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Thursday, 5 December, 2002, 10:53 GMT
Kidman's Hours named best film
Nicole Kidman in The Hours
Nicole Kidman plays the legendary writer Virginia Woolf
The Hours, starring Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf, has been named best film in the first movie awards before the Oscars in March.

The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures chose The Hours on Wednesday to head its annual choice of the top 10 films of the past 12 months.

The board is comprised of top film professionals, teachers, students and historians, and its list marks the start of the awards season, which culminates with the Academy Awards.

Top 10 films
1.The Hours
2. Chicago
3. Gangs of New York
4.The Quiet American
5. Adaptation
6. Rabbit-Proof Fence
7. The Pianist
8. Far From Heaven
9. Thirteen Conversations About One Thing
10. Frida

Following The Hours in the New York-based board's list were Chicago, Gangs of New York, The Quiet American and Adaptation.

The Hours, which comes out in the US this month and in UK in February, also stars Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep and has been eagerly awaited.

It is made by theatre director Stephen Daldry and is his first film since his critically acclaimed hit Billy Elliot.

The Hours interweaves the stories of three women from different eras, including the character of Virginia Woolf as she begins to write the novel Mrs Dalloway.

Catherine Zeta Jones stars in Chicago
Catherine Zeta Jones stars in Chicago

Chicago and Gangs of New York are also much-talked about movies.

Chicago is based on the international hit musical of the same name and boasts Catherine Zeta Jones, Renee Zellweger and Richard Gere as its stars.

Gangs of New York is an epic star-studded venture from Martin Scorsese that has taken three years to complete.

And the Quiet American, based on the novel by Graham Greene and directed by Phillip Noyce, is considered by many to feature the best performace yet by Sir Michael Caine.

Kahlo

Elsewhere, in the board's awards list, Campbell Scott - son of the late actor George C Scott - was named best actor for the dark comedy Roger Dodger.

Julianne Moore was named best actress for Far From Heaven, a low-budget drama set in the 1950s and also starring Dennis Quaid.

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Gangs of New York
Leonardo DiCaprio is just one of an all-star line-up in Gangs of New York

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

Completing the top 10 films were Rabbit-Proof Fence, a true story of Aboriginal children, also from Phillip Noyce.

Director Roman Polanski's World War II drama The Pianist and Far From Heaven followed.

Also in the list were Thirteen Conversations About One Thing and Frida, about the celebrated artist Frida Kahlo.

The board will hand out its awards in a ceremony on 14 January.

See also:

30 Jul 02 | Entertainment
13 Mar 01 | Entertainment
31 Oct 01 | Entertainment
01 Feb 02 | Entertainment
21 Jan 02 | Entertainment
06 Feb 01 | Entertainment
09 Aug 02 | Entertainment
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