125 responses

  1. bd74
    December 4, 2013

    Emma!!!!!!! The Past!!!!! Prisoners!!!!!

  2. JS
    December 4, 2013

    Her?? Crazy!!


  3. KT
    December 4, 2013

    Some really interesting picks! Bravo to Spike Jonze!!

    AND American Hustle didn’t even make the top 10 list. What were the NY critics smoking????

  4. Koleś
    December 4, 2013

    These are just beautiful

  5. Bryce Forestieri
    December 4, 2013

    No offense but in account of MUD, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, SHORT TERM 12, and THE SPECTACULAR NOW the indie top 10 is stronger than the “real” top 10 –and a lot of people love PINES. I mean in general. I mean for now. I haven’t seen HER, LLEWYN, and WOLF so it’s probably nonsense. I hope LAFCA goes for GRAVITY. This are fine choices. Spencer, really? I mean why not Diaz?

    • Ryan Adams
      December 4, 2013

      –and a lot of people love PINES.

      So happy that I meekly repeated my love for The Place Beyond the Pines in my spat with Tony several hours ago. I felt beaten up all year by the blank stares I’d get from people whenever I brought it up all year long.

      It felt to me like a lost and rediscovered masterwork from the 1970s when I first saw it in April

  6. Jeremy
    December 4, 2013

    No Hustle anywhere. Well, points for originality, at any rate.

  7. Al Robinson
    December 4, 2013

    WOW!!! Her huh?? WOW!!!

  8. Jake Bart
    December 4, 2013

    Man, this could really be the year of Megan Ellison. Between HER and AMERICAN HUSTLE, she’s behind both of the season’s early big winners. Having not seen either, it sits fine with me. The woman has earned at least a decade of good will for backing THE MASTER when PTA needed it most.

    Shamefully passed over (as it will likely be for the remainder of the season): BEFORE MIDNIGHT

  9. Bryce Forestieri
    December 4, 2013

    STORIES WE TELL is the frontrunner. That’s cool. I mean it’s the most relatable film of the year so I can understand that.

  10. gigi
    December 4, 2013

    Her is the best but not one of top 10. Before Midnight is not one of the best – really? but Saving Mr. Banks and Walter Mitty are? please!

  11. Brad
    December 4, 2013

    The one thing that has exploded my mind is:


  12. Al Robinson
    December 4, 2013

    No American Hustle??? One day after NYFCC???

  13. alexww
    December 4, 2013

    I still don’t understand why people are going banana’s over Stories We Tell. I saw it and thought it was overlong, and nowhere near as interesting as it thought it was. I don’t know, I just couldn’t get into it at all and found myself getting really bored in the last half hour. I find with all the other exceptional docs that were made this year (Act of Killing, Blackfish), to single this one out seems wrong.

  14. Bryce Forestieri
    December 4, 2013

    Oh and Spike Jonze. Wow. That’s 4 out 4.

  15. alexww
    December 4, 2013

    I’m also confused by Wolf of Wall Street showing up in these early lists and awards, has it even been previewed for any of these groups??

  16. Bryce Forestieri
    December 4, 2013

    WALTER MITTY is customary WTF pick

  17. Mannuel
    December 4, 2013

    This is so great! Good for Emma, The Past and Her. I agree that indie top 10 look stronger

    So now I have to see Her, Llewyn, Wolf and a bunch of the indies

    Blaaah for Octavia Spencher cause no one is stronger then Lupita this year.

  18. Morpheos
    December 4, 2013

    Something very sick is going on when 12 Years A Slave gets shut out like this! It’s to burn the house down.

  19. Casey
    December 4, 2013

    So happy to see both Bruce Dern and Will Forte win!! Go Nebraska!!

  20. Bryce Forestieri
    December 4, 2013


    Yes NYFCC and NBR saw WOLF. Satellite didn’t but they were sure it was going to be good. Can’t say I blame.

  21. Ben
    December 4, 2013

    No American Hustle on the top 10 list? No film has won the Best Picture Oscar without a National Board of Review Top 10 mention since 2003!

  22. Bryce Forestieri
    December 4, 2013

    Serious Question:

    Is NEBRASKA much much but much better than DESCENDANTS or pretty much the same league?

  23. FilmFatale
    December 4, 2013

    Yes Alex – Wolf has been screening for press and voting bodies for the past several days.

  24. Laura
    December 4, 2013

    What a bunch of random hipster mentions… like lmao if these actually hold for the major awards. I don’t see Thompson making it in. But good for Her making a statement. Also, given the reviews today coming out for Hustle, I don’t see Hustle not making it in.

    • Ryan Adams
      December 4, 2013

      like lmao if these actually hold for the major awards.

      The National Board of Review IS a major award, so go ahead and laff your ass all the way off.

  25. Pepper
    December 4, 2013

    The top 10 is ridiculous. Lone Survivor and Walter Mitty thank whoever’s in NBR.

