Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Spike Jonze's 'Her' Surprises at NBR; Oscar Race Thrown for a Loop

Remember how yesterday I said that people were surprised that American Hustle took three awards at the NYFCC?  Well, the National Board of Review came out today and kicked the Oscar race on its ass yet again. 

Spike Jonze's Her, about a man who falls in love with his Siri-like operator, took Best Picture and Director at the NBR.  It's a choice that came out of nowhere, and I am wondering if the entire race could be crazy this year.  Wouldn't that be awesome?  Some actual tension in the Oscar race would be very much welcomed.  I don't think anyone was even thinking of Her in terms of serious Oscar contention, but it at least can be added into the fray.  See the full list of winners below.

Best Picure: 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 Breakthrough Male Performance: Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station
Best Breakthrough Femal Performance: Adele Exarchopoulos, Blue is the Warmest Color
Best Original Screenplay: Inside Llewyn Davis
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Wolf of Wall Street
Best Animated Feature: The Wind Rises
Best Documentary: Stories We Tell
Best Foreign Language Film: The Past
Best Directorial Debut: Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station
Best Ensemble: Prisoners
William K. Everson Award for Film History: George Stevens Jr.
Creative Innovation in Filmmaking Award: Gravity
Spotlight Award: Career collaboration or Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Wadjda

Top Ten Films of the Year (alphabetical order):
12 Years a Slave
Fruitvale Station
Inside Llewyn Davis
Lone Survivor
Saving Mr. Banks
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The Wolf of Wall Street

Top Ten Independent Films of the Year (alphabetical order):
Ain't Them Bodies Saints
Dallas Buyers Club
In a World...
Mother George
Much Ado About Nothing
The Place Beyond the Pines
Short Term 12
The Spectacular Now

Top Five Foreign Films of the Year (alphabetical order):
Beyond the Hills
The Grandmaster
A Highjacking
The Hunt

Top Five Documentaries of the Year (alphabetical order):
20 Feet from Stardom
The Act of Killing
After Tiller
Casting By
The Square

It took me a while to see that American Hustle was completely shut out at the NBR.  Coincidence?  On purpose?  Will the other award announcements reflect NBR or NYFCC, or, horror of horrors!, something completely different?  Bring it on.  This year could be soooo much fun! 

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