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Spike Jonze's Her named best film by National Board of Review


Story by Jack Foley

SPIKE Jonze’s Her has been named the best film of 2013 by America’s influential National Board of Review.

The quirky romance stars Joaquin Phoenix as a man who falls in love with a computer’s voice (played by an unseen Scarlett Johansson).

Jonze also took the best director prize in what many industry pundits are describing as a surprise.

Other winners included British actress Emma Thompson, who was crowned best actress for her portrayal of author PL Travers in Saving Mr Banks, a dramatisation of the making of Disney’s Mary Poppins.

Hollywood veteran Bruce Dern, meanwhile, took the best actor prize for his performance as a moody an elderly father in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, while his co-star Will Forte – who plays his middle aged son – took best supporting actor.

Octavia Spencer was named best supporting actress for true-life drama Fruitvale Station, which also saw its director Ryan Coogler and lead actor Michael B Jordan honoured.

Crime drama Prisoners – starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Terrence Howard – took the best ensemble prize, space saga Gravity won a creative innovation award for its ground-breaking special effects and Sarah Polley’s family portrait Stories We Tell was named best documentary.

The Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis – which was named best film at the Gotham Independent Awards earlier this week – was recognised in the best original screenplay category.

The NRB, which is often seen as a useful indicator of which films might enjoy Oscar success, also listed its 10 best films of 2013, which were…

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

Next awards story: American Hustle named best film by New York Film Critics’ Circle