  26. Jeremy
    December 4, 2013

    Someone’s gonna have to explain the voting to me. Like, how can Her win Best Picture/Director if its not even in the Top Films there.

    • Ryan Adams
      December 4, 2013

      Jeremy, this is the annual NBR sleight of hand. They actually do a Top 11 — and since adding Indies they have a Top 21. This way they don’t have to subtract any slot from their big budget Top 10 or their independent Top 10.

      They do not ever indicate where any of the Independent titles would be inserted ranking-wise in amongst their main top 10 — and I like this system just fine.

  27. menyc
    December 4, 2013

    Love lots of these. So excited to see Her, but always was. Hope there is wealth spreading all season long.

  28. Joe Calahan
    December 4, 2013

    Lots of surprises in this lineup
    Her takes Best Picture
    Fruitvale Stations win a few
    Emma Thompson wins best actress over the frontrunner Cate Blanchett
    Bruce Dern wins best actor over the frontrunner Robert Redford
    Wolf of Wall Street is back in the game by winning Adapted Screenplay
    Gravity gets the Creative Innovation of Filmmaking Award
    Lone Survivor, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Prisoners and Fruitvale Station all nominated for the top films
    The Grandmaster gets up for Best Foreign Film
    12 Years of a Slave gets shutdown
    No awards for American Hustle
    Inside Llewyn Davis gets Original Screenplay
    NBR remembers The Place Beyond the Pines, Mud, The Spectular Now and Short Term 12

  29. bd74
    December 4, 2013

    @Brad, I agree. Shameful omission of Captain Phillips. Nonetheless, I’m satisfied with most of these results. So much for the claim that Cate Blanchett was going to “sweep”. And it’s interesting that although Her won Best Film and Best Director, it did not win any acting awards.

  30. Phantom
    December 4, 2013

    Wow…we always bitch we want excitement and it seems we will finally get it this year ! I expected HER to make a splash but at the LAFCAs, maybe it will repeat ? Also interesting AH omission considering they clearly saw every big contender even the late ones hence the Wolf love.

    P.s. This could be GREAT for 12 years a slave. If it won’t get the usually unfortunate early frontrunner treatment, it could actually emerge as “the little film / underdog that could” and just go all the way in the end.

  31. Bryce Forestieri
    December 4, 2013


    GRAVITY tops TIME Magazine’s 2013 Top 10

    1. GRAVITY
    4. HER
    6. FAST 6
    7. FORZEN
    9. 12 YEARS A SLAVE

  32. menyc
    December 4, 2013

    “What a bunch of random hipster mentions… like lmao if these actually hold for the major awards.”

    Critics awards do not exist to support major awards. Thank Xenu.

    And this isn’t random. Isn’t hipster. And, yes, several will hold.


  33. jorge
    December 4, 2013

    looks like adele is gettin closer to the oscar nomination… but i would like to see lea seydoux nominated as well…

    octavia is back in the race…

  34. Jay
    December 4, 2013

    It’s becoming apparent that 2013 is shaping up to be a year in which none of the guilds agree on any pick. NBR had only one overlap with NYFFC: Stories We Tell. Also, I’m beginning to think 12 Years a Slave is going to get shafted, which is a real shame. Folks are just too afraid of it. But the big question is if the Academy is too afraid of 12 Years a Slave to name it Best Picture, and they think Gravity lacks a universal message, what film will they flock to?

  35. Al Robinson
    December 4, 2013


    I know it doesn’t make much sense, but every year, the NBR does this, where they have a separate “winner”, which this year is Her,

    but then they include 10 more, not 9 more. I don’t know why they do that. They just do.

  36. Christophe
    December 4, 2013

    Looks like The Wind Rises is the only sure thing so far this season, the rest is all over the palace.

  37. Tero Heikkinen
    December 4, 2013

    This year is absolutely sick. And I love every second of it.

  38. Al Robinson
    December 4, 2013

    Yeah, Ryan explained it better than I did.

  39. jorge
    December 4, 2013

    and great to see august osage county gettin snubbed i hope all the actors and the movie itself be completely forgotten

  40. Bryce Forestieri
    December 4, 2013

    Steven Zeitchik is an ignorant asshole. Is he in LAFCA? He will push hard for HER.

  41. KT
    December 4, 2013

    My favorite award (cue eye roll): The Spotlight Award, highlighting the creative collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio.

    What a joke. So their movie isn’t good enough to win one of the top awards or Best Actor, but the NBR invites Scorsese and Leo to come anyway to the party for some bullshit tribute award. HAHAHAHA Every year these critics awards, from picking winners so they can have them present at the ceremony to being retaliatory, voting for a film that’s different from other groups….so ridiculous, all of it. I love when great filmmakers made their movies and didn’t have to participate in any of this crap.

    • Ryan Adams
      December 4, 2013

      What a joke. So their movie isn’t good enough to win one of the top awards or Best Actor, but the NBR invites Scorsese and Leo to come anyway to the party for some bullshit tribute award. HAHAHAHA

      HAHAha ha ha. Or maybe the NBR thinks it’s bullshit when no more 3 or 4 films can ever possibly win the “top” awards. Hey, maybe that’s why they name a Top 10.

