriller Michael Clayton and drama Away From Her, respectively.

Casey Affleck is best supporting actor for the historical drama The Assassination Of Jesse James... while Amy Ryan wins best supporting actress for crime mystery Gone Baby Gone, which also stars Affleck.

American Gangster, There Will Be Blood, Before The Devil Knows You're Dead and Eastern Promises all failed to earn a single mention or make it on to the NBR's list of top 10 films of the year. The Golden Compass, I'm Not There, Grace Is Gone and Elizabeth: The Golden Age also failed to make the cut.

The NBR's best original screenplay is a tie between Diablo Cody's ode to family and teenage love Juno and Nancy Oliver's romantic comedy Lars And The Real Girl.

Gone Baby Gone earns Ben Affleck the best directorial debut award, while breakthrough actor and actress honours to Emile Hirsch for his work in Sean Penn's spiritual drama Into The Wild and Ellen Page for Juno.

Phil Donanhue And Ellen Spiro's Body Of War is named best documentary and Brad Bird's Ratatouille wins the best animated feature award.

NBR members considered 282 films. President Annie Schulhof called No Country For Old Men 'a brilliant convergence of extraordinary directing, a masterful screenplay, and incredible ensemble performances.'

Career Achievement honours go to Michael Douglas, while Roger Deakins earns the Career Achievement in Cinematography and Robert Osborne the William K Everson Film History Award. The BVLGARI Award for NBR Freedom Of Expression goes to The Great Debaters and Persepolis.

Full list of winners:
Best Film: No Country For Old Men
Best Director: Tim Burton, Sweeney Todd
Best Actor: George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Best Actress: Julie Christie, Away From Her
Best Supporting Actor: Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Best Foreign Film: The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
Best Documentary: Body Of War
Best Animated Feature: Ratatouille
Best Ensemble Cast: No Country For Old Men
Breakthrough Performance by an Actor: Emile Hirsch, Into The Wild
Breakthrough Performance by an Actress: Ellen Page, Juno
Best Directorial Debut: Ben Affleck, Gone Baby Gone
Best Original Screenplay (tie): Diablo Cody for Juno and Nancy Oliver for Lars and the Real Girl
Best Adapted Screenplay: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country For Old Men

Top 10 Films:
The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Bucket List
Into The Wild
The Kite Runner
Lars And The Real Girl
Michael Clayton
Sweeney Todd

Top Five Foreign Films:
4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days
The Band's Visit
The Counterfeiters
La Vie En Rose
Lust, Caution

Top Five Documentary Films
Darfur Now
In The Shadow Of The Moon
Taxi To The Dark Side

Top Independent Films
Away From Her
Great World Of Sound
In The Valley Of Elah
A Might Heart
The Namesake
The Savages
Starting Out In The Evening

Career Achievement - Michael Douglas
William K Everson Film History Award - Robert Osborne
Career Achievement in Cinematography - Roger Deakins
The BVLGARI Award for NBR Freedom of Expression - The Great Debaters and Persepolis