Well now this race is all over the place.
The National Board of Review just announced its list and Best Picture went to…
Spike Jonzes’s Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix and featuring Scarlett Johansson’s voice. Apparently Scarjo’s work in this film is so wonderful, there are those who believe she should be nominated for an acting award even though she doesn’t actually appear onscreen. As mentioned before, Scarjo wasn’t even the original actor cast in the role. Samantha Morton played “Samantha” during principal photography but Jonze ended up replacing her for Scarlett, and if you watch the new trailer below, even though it’s just 2 minutes, you get a sense of why Scarjo’s getting so much praise. She’s sexy, beguiling, funny, and totally irresistible, and you never ever get to see her. No wonder Joaquin falls in love with his phone. Now Her is a legitimate contender for one of the (up to) 10 films nominated for Oscar.
As for the acting categories, the NBR favourite Nebraska. Bruce Dern’s no surprise but… Will Forte?!? Will Forte over Jonah Hill and Jared Leto. No one’s a favourite anymore.
Not even Blanchett. Because Emma Thompson just told everybody she’s playing too. NBR picked Emma over Cate who was supposed to be the only “lock” of the season. Now consider how much work Tom Hanks is doing behind the scenes and could this really play out and live up to being the most unpredictable award season in a long, long time?