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National Film Critics Group Names “American Splendor” Top Film of ’03

National Film Critics Group Names "American Splendor" Top Film of '03

National Film Critics Group Names “American Splendor” Top Film of ’03

by Eugene Hernandez

“American Splendor” was named the top film of the year by the National Society of Film Critics. Image provided by HBO Films/Fine Line

“American Splendor” was named top movie of the year by the National Society of Film Critics, topping “Mystic River” and “Lost in Translation” in Saturday’s balloting. The 55 critics also awarded “American Splendor” writer/directors Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini the prize for best screenplay.

Clint Eastwood was named best director for “Mystic River,” while the prize for best cinematography went to Russell Boyd for “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.”

Aki Kaurismaki’s “The Man Without a Past” won the award for best foreign language film.

“To Be and To Have” by Nicolas Philibert, from France, won the award for best documentary.

In the acting categories, Charlize Theron won the award for best actress for her performance in “Monster,” while Bill Murray was awarded the prize for best actor for his role in “Lost In Translation.” Patricia Clarkson was honored as best supporting actress for her roles in “The Station Agent” and “Pieces of April,” while Peter Sarsgaard was singled out as best supporting actor for his turn in “Shattered Glass.”

The group also announced two Film Heritage Awards, one to Kino for its DVD collections of Murnau, Von Stroheim and the American Film Theatre Series, and the other to Milestone for releasing “The Edge of the World,” “Piccadilly,” “La Terre,” “Mad Love,” and the films of Evgeni Bauer.

Complete list of winners, 2003 National Society of Film Critics Awards (information provided by the organization):


1. American Splendor (Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini) – 29
(Fine Line)

2. Mystic River (Clint Eastwood) – 27

3. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola) – 19


1. The Man Without a Past (Aki Kaurismaki) – 38 (Sony Pictures Classics)

2. TheTriplets of Belleville (Sylvain Chomet) – 15

3. Unknown Pleasures (Jia Zhangke) – 13


1. Clint Eastwood (Mystic River) – 35 (Warner Bros.)

2. Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) – 24

3. Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) – 19


1. Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor) – 43 (Fine

2. Brian Helgeland (Mystic River) – 22

3. Craig Lucas (The Secret Lives of Dentists) – 14


1. To Be and to Have (Nicolas Philibert) – 34 (New Yorker)

2. The Fog of War (Errol Morris) – 33

3. Spellbound (Jeffrey Blitz) – 18


1. Russell Boyd (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World) – 37 [Fox]

2. Lance Acord (Lost in Translation) – 22

3. Harris Savides (Elephant) – 21


1. Bill Murray (Lost in Translation) – 71 (Focus)

2. Sean Penn (Mystic River) – 49

3. Paul Giamatti (American Splendor) – 24


1. Charlize Theron (Monster) – 36 (Newmarket)

2. Hope Davis (American Splendor and The Secret Lives of Dentists) – 24

3. Naomi Watts (21 Grams) – 17


1. Peter Sarsgaard (Shattered Glass) – 40 (Lions Gate)

2. Tim Robbins (Mystic River) – 18

3. Alec Baldwin (The Cooler) – 17


1. Patricia Clarkson (The Station Agent [Miramax] and Pieces of April [UA])
– 37

2. Maria Bello (The Cooler) – 18

3. Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog) – 16


1. Kino on Video for its excellent DVD collections of F.W. Murnau, Erich von
Stroheim, and the American Film Theatre Series.

2. Milestone Film and Video for its exemplary theatrical and/or DVD presentations of Michael Powell’s “The Edge of the World,” E.A Dupont’s “Piccadilly,” André Antoine’s “La Terre,” and “Mad Love,” the films of Evgeni Bauer.

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