The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hours tick at Oscar season kickoff

New York, Dec. 5 (Reuters): The Hours, the story of three women linked by Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway, was named best film of the year today by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, whose annual Top 10 honours kick off the film awards season that culminates with the Oscars.

Industry watchers look to the New York-based society’s picks and other upcoming awards for hints on possible Academy Awards contenders.

The Hours, based on Michael Cunningham’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, was followed by Chicago, Gangs of New York, The Quiet American and Adaptation.

The Hours, slated for release this month, stars Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore and interweaves the stories of three women from different eras, including the character of Virginia Woolf as she begins to write the novel Mrs Dalloway.

Campbell Scott was named best actor for the dark comedy Roger Dodger and Moore best actress for Far From Heaven, a drama set in the 1950s.

“It’s a total surprise, although I’ll take it,” Scott said in a telephone interview. Roger is a small movie so we want people to know about it.” Scott, 41, also is an executive producer of the film, the story of a scheming advertising executive who tries to teach his teenage nephew how to manipulate women during a night on the town.

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

Talk to Her, from Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, was named best foreign film.

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