4 December 2013 2:24 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The National Board of Review’s selection of “Her” as best film of 2013 made it official: This year’s awards race is not a two-way battle — it’s more like a royal rumble, where a flood of wrestlers are involved in a huge smackdown to gain the top spot.

The wins for best pic and for “Her” director Spike Jonze are also like a market correction. The media (including Variety) has devoted energy to the question of whether Scarlett Johansson should be considered for supporting actress though she’s never seen in the film. (The answer is that she is indeed eligible for SAG and Oscar attention.)

It’s an interesting question, but the curiosity factor of the voice performance has taken some of the focus away from the work of writer-director Jonze, actor Joaquin Phoenix and the rest of the Warner Bros. pic’s virtues. Whether the Academy will »


- Tim Gray

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