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Uh Huh, it's "Her" for the NBR 


The National Board of Review didn't even split their Picture/Director prizes. They're all in for Spike Jonze's Her melancholy sci-fi tinged meditation on romance starring a man (Joaquin Phoenix) and his operating system (Scarlett Johansson). Because I love variety, I'm thrilled to report that only three major prizes (except animated, first feature and documentary) went the same way as the NYFCC yesterday, though the groups are not exactly correlative in anyway apart from happening within 24 hours of each other. Complete list of winners after the jump...

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

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Reader Comments (47)

Thrilled for Emma Thompson. All the American Hustle love yesterday was a tacit boost for Amy Adams, which means perhaps someone in your current top 5 isn't safe, Nat. More and more I'm thinking the fifth spot will come down to Streep vs. Dench.

I also think Bullock has fallen to third (or dare I say fourth?) place since the narrative is focusing on other films as performance showcases, and hers as a technical triumph.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W.

Haven't seen it yet, but happy for "Her." Can't wait.

Also, good PJ Harvey joke.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterParanoid Android

happy for HER movie. Emma Thompson won here but she has no chance at the Oscars.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlper

Could not be more thrilled that these are all different from yesterday's NYFCC recipients. Here's hoping for a fresh, varied awards season!

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Wow. No American Hustle anywhere? Interesting. I'm baffled they chose Octavia over Lupita.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStan

Oh, NBR, never change. No Hustle but Walter Mitty and Lone Survivor. I'm still bullish on those 2 but have thrown them out of my awards predictions. Basically it is WB and Paramount with other big studios and just two mid-sized but influential distributors.

I am starting to doubt Bullock's positioning and frankly, I'd throw her out if there is any sort of momentum spike for Adams, Exarchopoulos or Thompson. We know Harvey will have possibly 2 in the category and of course, Blanchett.

Will Forte being a sudden contender just shows how crazy this Supporting Actor category is. Still think Fassbender vs. Leto but I think Forte might get nominated.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

I am happier today than yesterday ... although I have not seeen American Hustle or Her.

It is going to be so interesting on Oscar nomination day...

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrick

Love the wins for Her, Jonze, Dern and Spencer. Haven't seen Banks but I am reflexively pro-Thompson, so yay. This and NYFCC just go to show how diverse and strong this years crop of films turned out. A lot of good options for people to choose from. Now if only folks could resist the pull of awards season tribalism...

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Her, Her, HER! Yes!

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

People are happy for a film that they haven't seen. That is weird.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

I really don't get how anyone can doubt that Bullock will be nominated. One of Hollywood's most popular performers, in a year with two major blockbusters, starring in an acclaimed film that will be a BP heavyweight, with a critical consensus that it's an all-time high for her? No way is she not nominated.

Nice win for Octavia Spencer, who can use the boost from critics. I can understand how she fell behind Nyong'o in buzz, but she's also behind Oprah right now, and that I really don't get.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSean C.

Televised award ceremonies dictate the race. These results are meaningless.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

The biggest head scratcher might be Prisoners for Best Ensemble. Not sure where that came from. But...it is nice to see Her get the recognition.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStan

OOPS. the original version of this post stated there was no overlap but there was. My bad. I just hit publish before i meant to and was pulled away. congrats to POLLEY, COOGLER, AND MIYAZAKI for their early wins.

December 4, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

The National Board of Review have always shown an affinity towards Warner Bros. Prisoners is WB.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

Does anyone think Will Forte can get in the field, saying voters go for Nebraska?

Is Barkhad Abdi just out of things now?

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianZ

This slate of NBR winners demonstrates a degree of independent thought that is better than the NBR's reputation for pandering to celebrities for their awards banquet and trying to build up a reputation for Oscar prognostication. None of these choices serve those ends. If you want to lure stars to your banquet, as many past NBR awards have transparently been about, you don't shut out American Hustle, and you don't pick Dern and Forte for your acting prizes. You don't pick "Her" for your Best Picture.

So I have to say, quite apart from whether I think the choices were correct, I applaud the NBR for breaking its own path and not just trying their hardest to say what everybody else will say before they say it. Makes it seem like the awards are based on merit, which actually means something. As opposed to, "Congratulations! We're giving you an award because we think you'll probably get this other award!"

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSam

boring reactions today.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

what a delight! so thrilled for HER & Jonze... so much so i'll even ignore the irksome NEBRASKA wins.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterryan

Cool to see some love for Fruitvale and Spike Jonze. Some very odd choices and omissions in those top 10s.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

boring reactions today

How about your fucking reaction? Criticizing the disappointment of others is the most boring and pointless.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Starring a man (phoenix Not Jonz)

Just nitpicking....

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Nathaniel: I think you mentioned Spike Jonze when trying to mention Joaquin Phoenix in your paragraph, but it could also be a joke that I don't get. Ha.

