National Board of Review Names ‘Her’ Best Film of 2013


National Board of Review 2013 winners

Joaquin Phoenix in Her
Photo: Warner Bros.

I am loving the just announced awards from the National Board of Review for 2013, naming Spike Jonze‘s Her the best film as this year’s award race is clearly not shaping up to be as obvious as many predicted it would be. How so? Well, supposed frontrunners 12 Years a Slave and Gravity were shut out of the major awards until both were named in the subsequent list of top ten films of the year (naturally) and Gravity was given the award for Creative Innovation in Filmmaking (seems appropriate).

I will say, however, as much as I love Her, giving Jonze the award for Best Director is a bit surprising while the Coen brothers won Best Original Screenplay. I would have been less surprised had those two been flipped, though I definitely love the attention shown Inside Llewyn Davis and a script certainly worthy of attention.

Something of a surprise, though not really considering she gives a great performance, is Best Actress going to Emma Thompson for Saving Mr. Banks as the Oscar race between her and Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) is sure to heat up as the months go on, that is, depending on whether or not both are committed to campaigning on equal terms. Should one get their face out there a little more it could make all the difference.

Nebraska had a nice showing with not only being listed in the top ten, but also seeing both Bruce Dern and Will Forte winning acting kudos as Forte’s stock has definitely risen in recent weeks and he is now looking more and more like a Best Supporting Actor nominee while Dern’s position continues to be fortified as I recently bumped him out of the Best Actor race, but that will be changing soon enough.

Fruitvale Station saw wins for Octavia Spencer and Michael B. Jordan, the latter winning another Breakthrough award as his mantle may collapse with similar trophies by the end of the year. Same goes for director Ryan Coogler who also won for Best Directorial Debut.

Otherwise, The Past won for Best Foreign Film and Sarah Polley‘s Stories We Tell takes home another documentary win. The complete list of winners is directly below and I have already updated the Oscar Overture with the win for Her, which you can see right here.

This Sunday the Los Angeles Film Critics will hand out their awards as it is now full steam ahead to the 2014 Oscars.

Best Film: Her

Best Director: Spike Jonze (Her)

Best Actor: Bruce Dern (Nebraska)

Best Actress: Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)

Best Supporting Actor: Will Forte (Nebraska)

Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station)

Best Original Screenplay: Joel and Ethan Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Terence Winter (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Best Animated Feature: The Wind Rises

Breakthrough Performance: Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station)

Breakthrough Performance: Adele Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Color)

Best Directorial Debut: Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station)

Best Foreign Language Film: The Past

Best Documentary: Stories We Tell

William K. Everson Film History Award: George Stevens, Jr.

Best Ensemble: Prisoners

Spotlight Award: Career Collaboration of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio

NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Wadjda

Creative Innovation in Filmmaking Award: Gravity

Top Films (in alphabetical order)

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Fruitvale Station
  • Gravity
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Lone Survivor
  • Nebraska
  • Prisoners
  • Saving Mr. Banks
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Top 5 Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order)

  • Beyond the Hills
  • Gloria
  • The Grandmaster
  • A Hijacking
  • The Hunt

Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order)

  • 20 Feet from Stardom
  • The Act of Killing
  • After Tiller
  • Casting By
  • The Square

Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order)

  • Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • In a World…
  • Mother of George
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Mud
  • The Place Beyond the Pines
  • Short Term 12
  • Sightseers
  • The Spectacular Now