You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Soderbergh ‘Sight’ right, crix cry

'Ryan' snubbed as 'Out' gets best pic, helmer, screenplay

NEW YORK — The National Society of Film Critics named “Out of Sight” best picture of the year Sunday in a meeting at the Algonquin Hotel.

The only film to win multiple awards, Steven Soderbergh’s adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s popular crime novel also captured best director for Soderbergh and best screenplay for Scott Frank. Universal’s summer release has received strong critical support but did not perform particularly well at the box office.

Spielberg’s war drama “Saving Private Ryan,” earlier named best picture by both the New York and L.A. critics, was shut out. Runner-up for best picture was Paul Schrader’s moody “Affliction,” from Lions Gate, based on Russell Banks’ novel.

Nick Nolte was cited as best actor for his performance in “Affliction,” an examination of male violence as it passes from one generation to the next. Following the L.A. critics, the group cited Ally Sheedy as best actress for her modulated portrait of a troubled photographer in “High Art,” an indie picked up by October at Sundance.

Murray, Dench win support

In the supporting leagues, Bill Murray won acting honors for Wes Anderson’s charming school comedy “Rushmore,” and famous Brit stage actress Judi Dench won for her authoritative portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in the smart romantic comedy “Shakespeare in Love,” which Miramax is releasing domestically and Universal is handling internationally.

Reflecting a strong year for both studio and independent fare — and lack of consensus among critics — the voting session lasted over four hours. For most categories, a number of ballots were required until a clear winner emerged. It took three ballots before Soderbergh was declared best director as Spielberg and Terrence Malick, who directed “The Thin Red Line,” tied as runners-up. Malick’s contemplative war drama won only for John Toll’s cinematography.

In an extremely strong year for foreign language film, it took three rounds before Iranian Abbas Kiarostami’s “Taste of Cherry,” co-winner of the l997 Cannes Palm D’Or, emerged to take the category. Cult Japanese director Takeshi Kitano’s “Fireworks,” was a close second.

‘Mother’ moved critics

Composed of 51 reviewers from all over the country, the National Society of Film Critics also cited Aleksandr Sokurov’s Russian film “Mother and Son” as best experimental pic for its powerful and moving exploration, through nontraditional narrative means, of the relationship between a son and his dying mother. Sundance-premiered docu “The Farm: Angola U.S.A.,” co-directed by Liz Garbus and Jonathan Stack, was honored in the nonfiction category for its investigation into conditions at a Louisiana prison.

A special citation was awarded to the team that restored Orson Welles’ classic “Touch of Evil” (released by October), Walter Murch, Rick Schmidlin, Bob O’Neil, and critic Jonathan Rosenbaum.

Finally, the group cited the publication of Manny Farber’s “Negative Space,” an expanded edition of one of the seminal collections of film criticism, originally printed in the ’70s.

The following is a list of winners and runners-up:

Picture: “Out of Sight”; runner-up: “Affliction”

Director: Steven Soderbergh (“Out of Sight”); runners-up: (tie) Terrence Malick, (“The Thin Red Line”; Steven Spielberg, “Saving Private Ryan”)

Screenplay: Scott Frank (“Out of Sight”); runner-up: Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard (“Shakespeare in Love”)

Actor: Nick Nolte (“Affliction”); runner-up: Ian McKellen (“Gods and Monsters”)

Actress: Ally Sheedy (“High Art”); runner-up: Cate Blanchett (“Elizabeth”)

Supporting Actor: Bill Murray (“Rushmore”); runner-up: Donald Sutherland (“Without Limits”)

Supporting Actress: Judi Dench (“Shakespeare in Love”); runner-up: Patricia Clarkson (“High Art”)

Cinematography: John Toll (“The Thin Red Line”); runner-up: Januscz Kaminski (“Saving Private Ryan”)

Foreign Language Film: “Taste of Cherry”; runner-up: “Fireworks”

Nonfiction film: “The Farm: Angola U.S.A.”; runner-up: “Public Housing”

Special Citation:

Experimental film: “Mother and Son”

Restoration of Orson Welles’ “Touch of Evil”

Publication of Manny Farber’s “Negative Space”

More Film

  • Zac Efron Amanda Seyfried

    Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried Join Animated Scooby-Doo Film as Fred and Daphne

    Zac Efron has signed on to voice Fred Jones while Amanda Seyfried will voice Daphne Blake in Warner Bros.’ animated Scooby-Doo feature film “Scoob.” It was revealed earlier this month that Will Forte had been set to voice Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, while Gina Rodriguez would be voicing Velma Dinkley. The mystery-solving teens and their talking [...]

  • 'Staff Only' Review: Cultures And Values

    Film Review: 'Staff Only'

    Marta (Elena Andrada) is 17, from Barcelona and alternately bored and mortified to be on a Christmas vacation to Senegal with her estranged dad, Manel (Sergi López), and annoying little brother, Bruno (Ian Samsó). For her, the freedoms of imminent adulthood, such as the occasional poolside mojito, are tantalizing close but still technically forbidden, rather [...]

  • Rocketman

    Candid 'Rocketman' Dares to Show Elton John as 'Vulnerable,' 'Damaged,' 'Ugly'

    Elton John movie “Rocketman” dares to portray the singer’s personality early in his career to have been, at times, “ugly,” Taron Egerton – who plays the pop star – told an audience at London’s Abbey Road Studios Friday, following a screening of 15 minutes of footage from the film. It is a candid portrayal, showing [...]

  • Ben Affleck

    Ben Affleck's Addiction Drama Set for Awards-Season Release

    Warner Bros. has given Ben Affleck’s untitled addiction drama an awards-season-friendly release date of Oct. 18. The film, which has been known previously as “The Has-Been” and “Torrance,” is directed by Gavin O’Connor and stars Affleck as a former basketball player struggling with addiction, which has led to him losing his wife. As part of [...]

  • Jordan Peele'Us' film premiere, Arrivals, New

    Jordan Peele Explains the Meaning Behind the 'Us' Michael Jackson Reference

    Jordan Peele’s horror movie “Us” is filled with pop culture references, from “Jaws” to “Goonies.” But the most divisive might be right in his opening sequence. Warning, minor spoilers ahead. The movie about a couple (played by Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke) and their children being hunted and brutalized by a mysterious family that looks just [...]

  • Swiss Film Award Winners Led By

    ‘Those Who Work,’ ‘Chris the Swiss’ Top 2019 Swiss Film Awards

    Two debut features in writer-director Antoine Russbach’s “Those Who Work” and Anja Kofmel’s animated documentary “Chris the Swiss,” were the big winners at Friday night’s Swiss Film Awards, notching three plaudits each. Sold by Be For Films, “Those Who Work,” stars Belgian actor Olivier Gourmet, who has appeared in every single film by Jean-Pierre and [...]

  • Lupita Nyong'o as Adelaide Wilson doppelgänger

    Box Office: Jordan Peele's 'Us' to Easily Surpass 'Get Out' in Killer Opening Weekend

    Jordan Peele’s horror-thriller “Us” will likely slay the box office competition this weekend. It’s projected to generate an impressive $64 million through the weekend at 3,741 sites in North America, early estimates showed Friday. “Us” is over-performing recent forecasts, which had ranged from $38 million to $50 million. It should wind up with about $27 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content