      Isn’t kind of nice to see a group that’s so inclusive they can announce their awards and people don’t say “HAHAHAHA 25,000 losers in Hollywood and only 5 winners.”

  42. Ricky
    December 4, 2013

    I could cry… I could just cry…

    I’m trying to find it within my heart to be sad for 12 Years a Slave but… HER!!!! I was predicting a special distinction award for Scarlett Johansson but this is WAY better. My heart is full of joy. Some peculiarities:

    1. Her wins picture and director, but not screenplay… I feel like this might actually be a good thing. It placed in the top 4 in many categories at the NYFCC, but they weren’t visible so many would have just thought Screenplay nom and that’s it. This win places in in the BP conversation at least and can only help it get that screenplay nom without shoehorning it there.
    2. What’s happening to 12 Years a Slave is just… well it’s tough to describe. Who knows how this will translate to the Oscars, but we really thought the critics would go bananas over it. Is it just that tough to stomach? After my second viewing I decided never again… but still! I think we’re almost certainly looking at a BP/BD split now. And what of Chiwetel? My goodness this year looks to be way crazier than last year, which is insane.
    3. Bruce Dern has now won two awards, Redford one, and McConaughey one. No Chiwetel yet, but this race is looking like it’s going to be almost impossible to call.
    4. I think the Emma Thompson win here means very little except to push Sandra Bullock’s chances down.
    5. Will Forte?! How did Will Forte and Bruce Dern win, but Nebraska didn’t win Picture, Director, Screenplay, or Ensemble? This is kind of nuts. I think Forte could end up like Mila Kunis. A star not really known for their acting chops that gets sucked into the Oscar race with a few mentions here and there, but ultimately misses out on the nom. It’s too early to tell.
    6. Octavia Spencer? Okay. Not too much to say on this one yet except that it is looking highly likely that we’ll have 3/5 nominees in this race being women of color. This is wonderful. I just wish that at least one of the three was playing a role where being black wasn’t a requirement and they were cast for their ability alone. When that starts to happen is when things might actually change.
    7. Llewyn Davis has become a very strong player across the board.
    8. WoWS seems to be a mixed bag with STRONG feelings of love, mixed with many people thinking it’s a mess. I think that means it gets loads of noms and very few wins (if any). This could be good news for Jonah Hill to represent his film.
    9. Looks like Frozen has some stiff competition. Still…
    10. I’m glad to see Adele mentioned at all, even if she should have won Best Actress. No nom for the film is interesting though.
    11. Glad to see Jordan and Cogler winning all the awards they can since those Oscar noms are looking highly unlikely (haven’t seen the film myself yet).
    12. Stories We Tell is clearly the frontrunner. The Act of Killing will be too tough a sell for many and Blackfish needs to start gaining traction. The doc race can be weird though, so who knows.
    13. I wonder if this is the beginning of Prisoners becoming a real player. I don’t think so, but I wouldn’t be unhappy if it did gain support, at least for 1 or 2 performances and cinematography.
    14. Lone Survivor and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but no Captain Phillips or Before Midnight anywhere to be seen. Now that is very interesting. The former is still probably in for Best Picture, but director is beginning to look way wonkier.

    This race is just going to get crazier and crazier.

    • Ryan Adams
      December 4, 2013

      Her wins picture and director, but not screenplay… I feel like this might actually be a good thing.

      A screenplay win for Spike Jonze would have automatically looked like a consolation prize, yes? This way the NBR makes a much more assertive pro-active no-doubt statement.

  43. Ricky
    December 4, 2013

    OH and no American Hustle is just nutso as well

  44. Houston
    December 4, 2013

    NBR might as well be throwing darts at a board to determine their winners

  45. Bryce Forestieri
    December 4, 2013

    Prediction: Everything will be boring again once the guild start setting us straight. They don’t give a fuck.

  46. bd74
    December 4, 2013

    4. I think the Emma Thompson win here means very little except to push Sandra Bullock’s chances down.

    Chances? Chances for what? A legendary actress like Glenn Close is a 6-time Oscar bridesmaid, but Sandra Bullock has “chance” to win a 2nd Oscar for just tumbling around and panting?

  47. Humperdink Finglebert
    December 4, 2013

    Stories We Tell is not listed in top 5 docs but wins top doc?

  48. Bryce Forestieri
    December 4, 2013

    Excellent foreign choices too, especially GLORIA

  49. Nic V
    December 4, 2013

    I have to admit the NBR actually impressed me this year. Looks like they went out of the box. They decided not to jump on the bandwagon films like American Hustle or Wolfs of Wall Street. Also seems that even though 12 Years a Slave is ground breaking work Mr. McQueen needs to develope more empathy from his audiences for his actors or rather “their story”. He tells a great story and he illustrates the story well however he has a tendency to not attach you to the characters illustrating his story.

  50. Chris
    December 4, 2013

    How did both Stories We Tell and The Past get awarded as best doc and foreign films but not make the top 5 list?

    And isn’t it odd that from the top ten list, only 12 Years a Slave, Lone Survivor and (WTF?) Secret Life of Walter Mitty weren’t awarded something?

  51. Bryce Forestieri
    December 4, 2013

    Are we seeing a trend here? The very elites loved THE WIND RISES.

  52. Alper
    December 4, 2013

    sad for Cate Blanchett. best performance of the year but Emma won. She didn’t deserve this.

  53. Jim
    December 4, 2013

    Bryce, you asked if Nebraska is “much, much better” than The Descendants. It’s only one opinion, but I would say absolutely yes. For some reason, I can only have one of two reactions to Alexander Payne movies: extreme love or severe dislike. I really, truly did not enjoy About Schmidt or The Descendants. But Citizen Ruth, Election, Sideways, and now Nebraska? I want to bow down before them, I love them so much.

    And I love that there isn’t a consensus yet. There are too many truly great movies this year. Nebraska, Inside Llewyn Davis, 12 Years a Slave, Before Midnight, Captain Phillips, The Spectacular Now, Frances Ha (I might be alone on that one), Spring Breakers (really pushing it now, but I stand by it)… I haven’t seen Her or American Hustle yet, but I’m willing to believe they could both be brilliant. And if it just ends up being that the awards wealth is shared because no one agree which great movie is the greatEST? Fine by me!

    As for that Walter Mitty inclusion, the NBR has a history of including a movie that hasn’t come out yet that goes on to terrible reviews. Remember The Bucket List. Or Promised Land.

  54. Simone
    December 4, 2013

    I’m interested in seeing ‘Her’, but it’s disheartening to see that the NBR was obviously not impressed with 12YAS.

  55. Bryce Forestieri
    December 4, 2013

    Thanks Jim, we have a similar take on the man. I love ELECTION and admire a lot in RUTH, especially the performance. Not so much his other stuff.

  56. g
    December 4, 2013

    Great picks today! I’m really happy but I’m really shocked that Her won! Yippee for the wind rises, Nebraska, and the past!

  57. Uncle Jay
    December 4, 2013

    Well, we know what’s NOT going to happen at the Oscars today!!

  58. Jim
    December 4, 2013

    Also, Ricky on Supporting Actress:”it is looking highly likely that we’ll have 3/5 nominees in this race being women of color. This is wonderful.” I agree completely. It’s really thrilling. But if all three don’t make it through, I’d rather Octavia in, Oprah out. I’m very pro-diversity in nominations across the board but very anti-nominations for anything in The Butler which I found terribly written, directed, and performed (with the exceptions of the unexpectedly great Lenny Kravitz and Cuba Gooding Jr. and the less unexpectedly great David Oyelwo).

  59. Sam Juliano
    December 4, 2013


    I completely agree with you on the overrated STORIES WE TELL. I like Sarah Polley, but I found that film distancing. THE ACT OF KILLING is the year’s best documentary.

    I am dumbstruck by NBR’s pick for Best Picture, much as I was with the NYFCC choice yesterday. Yet, like most people on these pages I have NOT seen HER, AMERICAN HUSTLE nor INSIDE LLEWELYN DAVIS, so I must wait.

    I still think 12 YEARS A SLAVE will win its share of the critics’ awards to come, and will cop the Oscar for Best Picture, as it deserves to.

  60. Sam Juliano
    December 4, 2013

    Uncle Jay:

    I disagree. 12 YEARS A SLAVE still should be seen as the odds-on favorite. Wait for Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, the National Society and the Globe noms, before assuming anything.

  61. david
    December 4, 2013

    Adele exarchopolous over Brie Larson for best breakthrough!!!! Wtf at least short term 12 got mentioned in the top ten independent films ( it should’ve been in the top 10 films)

  62. Sam Juliano
    December 4, 2013

    “Also seems that even though 12 Years a Slave is ground breaking work Mr. McQueen needs to develope more empathy from his audiences for his actors or rather “their story”. He tells a great story and he illustrates the story well however he has a tendency to not attach you to the characters illustrating his story.”

    Nick V: All this said because the film lost narrowly at NYFCC and NBR? What about the best reviews of any film this year?

    My money is still on the film for the win!

  63. akumax
    December 4, 2013


    Great, just great, Her is wonderful, the past and The wind rises too!

  64. Zooey
    December 4, 2013

    Cate Blanchett will still sweep the actual critics. Day-Lewis lost the NBR to Clooney in 2007.

    Other than that – yay for HER!

    And yes, even though many of these choices are somehow ridiculous, they’re much better than the boring NYFCC choices.

  65. menyc
    December 4, 2013

    Jim, you are absolutely not alone loving Frances Ha. There may be many films to rank above it for various reasons, but there is definitely not a film I enjoyed more. Every time I watch it my crush grows deeper.

  66. Alper
    December 4, 2013

    not sorry for Cate Blanchett and not happy for Emma Thompson.

    these awards are NOTHING.

  67. Odee
    December 4, 2013

    Next is LA, probably this weekend.
    Pix: 12 Years, NGNG:Mr. Banks
    Director: McQueen NGNG: John Lee Hancock-Mr. Banks
    Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor-12 Years NGNG: Michael B Jordan-Fruitvale
    Actress: Thompson-Mr. Banks NGNG: Adèle Exarchopoulos-Blue
    Supp. Actor: Michael Fassbender-12 Years NGNG: Barkhad Abdi-Captian Phillips
    Supp. Actress: Lupita Nyong’o-12 Years NGNG: Léa Seydoux-Blue

    But being the place of stars, I can’t get a Redford win out of my head….

  68. KT
    December 4, 2013

    12 Years lost Best Film and Best Supporting Actress yesterday at NY Film Critics due to flukes: a combination of technicalities and politics (ganging up against a film). Based on Lou Limmerick’s twitter post, there was 1 vote difference between Lawrence and Lupita, and Lupita led in the first three rounds. Absolutely robbed! Then, 12 Years only ended up losing Best Film in the sixth and final round of voting, when some of the membership had left and American Hustle was able to narrowly win. Total bs, which is sad because the merits of 12 Years are there on the screen.

  69. Ricky
    December 4, 2013

    @Ryan – I completely agree that a screenplay win would have looked like a consolation prize. I will always compare it to Eternal Sunshine in my head and we know how that turned out. That said, is a screenplay win and no best picture nomination better than the other way around now that there are up to 10 nominees?

    @Bryce – Totally possible. Even likely. I hope not.

    @bd74 – I’m not saying she SHOULD win. I’m just saying that until recently, many (most) people were saying Bullock was Blanchette’s only competition

    @Jim – I’m totally with you. I would be quite pleased to see The Butler get 0 noms come the day. I haven’t even seen Fruitvale and Spencer is already a winner, but I’d be far happier to see her in than Oprah. The Butler was such a mess. So glad it didn’t get included here at all.

  70. Josh
    December 4, 2013

    No American Hustle is the biggest shock here. Not sure what that means, if anything. Has there ever been a year when the film to win Best Pic at the Oscars is not anywhere on the NBR top ten?

    Happy for ‘Her’! I think ultimately, there are gonna be ‘locks’ that people have predicted in the acting categories that lose out…mainly Tom Hanks in Captain Philips for someone like Phoenix.

    And speaking of Captain Phillips…I am telling you right now, Greengrass ain’t gonna be nominated for director and Hanks won’t be for actor and it will probably get a Best Pic nom but it won’t shock me if it doesn’t. Just my opinion. I liked it greatly but never felt it was gonna gain any sort of traction. We’ll see.

  71. Ricky
    December 4, 2013

    If I’m not mistaken, Return of the King was left out of the NBR top 10

  72. Kane
    December 4, 2013

    HER HER HER yesssss! This just made my day! #2 most anticipated movie of the year and it’s winning awards! Good good good lawdy!

  73. Sammy
    December 4, 2013

    I am more than happy to see Her winning BP and BD.

    Both Her and Spike Jonze were on my top five lists for BP and BD. I had published my lists on this site before. I hope this trend continues and the film gets BP and BD nominations it deserves.

  74. Josh
    December 4, 2013

    actually yes it looks like it’s happened a few times before. Return of the King is one of them.

  75. Kane
    December 4, 2013

    @Ricky, I’m right there with you. At the end of the day, after I’ve seen Her, 12 Years a Slave will probably be the better movie. But right now I can’t help but have this huge grin on my face. In a year so crowded with great movies I am just fucking thrilled Her got attention anywhere. After seeing the 2nd trailer last night it made it that much sweeter…this will be a movie to remember for years to come.

  76. Stacy
    December 4, 2013

    What happened to all the slam dunk wins for 12 Years A Slave that everyone was predicting? It’s just as I thought would happen – when push comes to shove Slave is only going to win a handful of token prizes. Given that the Oscar voters are even whiter than the critic and film associations – this doesn’t bode well for Slave’s Best Picture chances let alone Ejiofor, McQueen, Fassbender and Nyong’o’s chances at the major awards. I’d like to pretend I’m surprised but I’m not. For all the talk this year about all the great “black films”, in the end, it’s going to be just that – talk.

  77. Patrick C
    December 4, 2013

    So let me get this straight….

    BOTH the New Yorks Critics and NBR didn’t give much love to 12 Years a Slave? Well I am shocked (not really…that was sarcasm).

    Don’t get me wrong. I liked 12 Years but as I stated before there was nothing about it that made me think it was the greatest movie ever made. Although it is still possible that it could win the Globe and Academy Award for Best Picture…it seems to me as if it’s losing steam. Any thoughts?

  78. Ricky
    December 4, 2013

    Return of the King was a realllllly weird one though. It won best ensemble, but wasn’t in the top 10… making Prisoners more appreciated I guess.

    This has happened 5 times in the last thirty years:

    LOTR: ROTK (2003)
    A Beautiful Mind (2001)
    Rain Man (1988)
    Platoon (1986)
    Amadeus (1984)

    That means, statistically, the likelihood of American Hustle or Captain Phillips winning Best Picture (based on this alone) are less than 17%. With the NYFCC win, I’d put it at around 30%. Then with everything else in competition, at this early stage I’d bring it back down to around 20%.

  79. Kane
    December 4, 2013

    Stacy, you do realize that some of these same critics who have given their prizes to other films are the same ones that gave 12 Years a Slave the most perfect scores in recent memory? It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

  80. Laura
    December 4, 2013

    “The National Board of Review IS a major award, so go ahead and laff your ass all the way off.”

    I didn’t say this award is not a major award, but that it won’t go on to win any other major awards. I mean, looking at this groups success at predicting Oscar win/ even nominations, is not so hot. Last year, there were at least 3-4 that didn’t go anywhere with other award shows.

    Just saying this list doesn’t necessarily as that great a harbinger of future award success, especially in the supporting actor categories.

  81. Aaron B
    December 4, 2013

    Historically, I tend to favor the NBR’s yearly list over the Oscars, so this is pretty exciting to see such crazy differences. It has also renewed my interest in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

  82. KT
    December 4, 2013

    ^^^ No, that wasn’t my take at all. I just saw it as a shameless attempt to get Leo and Marty to show up to their awards ceremony.

    • Ryan Adams
      December 4, 2013

      You’re free to think whatever you want, KT, of course.

      I hope you leave room to hope the rest of the world isn’t as cynical as you are.

    • Ryan Adams
      December 4, 2013

      KT, consider this: Of all the people on the planet, whom do you think might know if The Wolf of Wall Street missed being named NBR’s Best Picture by 2 votes? Perhaps the NBR members themselves would be aware of such a near miss?

  83. Al Robinson
    December 4, 2013


    I’m sorry every one looked at you with blank stares every time you brought up that you liked The Place Beyond the Pines. I thought it was absolutely terrific! I liked how it transitioned from one storyline to the next to the next. Derek Cianfrance did a great job directing, and he had great actors to work with. Plus, seeing Ryan Gosling robbing those banks practically gave me shivers.

    • Ryan Adams
      December 4, 2013

      Al Robinson, aside from giving me the sensation of getting two movies for the price of one, I absolutely adore how deftly The Place Beyond the Pines was able to make its experience feel like an avant-garde experiment when in fact it was only reminding us how exciting a movie can be when it simply confounds expectations.

      Same goes triple for Upstream Color.

  84. KT
    December 4, 2013

    I’m sure you know of the conception, true or untrue, that many of these groups often vote for who they would most like to see attend their awards ceremony. That has been a criticism with the NY acting awards, Cameron Diaz winning for There’s Something About Mary being one that people point to. So that was what I was getting at, with the Leo/Marty comment.

    I’m not sure it’s being cynical, as much as it is knowing how things are in the film business. How powerful people get what they want. How nominees underhandedly take down their competitors. Watching what happened last year made me very disappointed about the whole system and how it works.

  85. Antoinette
    December 4, 2013

    It’s a race!!! WOOHOO!!!! :D

  86. Kane
    December 4, 2013

    Ryan, I’m super ashamed right now that I have both The Place Beyond the Pines and Upstream Color sitting on my shelf and I have seen neither. I was a huge Blue Valentine fan and Upstream Color seemed right up my alley. It’s hard calling myself a film fan since…I…justwatchedBladeRunnerlastnightforthefirsttime…but know this, you never got a judgemental stare from me. Sometimes the best movies do come out in the beginning of the year and some critics/awards bodies won’t remember that far back when new, shiny things come out. It’s like you said to Tony, favorites-of-the-year change on a regular basis when more and more great movies release.

  87. Jerry Grant
    December 4, 2013

    HER, wow!!!! Spike Jonze is my favorite; I am in love with each of his movies. Cannot wait for this one. The race has certainly has gotten more interesting with the entrances of American Hustle, Wolf of Wall Street, and Her. Frankly, so far, besides my current two favorites–All Is Lost and 12 Years–this has not been a stunner of a year for me, so cannot wait to add those.

    No American Hustle or Captain Phillips, and instead Walter Mitty, Lone Survivor, and Prisoners is definitely a surprise.

    Glad to see Octavia Spencer being recognized for her towering performance in Fruitvale.

  88. Antoinette
    December 4, 2013


    Well I had TPBTP on my fake ballot the other day, so there. :P

  89. Ra S.
    December 4, 2013

    I just got home from school and immediately get in to my macbook to check who the winners were……boy, I am not disappointed by these picks. HER!!! American Hustle is no where to be found.

  90. Dan Conley
    December 4, 2013

    Wow, I predicted Her to win NYFC, guess I was a day early.

    Looks like Best Picture is going to be wide open this year, I don’t see a critical consensus forming.

