Director Spike Jonze's "Her," which will be released in selected
U.S. theaters later this month, stars Joaquin Phoenix as a withdrawn
writer in Los Angeles in the quirky love story.
"Spike Jonze is one of the most talented and visionary filmmakers
working today," said Annie Schulhof, the president of the National
Board of Review, a 100-year-old U.S. based group of movie industry
watchers and film professionals.
"In 'Her' he explores the age-old themes of love and human
connection in a completely fresh and innovative way. It is an
outstanding achievement that is sure to become a new classic," she
added in a statement.
Bruce Dern was named best actor for his portrayal as an ornery old
man convinced he has won a fortune in Alexander Payne's "Nebraska,"
and Emma Thompson picked up the best actress accolade for her turn
as author P.L. Travers, the creator of "Mary Poppins," in "Saving
Comedic actor Will Forte, best known for his roles on the television
sketch show "Saturday Night Live," won the best supporting actor
prize for playing Dern's patient son in "Nebraska."
Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer was named best supporting actress for
"Fruitvale Station," about the real-life story of a young black man
shot to death by a white transit policeman.
"Fruitvale Station" won honors for breakthrough performance for
actor Michael B. Jordan and the best directorial debut prize for
START OF THE OSCAR RACE
The National Board of Review awards, which will be presented at a
gala in New York on January 7, followed the New York Film Critics
Circle prizes on Tuesday, the first film honors leading up to the
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"Nebraska," "American Hustle," "Her" and "12 Years A Slave" picked
up some of up the top awards from the two groups setting the stage
for the race to the Academy Awards, the movie industry's highest
honors, that will be presented on March 2.
The NBR gave brothers Joel and Ethan Coen the best original
screenplay prize for "Inside Llewyn Davis" about the Greenwich
Village folk scene in 1961.
Best adapted screenplay went to Terence Winter for director Martin
Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street," and best animated feature was
awarded to "The Wind Rises," by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki.
Director Asghar Farhadi's "The Past," about an Iranian man who
deserts his French wife and children to return home, grabbed the
best foreign language film prize.
Adele Exarchopoulos, who starred in the French lesbian love story
"Blue is the Warmest Color" by director Abdellatif Kechiche also
nabbed a breakthrough performance award.
"Stories We Tell," a Canadian film directed by Sarah Polley that
delves into storytelling and memories, picked up the best
(Editing by Mary Milliken and Cynthia Osterman)