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Spike Jonze’s Her has become the latest film you haven’t yet seen to be named the Best Picture of 2013.
The day after the New York Film Critics Circle selected David O. Russell’s American Hustle as the year’s best film, the National Board of Review bestowed its annual award on Her, a sweetly strange and hauntingly romantic sci-fi drama about a lonely man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his intuitive operating system (voiced seductively by Scarlett Johansson). Jonze also won Best Director in the NBR’s tally, while top acting awards went to Bruce Dern (for Nebraska) and Emma Thompson (for Saving Mr. Banks).
Annie Schulhof, NBR President, said of the selection:
Spike Jonze is one of the most talented and visionary filmmakers working today. 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."
Having been lucky enough to see Her, I can tell you that it certainly is one of the best movies of 2013. But it does continue this very strange trend of year-end critic lists singling out movies no one has seen! That can be frustrating. Does this happen because the voting members of the different groups saw movies like Hustle and Her recently? Are films like Gravity, 12 Years a Slave or Captain Phillips suffering because they came out too early? That’s silly … but seems like a concern at the moment.
The critical groups will march on. For now, here are the full results of the NBR’s voting, via Deadline: