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Spike Jonze's 'Her' is a Big Hit with the National Board of Review

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The National Board of Review has announced their annual awards for the year, naming Spike Jonze's outstanding romantic dramedy "Her" as the best film of 2013. Jonze was also awarded Best Director.

"Nebraska" also made a good showing by taking Best Actor for Bruce Dern and Best Supporting Actor for Will Forte, while Best Actress went to Emma Thompson for her performance in "Saving Mr. Banks" and Best Supporting Actress to Octavia Spencer for "Fruitvale Station."

Among the top ten films that come after "Her," the only surprise to be found on the list is "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," whose reviews have not been particularly kind so far. Other than that, we find films that were entirely expected to be in the running, including "Gravity," "12 Years a Slave," "Inside Llewyn Davis," and "The Wolf of Wall Street."

What's particularly interesting about their awards is the total absence of David O. Russell's "American Hustle," which just took Best Picture from the New York Film Critics Circle yesterday and is considered a top contender for the Oscars. Then again, the NBR is not the best group to use as a prognosticator for the Best Picture Oscar as their choices and the Academy's don't match up very often.

With lots more awards on the way, perhaps we'll start to see a trend as we have for the past few years ("Zero Dark Thirty," "The Artist," "The Social Network," etc.). Then again, perhaps we'll have several different choices for once, making it even more exciting as we head deeper into the season.

Check out the complete list of NBR winners below:

Best Film: 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 Original Screenplay: Joel and Ethan Coen, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
Best Adapted Screenplay: Terence Winter, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
Best Animated Feature: THE WIND RISES
Breakthrough Performance: Michael B. Jordan, FRUITVALE STATION
Breakthrough Performance: Adele Exarchopoulos, BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR
Best Directorial Debut: Ryan Coogler, FRUITVALE STATION
Best Foreign Language Film: THE PAST
Best Documentary: STORIES WE TELL
William K. Everson Film History Award: George Stevens, Jr.
Best Ensemble: PRISONERS
Spotlight Award: Career Collaboration of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: WADJDA
Creative Innovation in Filmmaking Award: GRAVITY

Top Films
(in alphabetical order)

12 YEARS A SLAVE
FRUITVALE STATION
GRAVITY
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
LONE SURVIVOR
NEBRASKA
PRISONERS
SAVING MR. BANKS
THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

Top 5 Foreign Language Films

(In Alphabetical Order)

BEYOND THE HILLS

GLORIA

THE GRANDMASTER

A HIJACKING

THE HUNT

Top 5 Documentaries

(In Alphabetical Order)

20 FEET FROM STARDOM

THE ACT OF KILLING

AFTER TILLER

CASTING BY

THE SQUARE

Top 10 Independent Films

(In Alphabetical Order)

AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB

IN A WORLD…

MOTHER OF GEORGE

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

MUD

THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES

SHORT TERM 12

SIGHTSEERS

THE SPECTACULAR NOW

Recent Blu-ray/DVD releases: The Rooftop, Drinking Buddies, Inpractical Jokers: Season One, Planes, Paranoia, The To Do List, Blackfish, Paradise, White House Down, Grown Ups 2, Girl Most Likely, Robotech: The Complete Set, The Way, Way Back

Now playing in theaters: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Dallas Buyers Club, Thor: The Dark World, Ender's Game, Carrie, Kill Your Darlings, Gravity, Argento's Dracula, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Despicable Me 2

Follow me on Twitter @BeckFilmCritic.

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