“The Hours” Gets Season’s First Film Award

“The Hours” Gets Season’s First Film Award

The Hours movie still: Julianne Moore as Laura Brown in The Hours
Julianne Moore as Laura Brown in "The Hours"

As the race to the Academy Awards begins, the National Board of Review announced their choices for this season’s top 10 films of the year Monday with The Hours topping the list as best film of the year.

Directed by Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot), the film spans the 20th century and focuses on three women (Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep), who are linked by Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway.

Rounding out the 10 best list is Chicago, Gangs of New York, The Quiet American, Adaptation, Rabbit-Proof Fence, The Pianist, Far From Heaven, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing and Frida.

Julianne Moore was named best actress, not for her role in The Hours but in Far From Heaven, in which she plays a 1950s housewife whose perfect life crumbles.

Campbell Scott, son of the late actors George C. Scott and Colleen Dewhurst, was named best actor for his performance in the dark comedy Roger Dodger, playing an advertising executive who spends one night teaching his 15-year-old nephew how to manipulate women.

“He’s a tough nut — he can be very cruel and charming at the same time,” Scott told Reuters of his character. “That stuff is fun to play.”

The board is one of the oldest film societies, founded in 1909 to try to stop movie censorship. It began selecting its 10 best movies of the year in 1919. The group’s membership includes film professionals, teachers, students and historians. These awards can be an Oscar barometer, as Halle Berry was named best actress last year for her intense performance in Monster’s Ball and went on to win Best Actress.

The awards will be handed out on Jan. 14 in New York.