  91. Bryce Forestieri
    December 4, 2013

    I have to disagree with Ryan about UPSTREAM COLOR. The only avant-garde thing about it is that weird noise that never stops and doesn’t let you hear anything. I guess that’s what you mean by Lynchian (I realize you never said such word). OH my God. And I was a HUGE fan of PRIMER, but what is UPSTREAM COLOR about? What is the point? (Not just Ryan, but anyone who loved it) I enjoyed THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES much more the second time I see it, I anticipate it’ll only get better, but we have a lot to work out, PINES and me. I totally got what Cianfrance was going for visually with the bike in the woods sequence this time around, the first one I had a totally ignorant negative reaction to that particular segment. Ryan, PINES is HEAVEN’S GATE!

    Chances? Chances for what? A legendary actress like Glenn Close is a 6-time Oscar bridesmaid, but Sandra Bullock has “chance” to win a 2nd Oscar for just tumbling around and panting?

    Despite all the adjectives we can come up with to praise GRAVITY’s visual innovations and cinematic language experimentations, it’s astonishing to realize how much Cuaron relied on Dreyerian basics, demonstrated by the amount of GRAVITY’s running time spent on prolonged close-ups of Sandra Bullock’s face –such portions of this gigantic frenetic journey of survival that they’re taking us through Sandra’s facial expressions, and not for a second does she not nail it. Really takes guts from Cuaron and especially Bullock. And that’s just about those parts. Add all the Keatonian “tumbling”!

  92. Alexi
    December 4, 2013

    Where is Cate Blanchett’s sweeping wins, Blanchett fans? Please explain!

  93. Bryce Forestieri
    December 4, 2013

    OK I have to say the following. Everyone’s seen STREETCAR right? And Blanchett absolutely is in my top 5, and at this point seems pretty unmovable, but does she ever -for a second even- approach the ecstasy of truth revealed to us by Leigh? I’d say no. And yes, I mean the “breakdown”. And yes, I’m saying the films are very similar, who hasn’t.

  94. Future_Filmmaker
    December 4, 2013

    Finally my favorite film of the year so far(Prisoners) gets some recognition! And Captain Phillips getting shut out is a joke. But it’s cool that they gave recognition to some films that might not make it to the Oscars, like Prisoners, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Lone Survivor.

  95. Antoinette
    December 4, 2013

    OMG *bites Bryce*

    Cate in BLUE JASMINE is a whole diferent thing than Vivien Leigh. Watch them both again if you have to.

  96. superkk
    December 4, 2013

    YES!!!!! OCTAVIA SPENCER!!! such great news omg…thank you NBR for keeping her alive in this race. first two days and im loving the all around picks.

  97. Bryce Forestieri
    December 4, 2013


    Without an ounce of irony. I can actually accept that. There isn’t and shouldn’t be comparisons.

  98. superkk
    December 4, 2013

    and yes to all you people who keep beating it over the dead horse, we know none of these precursors gurantees a nomination..um DUH we know lol…. but it is nice to see some movies get some recognition, rather than be completely shut out and ignored. and it is happy to cheer for that person/movie etc during the process, nothing wrong with that.

  99. Vily
    December 4, 2013

    This is my take:

    I am actually quite happy that the Critics are “all over the place” with these movies. It basically means that there are just too many great, excellent and very good movies to pick from which makes things quite difficult.

    There are so many things to take away and it’s hard to even decide where to start from:

    American Hustle (NYFCC winner) wasn’t even mentioned. Captain Phillips is starting to disappear which might mean good news for Leo’s fans (will get there in a second)

    The Butler should outright be deleted from any Best Picture lists at this point. The Best Actor race is shaping up as the following as of today and in no particular order (it’s too crazy right now)

    1. Robert Redford ( NYFCC Winner)
    2. Bruce Dern (Cannes and NBR Winner)
    3. Chiwetel Ejiofor
    4. Matthew Mcconaghuey (Gotham Awards Winner)
    5. Leonardo DiCaprio

    Tom Hanks personally is losing steam as of right now.

    Right behind are Oscar Isaac, Joaquin Phoenix, possibly even Hugh Jackman and maybe Christian Bale for Prisoners but it’s going to be difficult.

    Will see what happens. It’s too early to call and it’s hard to call any locks in such a year.

    Personal preferences aside, I am glad that Terrence Winter won for Wolf of Wall Street and that Leo and Marty “won” the Spotlight award. I know that Leonardo has his haters and all that but frankly, Wolf of Wall Street would NOT have been made without his involvement. Maybe they’ll nominate him as producer?! Who knows?

    Anyway. There are so many movies to see. Top of my list are:

    1. Wolf of Wall Street
    2. Her
    3. American Hustle
    4. Out of the Furnace
    5. Maybe Dallas Buyer’s Club

    Of the ones I have seen, the best to me are:

    1. 12 Years a Slave
    2. Prisoners
    3. Gravity
    4. Captain Phillips

  100. Vily
    December 4, 2013

    Meant to say Bale for Out of the Furnace

    • Ryan Adams
      December 4, 2013

      NOTE: Anybody submitting a comment but it fails to appear on the site? Happening to me too.

