Daldry and Noyce receive early Oscar boost

Stephen Daldry's new movie named film of the year at New York awards

Stephen Daldry's new film, The Hours, staked its claim as a main contender at next year's Oscars when it was named film of the year by the national board of review of motion pictures in New York last night. The film, a period drama shot in Britain, features Nicole Kidman as the author Virginia Woolf. It is Daldry's second film, following his hugely successful 2000 comedy, Billy Elliot.

The national board awards are seen as the first major pointer towards the 2003 Academy awards, to be followed, in the coming months, by the still more influential New York critics' awards and the Golden Globes.

If so, last night's announcement also spells good news for Philip Noyce, who was named best director for his work on both The Quiet American and Rabbit Proof Fence. Campbell Scott won best actor for his performance in the indie comedy Rodger Dodger, while Julianne Moore was named best actress for her role as a 1950s housewife in Todd Haynes's eagerly anticipated Far From Heaven.

In the meantime, Pedro Almodovar can take a crumb of comfort from the fact that his Talk to Her was honoured as best foreign language film. The movie has already been rejected as Spain's candidate for the best foreign film Oscar.

The national board of review of motion pictures awards will be presented at a special gala in New York next month.

Staff and agencies

The GuardianTramp

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