The critics awards are off and running after the New York Film Critics Circle announced its picks for the best of the year yesterday, and today the National Board of Review has named Her the best picture of 2013. Spike Jonze was also named Best Director for the film, while the acting honors went to Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), Will Forte (Nebraska), and Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station). Always an eclectic list, the NBR’s Top 10 includes The Wolf of Wall Street, Gravity, Lone Survivor, and Prisoners. Wholly absent from the Top 10 is the NYFCC’s pick for Best Film, American Hustle.
The NBR winner for Best Picture has failed to match up with Oscar since 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, as last year’s award went to Zero Dark Thirty, but for the past 13 years every NBR winner has landed a Best Picture nomination, so this bodes well for Her‘s Oscar prospects. Read the full list of NBR winners after the jump.
A Hijacking is Danish filmmaker Tobias Lindholm’s second feature film but his first as a solo director. The tense, gripping thriller chronicles what happens when a cargo ship is hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean and its crew is taken hostage in a cynical game of life and death. With the demand for a ransom of millions of dollar, a psychological drama unfolds between the CEO of the shipping company (Søren Malling) and the Somali pirates. Opening June 21st in select cities, the film also stars Pilou Asbæk, Dar Salim, Roland Møller, Gary Skjoldmose Porter and Abdihakin Asgar.
In an exclusive interview, Lindholm talked about how he found the angle for writing in an arena he’d long been interested in, why he sees this film as a local story, how he assembled an unusual cast that included real-life former hostages and a hostage negotiator, how he achieved the film’s gritty realism and authentic tone in collaboration with his actors and creative team, why he deliberately avoided action movie clichés, and how his experience on the Danish TV series, Borgen, informed his approach. He also discussed the Scandinavian new wave, the influence of Lars von Trier and Nicolas Winding Refn, his untitled new feature film that’s in the works, and scripting The Commune with Thomas Vinterberg. Hit the jump to read the full interview.
The line-up for the 2012 Venice Film Festival has been announced and it’s a surprisingly lean year. Usually, there’s a lot of overlap between the Toronto International Film Festival and Venice, but the only major crossovers are Terrence Malick‘s To the Wonder, Robert Redford‘s The Company You Keep, Ramin Bahrani‘s At Any Price, Mira Nair‘s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and Ariel Vromen‘s The Iceman. Venice does have a few standout exclusives this year, most notably Brian De Palma‘s new film, Passion, starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace. Other notable exclusives include Abdallah Omeish‘s Witness: Libya (executive produced by Michael Mann) and Harmony Korine‘s Spring Breakers.
Hit the jump for the full line-up. The 2012 Venice Film Festival runs August 29 – September 8th.