December 4th, 2013
02:40 PM ET
Only a couple days into awards season, and already the curveballs are flying.
On Wednesday, the National Board of Review - the century-old organization of film aficionados, professors and industry professionals - named the Spike Jonze film "Her" as 2013's best picture. The film, which stars Joaquin Phoenix as a man who falls in love with a Siri-like computer system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), also nabbed Jonze the honor for best director.
The film, which Jonze also wrote, is the director's first since "Where the Wild Things Are" in 2009. His other films include "Being John Malkovich" and "Adaptation."
"Nebraska," the Alexander Payne film about a father who believes he's won a large prize and the son who agrees to drive him to pick it up, took home two acting honors - best actor for Bruce Dern, who plays father Woody Grant, and Will Forte, who plays Grant's son, David.
Emma Thompson's turn as "Mary Poppins" creator P.L. Travers in "Saving Mr. Banks" won best actress. Octavia Spencer's performance as the mother of eventual shooting victim Oscar Grant in "Fruitvale Station" won best supporting actress. "Fruitvale Station's" Michael B. Jordan won an award for breakthrough performance, and its director, Ryan Coogler, won best directorial debut.
The National Board of Review also adds a list of top 10 films and top 10 independent films. Making the former list were "12 Years a Slave," "Fruitvale Station," "Gravity," "Inside Llewyn Davis," "Lone Survivor," "Nebraska," "Prisoners," "Saving Mr. Banks," "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and "The Wolf of Wall Street." The latter list included two films starring Matthew McConaughey - "Mud" and "Dallas Buyers Club" - as well as "In A World ...", "The Place Beyond the Pines" and "The Spectacular Now."
The organization's complete list of winners is here.
Yesterday, the New York Film Critics Circle picked "American Hustle" as the year's best film - an entry that didn't even crack the NBR's list. The Los Angeles Critics Circle is due to release its list on Saturday. All this trophy-handling leads to the Academy Awards, set for Sunday, March 2.
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