Pete Hammond

The ever-quirky National Board Of Review has crowned Her as the year’s Best Film and its helmer Spike Jonzeher-movie-poster as Best Director. It only adds to what is becoming a year without consensus — at least so far, after the New York Film Critics Circle named American Hustle their best film yesterday and the Gotham Awards chose Inside Llewyn Davis. The latter won Best Screenplay from NBR, but there was no mention of Hustle anywhere on its list this morning (see the full list of winners below). Also largely ignored were three films most pundits put at the top of their Oscar frontrunners: 12 Years A Slave, Gravity and Captain Phillips. The latter was completely dissed and 12 Years and Gravity mentioned only in NBR’s Top Ten list, but NO individual awards other than a technical citation for Gravity’s “creative innovation”.

NationalBoardOfReview_logonewUnlike last year when NBR and NYFCC agreed on Zero Dark Thirty as Best Pic and Director , this morning’s list was far apart. The groups’ only matches came for The Wind Rises in animation, Stories We Tell in Documentary and Fruitvale Station as best first film. NBR’s acting choices of Bruce Dern and Will Forte in Nebraska, Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks and Octavia Spencer for Fruitvale represented a completely different quartet than the NYFCC picks of Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto and Jennifer Lawrence. But for those who harbor Oscar hopes, don’t despair. The National Board of Review, which describes itself as “a select group of knowledgeable film enthusiasts and professionals, academics, young filmmakers and students”, has had a lousy track record in recent years of picking eventual Oscar winners.  In the past five years only one of their Best Film picks — Slumdog Millionaire — and just two acting choices — Christopher Plummer and Penelope Cruz — went on to win Academy Awards.  They haven’t had a Best Director in common with Oscar since Martin Scorsese for The Departed in 2005 — the same year they chose Letters From Iwo Jima as Best Film. Here is NBR’s full list of winners:

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 HIGHJACKING
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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