      The Spam Filter is eating comments like crazy today. I can find and retrieve them, but it might take a few minutes for me to dig them out.

      If you have a comment disappear and I haven’t restored it. please just email me at the usual contact addy. (click my name at the bottom of the page in the VITALS column)

  101. JJE
    December 4, 2013

    So pleasantly surprised by these (for once). Her is, undoubtedly, my favorite movie of the year, followed by Nebraska! BRAVO :)

  102. Filipe
    December 4, 2013

    “The Butler should outright be deleted from any Best Picture lists at this point.”

    Dude, industry loves Harvey and Oprah.

  103. Vily
    December 4, 2013

    In my humble opinion in such a year with so many great movies, there will be no space for sentimentality. 66 score on meta score ain’t gonna cut it..

  104. Vily
    December 4, 2013

    I can already confidently put these 7 as “locks” for best picture: (in no particular order)

    1. American Hustle
    2. The Wolf of Wall Street
    3. Her
    4. 12 Years A Slave
    5. Inside Llewyn Davis
    6. Nebraska
    7. Gravity

    The last 2/3 spots are Open. There will be tons of movies fighting for those last spots and The Butler?! – get outta here…

  105. Tony
    December 4, 2013

    NBR lives up to its reputation of having some unusual picks in the acting categories.

    FWIW, I concur with Jim that “Nebraska” trumps “The Descendants” (although it won’t do so at the box office).

  106. Ricky
    December 4, 2013

    So glad to see all the Her love in this thread and not a single voice of dissent from people who have seen it. I struggled with Kris Tapley a bit over why he didn’t love it, but ultimately, we just had to agree to disagree.

    @JJE – I find it fascinating that Her is your favorite of the year (mine too) but you have Nebraska at #2. It might be in my top 10, but not guaranteed and certainly not near the top. I’ve got 12 Yrs, Mud, Gravity, Blue is the Warmest Color, hell even Side Effects above it. Maybe Prisoners too… still on the fence about a few.

    TOTAL sidebar in case anyone cares… I saw a screening of Anchorman 2 tonight. One of the worst, funniest movies I’ve ever seen. Can’t remember the last time I laughed with such frequency in a movie… but it is an incompetently edited and often times incoherent mess. I don’t even know how to score it. 4 stars for laughs and enjoyment. 2 stars for it’s quality as a film. So 3 stars (out of four)?

    Oh and for clarity, they aren’t like Troll 2 laughs where you’re laughing at how bad it is. The bad parts and the funny parts are separate from each other.

  107. Tony
    December 4, 2013

    What bugs me about NBR’s Top 10 is “Walter Mitty.” They shouldn’t reward/encourage remakes of perfectly good movies. I suppose there’s a chance that the remake is good, but I doubt it. (I won’t see it, unless it gets nearly unanimous good reviews.)

  108. Nic V
    December 4, 2013

    Sam – even though 12 Years hasn’t done anything really at NYC or with the NBR I still think it’s the film to beat.

    Ryan – ya know I haven’t seen Place beyond the Pines yet and I’m a big Gosling fan and I almost saw it when you mentioned a few months ago how much you really liked it and then something came up and I didn’t do it. Now I’m gonna have to sit down in front of the box and watch it on On Demand.

  109. Sammy
    December 5, 2013

    NYFCC and NBR did not say too much on Oscar race – two different winners in almost all categories.

    I tend to wait until the Golden Globes nominations on 12th of December. It will narrow down the race to five or six films and we will have a more clear picture.

  110. Kane
    December 5, 2013

    Tony, I haven’t seen Walter Mitty (either of them) and I can get why the inclusion in the NBR top ten is baffling. However, from what I gathered this remake is completely different from the original. Every movie should be seen with fresh eyes and not be judged by how good or bad the original is. When a filmmaker remakes something that generally means they have something new to say.

  111. BedBath&Beyonce
    December 5, 2013

    Will Forte?

  112. Tony
    December 5, 2013

    Forte was surprisingly good in “Nebraska,” worthy of a nomination, but probably not of a win.

    I get what you’re saying. That’s why I will go see it *if the reviews are almost unanimously good.* If it’s only slightly above average, I’ll pass. (The original is worth watching. After being out of print for a long time, it’s available again. I used to feel special about having had it all these years, LOL.)

  113. Kane
    December 6, 2013

    lol Tony I’m not saying you should go see the movie, I’m not even saying (based on it’s own merits) Walter Mitty deserves to be on this list. I’m just saying it shouldn’t be excluded BECAUSE it’s a remake. That would be as bad as the WGA not nominating foreign scripts or animated scripts, oh wait…

  114. Mirko
    December 7, 2013

    I am glad for Mrs Thompson, best actress in Saving Mr Banks. I hope awards also for Tom Hanks, actor in a supporting role.

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    December 12, 2013

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