I'm super happy for the variety, even if I'm bleh on Nebraska. I wonder if Lupita is not quite the front-runner we thought? It is a small role.

I'm cool with prizes for Michael B. Jordan (even if I don't find the work astounding, he's clearly a rising talent), but the "first film" prizes for Fruitvale Station feel *so* rote, like these groups just mark in the big Sundance movie of the year without thinking about it. Afternoon Delight, Wadjda, In a World, and Don Jon are out there...no, it's not a great year for directorial debuts, but ... I don't know. The Fruitvale love escapes me, I guess.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJake D

Dern and Forte--YES. This made my day!

As much as I adore Emma, this win is shocking to say the least. And is "Her" really that good?

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

they only liked adele in "blue is the warmest color"? weird that it missed the list for foreign films.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

I find that critics find the performances in BITWC undeniable but not so much the film. It's actually a good way for her to be singled out given she was probably in the discussion for Actress.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

@ Melissa: Some people who are happy about Her have already seen the film. Not so weird. ;-)

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I really thought Lupita would be the one sure thing during these critics awards... interesting.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBia

nathaniel, will you see (and comment on) "the sound of music" on nbc?

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

nice to see they're still whores for Marty

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertommy Z

"Is Barkhad Abdi just out of things now?"

The NBR clearly didn't care for the film and there's only been one - ONE - other organisation announce. That category of all categories, too.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Bia- She lost NYFCC supporting actress by one vote.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

I'm happy for Bruce Dern.

I guess LAFCA will go with 12 Years a Slave now.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

"Prisoners" seriously ?! "The Place Beyond The Pines" was much much better.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

I truly hope that this isn't a harbinger of things to come for Lupita Nyong'o. I genuinely thought she would win these critics prizes. I don't think her nomination is in question, but her victory suddenly seems to be.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFlickah

I was the Egyptian Embassy in Washington DC today and the ambassador mentioned The Square as a movie everyone should see. Glad to see it making the top 5 for docs.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjtagliere

I continue to be baffled by the love for 'Fruitvale' and Spencer's performance. Serviceable work and nothing else.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Marcelo- Why would you wish that for him? Don't you like Nathaniel?

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZacary

~sighs disappointingly~ Before Midnight not even in top 10 independent films? :(

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAgent69

lol I know it has carrie underwood, but audra macdonald, laura benanti and christian borle are also in it, underwood could surprise who knows, nathaniel loves the musical genre and it's an interesting project to say the least.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

So pleasantly surprised by these wins. 'Her' remains, undoubtedly, my favorite of this year! Deserves every ounce of recognition it can get. Hoping this propels Jonze to a deserved Oscar nom :-). it's sublime.

December 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy E

Jake -- i feel the same about Fruitvale totally. I think it's a good movie with good performances but none of it approaches Greatness so the awards feel...um... generous.

Mike -- as for Spencer. I'm on record saying i think one of her scenes is just terribly clunky (the pre-train scene) but i'll readily admit that i loved the rest of her performance. So good in the jail and hospital scenes. But yeah... you should probably not get a nomination if you biff one of your three big scenes. That's 33%! ;)

marcelo & zacary -- i've been debating but in truth i dont even know when its on and since its live i will probably miss it due to this crazy time of year and the screenings and whatnot

December 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Marcelo- trust me. as a Musical theatre nerd who majored in Musical Theatre Performance, I really want to be excited for this, I just cant be. I will say I absolutely ADORE Audra Macdonald and Laura Benanti. I'm tempted to watch the parts with them and nothing else. I have no problem with a new actress playing this role, its just that its Carrie Underwood who is not known as an actress and whose voice I dont even believe suits the material.

Nathaniel- Consider missing it as a blessing from the high Goddess, Nicole Kidman herself.

December 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZacary

I think Her and Nebraska are going to rise as the most cited films from precursor groups, but it won't be overwhelming. Llewyn Davis, American Hustle, 12 Years and others will get various mentions. IMO, this helps Gravity. When no one film is grabbing the bulk of the critics affections, it allows for the studio technical marvel (and box office monster) to rise. This reminds me a lot of 2000, when Soderbergh's movies, Requiem for a Dream, Almost Famous, and some others were all given various amounts of love, but no one movie dominated the precursors. But there was Gladiator, the box office, big studio champ, waiting in the wings as the default choice at the end.

December 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

Sawyer -- ooh, that's possibly a very great observation. we shall see.

December 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Sawyer -- ooh, that's possibly a very great observation. we shall see.

December 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

NathanielR - that's not totally fair re: Spencer, right? If I recall correctly (from seeing the movie and from your review), she didn't biff the entire scene, she just overplayed the one line about the train suggestion. Granted, that's a pretty important line, but that's hardly 1/3 of the performance. But I'm so glad you thought the rest of the performance was lovely. I agree, even if I'm also not totally convinced it's awards worthy.

And yay! Variety from NBR!

December 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

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