Each year, the National Board of Review in New York takes a look at the year's films and hands out its own series of awards to the best offerings and performances. As one of the first organisations to consider the merits of 2015's releases – the main awards season still a few months away – the results could act as an indicator of things to come. This is the chance to highlight top performers and movies before the Oscar nominations but, as previous years have shown, there is no guarantee that the results will be reflected elsewhere.

Last year the board gave three awards to 'A Most Violent Year', a film highly acclaimed by critics and admired by viewers but lacking in major award nominations.

This year there is some surprise over the winner of Best Picture because there is again little expectation for major nominations for 'Mad Max: Fury Road' – it is more of a fun blockbuster movie than the usual shortlisted films and it is a remake. It is perhaps a shame that a rebooted franchise won this title over original ideas but it does show that each film is at least being judged on is individual merits.

When it comes to the other winners in the other categories, there are some films and cast members where there are greater hopes for future accolades. One of the best examples of this is the Best Actress award going to Brie Larson for her role as an incarcerated mother in the film 'Room'.

There are never any certainties when it comes to Oscar nods but there is hope that recognition here might put this young actress in line for more nomination in the coming months. Another film with potential is Best Documentary 'Amy' but Best Supporting Actor Sylvester Stallone could be an outside bet.

Last, but clearly not least, there is 'The Martian', a film that many might have expected to win Best Picture given the fact that it picked up Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor for Matt Damon. This is definitely one of those big budget films that could do well in the major nominations but have the National Board of Review now jinxed its chances?